TORA.jpeg - Pilots from the Tora Tora Tora airshow team use pyrotechnics to reenact the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hill Air Force Base Announces 2 Fiery New Acts for Summer Air Show with Thunderbirds

By Collin Leonard,
May 01, 2024

Hero Image: Pilots from the Tora Tora Tora airshow team use pyrotechnics to reenact the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Tora Tora Tora)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Event organizers for the 2024 Hill Air Force Base air show, happening June 29-30, have announced the official "Warriors Over The Wasatch" performer lineup, including two new additions.

All the mainstays of the show have been confirmed and it's headlined by the Air Force Thunderbirds.

Capt. Melanie "MACH" Kluesner, the new commander of the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team, will give the public a look at the most advanced fifth-generation stealth fighter in the U.S. Air Force. According to the Department of Defense, the F-35A cost around $33,000 per flight hour in 2020. The aircraft first saw combat in 2019, in an air strike at Wadi Ashai, Iraq, according to the Air Force, though Reuters reports Israel conducted air strikes using a variation of the plane in 2018.

The 2022 air show attracted an estimated half-million visitors.

New acts

"This year, we are so proud to have Tora Tora Tora join our lineup," said Lt. Col. Diana Bradfield, air show operations director. "Tora Tora Tora is part of the Commemorative Air Force where their act serves as a living history, highlighting the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor."

A controller watches the pyrotechnic display of Tora Tora Tora, an airshow team that reenacts the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. (Photo: Tora Tora Tora)

Tora Tora Tora honors people lost during Pearl Harbor through a recreation of the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941. The group has been flying in six replica Japanese aircraft used in the 1970 movie of the same name. Debuting in 1972, they are the "longest continuously performing non-military airshow act in the U.S., and perhaps the world," according to the Commemorative Air Force.

Another act new to the Hill air show is Tinstix of Dynamite, an extreme sports crew combining planes, fire and jet trucks.

Apart from the aerial show, organizers say there will be "civilian and military helicopters, fighters, bombers, cargo and refueling aircraft static displays." Military ground transport and fighting vehicles, hands-on booths and activities will be ongoing, to encourage students to pursue education in science and engineering.

"We are also excited to showcase a joint airpower demonstration, simulating an airfield seizure, with our sister service partners," Bradfield said. An airfield seizure typically involves jump teams parachuting onto a strategic target.

Marines jump from an MC-130J Commando II during an airfield seizure exercise at Wake Island on Aug. 24, 2016. (Photo: Stephen G. Eigel, U.S. Air Force)

Bradfield said she hopes people will take part in the robust STEM exhibits, climb around a fighter jet, eat food from local vendors and connect with the Hill Air Force base community.

General admission is free, and the full list of performers is as follows:

  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
  • U.S. Air Force F-35A Demonstration Team
  • U.S. Air Force B-2 flyby (June 29)
  • U.S. Air Force E-3 flyby (June 30)
  • U.S. Air Force KC-135 flyby
  • U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight
  • U.S. Air Force Special Warfare Jumpers
  • U.S. Special Operations Command's premier aerial parachute demonstration team
  • U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet Legacy Flight
  • Multi-service military "show-of-force" demonstration
  • Bob Freeman
  • Bill Stein
  • Brad Wursten
  • Gregory "Wired" Colyer
  • Mark Peterson
  • Melissa Burns
  • Paul "Sticky" Strickland
  • Rob Holland
  • Skip Stewart
  • Smoke N Thunder Jet Shows - JetTruck
  • Tinstix of Dynamite
  • Tora, Tora, Tora living history
  • Yellow Thunder formation team

Learn more about upcoming airshows at Hill Air Force Base.