Seattle made aviation history in 1916 when William E. Boeing and Navy Lt. Conrad Westervelt formed the Boeing Airplane company, and hired self-taught aviation tinker Herb Munter to build the company’s first aircraft, the B&W seaplane.
Read more about Boeing and Early Aviation in Seattle at historylink.org, and the feature stories that follow to chronicle Seattle’s love affair with aircraft and aviation.
The love affair continues to this day. Listed below are some of the major air shows and related events of special interest to aviation afficianados in every corner of the Puget Sound region. The air shows are listed in date order, beginning in May with Aviation Day at Paine Field in Everett and continuing through summer.
Air Shows in the Puget Sound region
Aviation Day at Paine Field is an annual family-friendly festival that includes free admission to two museums: Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum (FHCAM), and the Historic Flight Foundation (HFF). Other features of the event include an air show, one-of-a-kind aircraft, meet the pilots and talk with flight schools, demonstrations, and free introductory flights for youth ages 8-17 (first-come-first-served and space is limited). Food vendors on site. Free parking with shuttles to the event. When: May. Cancelled for 2019.
Olympic Air Show features four hours of aerobatic performances by many renowned air show performers in a variety of noted historical aircraft. Free parking at the Olympia Regional Airport fills very quickly, then use street parking in the surrounding areas of the airport– likely some distance from the entrance. When: Father’s Day Weekend.
Skyfest at Fairchild AFB in Spokane. Team Fairchild will open its gates to the public for a free one day event to showcase Pacific Northwest’s airpower. When: June.
American Heroes Air Show is the nation’s premier, helicopter–only, FREE aviation event designed to educate visitors about rotary-wing aviation’s diverse capabilities. Learn how helicopters play an important role in law enforcement, fire service, public safety, communications, national defense and homeland security. When: June. Cancelled in 2018; TBA for 2019.
The Gig Harbor Air Show “Wing & Wheels” at Tacoma Narrows Airport is held in conjunction with Tacoma’s July 4th Freedom Fair. The Gig Harbor air show includes two performances featuring airborne demonstrations and acrobats. Throughout the day, attendees can also enjoy airplane rides and the opportunity to meet some of the top pilots in the industry. It’s a perfect outing for the airplane enthusiast or anyone seeking thrilling entertainment. When: around July 4th.
Boeing Air Show at Seafair Weekend is the culmination of Seafair, Seattle’s summer-long festival. The Air Show is a highlight of the weekend and one of the most impressive air shows in the country, in no small part due to the performance of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The Seafair Boeing air show also includes the Flying Heritage Collection featuring acrobatic thrills, and other military, vintage, and specialty aircraft. For ways to save on tickets, read our post on discount tickets for Seafair Weekend. Also check our list of locations where you can watch the Blue Angels for free. When: 1st Sunday in August.
Arlington Fly-In: Balloon & Airplane Festival is the West Coast’s Premier Recreation Aviation Event. Anything that involves humans and machines in the air is the focus: Airplanes, hot air balloons, ultralights, warbirds, and drones. When: August.
Bellingham Airfest. Get up close and take pictures of historic and specialized aircraft that will be on display. Talk with pilots and local flying clubs. Watch demonstrations. Raffles. Food Vendors. Free parking and admission. The kids area will include face painting, a bouncy house, and aviation-themed arts and crafts. When: September.
Vintage Aircraft Weekend (VAW) has been a family-friendly weekend of flying, history, inspiration, food, fun, music, and excitement. Featured aircraft include examples from 1927 – 1957. Historically held at Paine Field in Everett, VAW is busy with their expansion to Felts Field in Spokane, schedule for completion in fall 2019. When: September.
Felts Field Autumn Invitational. Organized by Historic Flight Foundation, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Washington Pilots Association. This event will showcase many of the aircraft that in recent years have graced the tarmac of Vintage Aircraft Weekend. The event also will draw on the considerable inventory of vintage aircraft based in and around Felts Field. A “fly-out” Saturday afternoon will feature spot landing and flour bombing at Deer Park Airport. The public will be invited to tour the flight line and meet the pilots. Rides will be offered in several aircraft. Admission will be by donation. T-shirts and aviation retail will be offered. When: September.
Upcoming Air Shows and Aviation Events
The above air shows, as well as smaller aviation-related events, are listed in the calendar below.
(If nothing is listed below, there are no upcoming air shows in our calendar. We usually update our calendar a few times a year for shows coming up during the year.)
Friday, June 19, 2020
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Sunday, June 21, 2020