Brent Bernasconi

MCAS Miramar Air Show Welcomes Back the Blue Angels and More


For 57 years, Marine Corps Air Station has opened its gates for a weekend full of super-sonic flight, daring aerial acrobatics and amazing nighttime pyrotechnics. The Miramar Air Show, bestowed with the honor of “World’s Best Military Air Show” by the International Council of Air Shows in 2007, is the largest military air show in the nation and a sight not to be missed.

Daily at the Miramar Air Show

The Blue Angels to soar over San Diego!

Each day at the Miramar Air show is an aviation enthusiast’s dream. Over 100 planes sit on the runway waiting to be explored while F/A-18s and F-22 Raptors alongside historical aircraft including B-25s and P-51s flyby overhead. Make sure to stick around for the Marine Air-Ground Assault Demo at 12:30 PM and the pièce de résistance at 2:45 PM, the Blue Angels.

Miramar Air Show’s Saturday Twilight Show

Blue Angels Cargo Jet with Pyrotechnics

Sparks fly during the Twilight Entertainment at the Miramar Air Show. Photo courtesy of Performer Media Kits & MCCS.

The Saturday Twilight show is a sight to see with plenty of excitement including a jet car, F/A-18s afterburner passes, a special effects powered glider and the infamous Robosaurus! But the Marines aren’t done yet, they cap of the night with a spectacular fireworks display and the amazing Great Wall of Fire. You have to see it to believe it.

What to Know About the Miramar Air Show

What to Bring: Blanket seating is free so feel free to bring beach chairs, blankets and hand-held umbrellas. You can also bring a small cooler of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. It can get warm so be sure to bring hats, sunscreen and plenty of water.

Parking: Give yourself plenty of time to get to MCAS Miramar. Entrance to the parking areas can quickly back up, especially as it gets closer to the afternoon and twilight shows. There will also be bicycle parking for those looking to avoid the long car lines.
> Parking Instructions and Maps 

Where: MCAS Miramar (directions)
Dates: October 12-14
Times: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Twilight Show on Saturday: 5:50 to 9:00 PM
Cost: General Admission is Free

Robert Arends

5 To Try: Centennial of Naval Aviation in Coronado

History that literally flies off the pages is my kind of history! The spectacular Centennial of Naval Aviation (CONA) is coming to Coronado this Saturday. The ‘Crown City” is gearing up for thousands of expected spectators to view an historic “Parade of Flight,” featuring over 200 aircraft – from vintage planes to the famous Blue Angels. It’ll be the largest naval aircraft flyover since WWII… yep, you’ll be telling your grandkids about this one!

The Blue Angels to soar over Coronado!

Coronado is where naval aviation began, in 1911, when aviator/inventor Glenn Curtiss trained a Navy officer to fly a seaplane from the sandy, formerly scrub-covered isle.

Following are five fun – mostly free – things to do in (and just off) Coronado to celebrate this momentous occasion:  

  1. Flight of fancy… The US Navy is packing 100 years of naval aviation history into one day – February 12 – showcasing its rich and exciting aviation heritage. Most anticipated event: the colossal CONA Parade of Flight, starting at 1 p.m. and lasting approx. two hours. Prime viewing spots: Coronado Beach and the bayside Coronado Ferry Landing.

    Vintage planes to fly in historic Parade of Flight.

  2. Make waves… If you want to see the Parade of Flight nautical-style, reserve your seat for Hornblower Cruises & Eventsexclusive three-hour CONA Parade of Flight Spectator & Lunch Cruise on San Diego Bay. They promise the best views from the water, as planes fly high overhead. It includes a gourmet lunch and free-flowing champagne. Now that’s the way to toast the Centennial! Tickets: $54.95. ($30 sans lunch); discounts for children, seniors, and military.
  3. On the house… Before/during/after the parade, check out NAS North Island’s CONA Open House (event gate opens 9 a.m.). Festivities include aircraft carrier/ship tours, 75 static aircraft (my father, CAPT Ret., flew the classic H-3 Sea King helicopters), Leap Frogs parachute jump team demo, classic car show, stunt motorcycles, Centennial Historic Village, live entertainment and more. Best part: it’s all FREE! – Free admission, free parking and free blanket seating to watch the once-in-a-lifetime air show.

    Flying into the history books over Hotel del Coronado.

  4. Wing it… In conjunction with CONA, the Coronado Museum of History & Art opened a “Wings of Gold: Coronado and Naval Aviation” exhibit (continuing through Sept.), featuring “fly” artifacts from yesteryear, including a pilot license signed by Orville Wright(!), helmet of one of the first female naval aviators and scale model of the original seaplane designed/built by Curtiss and flown off Coronado’s shores.  Admission: free.

    Glenn Curtis trains first naval aviator in Coronado.

    The Coronado Historical Association also proudly presents “Home Front” Project – free self-guided driving tours of over 150 former naval aviators’ homes with a brochure/map and brief bios on each pilot.

  5. By the book… The Coronado Public Library has six high-flying CONA programs scheduled throughout 2011, including exhibits, talks and films, starting with the Emmy Award-winning documentary, “Glenn Curtiss: The Forgotten Eagle” on Feb. 18. John Wayne even makes an appearance – in “Flying Leathernecks” – on May 20. Cost: free. ‘nuff said.

See you Saturday in Coronado for the big Centennial of Naval Aviation launch!