2024 Schedule & Performers

Join us for the 2024 WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show! Milwaukee has been selected as a 2024 Navy Week site, from July 27 – 28. All Navy Aviation performances are subject to final Navco/Navy Week confirmation. All military acts are confirmed, unless stated otherwise. Please visit this website often for updates. The Air and Water Show will go on rain or shine. Gates will open regardless of the weather. However, some acts may not perform if weather conditions do not meet minimum safety standards or visibility requirements. All aircraft appearing and times are subject to change due to various reasons beyond our control, including but not limited to: military operational schedules, maintenance, weather, low ceilings, below-minimum visibility, or any other factor as determined by the promoter. We appreciate your understanding.

Saturday & Sunday, July 27 – 28

10 AM: Water Show
12 PM: National Anthem / Army Golden Knights
3 PM: USAF Thunderbirds Squadron

All times are approximations and weather dependent.

The WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show is proud to host the FIVE-YEAR RETURN of the 2024 USAF Thunderbirds Squadron! The Thunderbirds’ mission is to plan and present precision aerial maneuvers to exhibit the capabilities of modern, high-performance aircraft and the high degree of professional skill required to operate those aircraft. The Thunderbirds Squadron is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots, support officers, civilians, and more than 100 enlisted personnel). The Thunderbirds’ air demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The four-jet diamond formation demonstrates the training and precision of Air Force pilots, while the lead and opposing solo aircraft highlight some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The pilots perform approximately 40 maneuvers in a demonstration. Through selfless dedication, a desire to excel, and a constant commitment to improvement, these leaders have channeled their efforts into making the Thunderbirds what they are today. More than 120 enlisted personnel, representing nearly 30 career fields, form the backbone of the Thunderbirds.

The WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show is proud to host the SIX-YEAR RETURN of the renowned Army Golden Knights Parachute Team! What started in 1959 as a small team competing against the former Soviet Union’s skydivers is now an international icon representing the Army’s success. The U.S. Army team began representing the United States on the international competition circuit and performed their first demonstration in Danville, Virginia. By 1962, the team earned the nickname “Golden Knights.” “Golden” signified the gold medals the team had earned, while “Knights” alluded to the team’s ambition to conquer the skies. Since then, the Golden Knights have conducted more than 16,000 shows in 50 states and 48 countries, reaching an average of 60,000 people per show. The team has earned the U.S. Army 2,148 gold, 1,117 silver, and 693 bronze medals in national and international competitions. Team members have also broken 348 world records. The Golden Knights are one of only three Department of Defense-sanctioned aerial demonstration teams, along with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The team is composed of approximately 95 men and women, which includes four parachute units, an aviation unit, and a headquarters. The demonstration teams, which use five dedicated aircraft, perform at more than 100 events per year. CREED: “Under a canopy of black and gold I fly the colors of the Army. I volunteered to become an ambassador of my service and I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, high standards, and esprit de corps of the United States Army Parachute Team.”

The U.S. Navy’s TAC-DEMO teams from VFA-106 and VFA-122 are the U.S. Navy’s Legacy Flight teammates. These talented active-duty aviators fly the dynamic Super Hornet tactical demonstrations that precede our Navy Legacy flights. Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122), also known as the “Flying Eagles”, are the West Coast team, and Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), also known as the “Gladiators”, are the East Coast team. Also joining the Legacy Flight program is the Carrier Variant F-35C Lightning II. Starting in 2022, all types of the U.S. Navy training aircraft will also be doing static demonstrations at airshows and performing Legacy Flights with the fighters and legacy warbird aircraft. The Navy approves a select group of civilian pilots to fly their warbirds in formation with the TAC-DEMO and F-35C aircraft. Intensive training and preparation are the focus of a week-long mission each spring to prepare the pilots for safe and enjoyable demonstrations all over the U.S. The F-18 Rhino Demo Team flies the F/A-18F Super Hornet in a 15-minute demonstration of the Navy’s workhorse carrier based fighter. The Super Hornet is unofficially known as “Rhino” in operational use. This name was chosen to distinguish the newer variants from the legacy F-18A/B/C/D Hornet and avoid confusion during carrier deck operations.

The WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show is proud to host for the first time, in the history of the City of Milwaukee, the Italian Air Force Aerobatic Team! With ten aircraft, nine in close formation and a soloist, they are the world’s largest acrobatics team. The Frecce Tricolori (Italian: [ˈfrettʃe trikoˈloːri]; lit. ’Tricolor Arrows’), officially known as the 313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) Frecce Tricolori – 313th Acrobatic Training Group, National Aerobatic, is based at the Rivolto Air Base in Italy. It was created on March 1, 1961, as a permanent group for the training of Air Force pilots in air acrobatics. The team flies the Aermacchi MB-339-A/PAN, a two-seat fighter-trainer aircraft, and their flight schedule, comprising about twenty acrobatics and about half an hour, makes them the most famous in the world. It is one of national symbols of Italy. The team was formed as the 51st Fighter Wing, equipped with the US P-51D Mustang and British Spitfire Mk.IX aircraft. The Frecce Tricolori have three programs for performing acrobatics: high, low, and flat, depending on the weather conditions. The high program is chosen when the cloud base is above 1,000 meters and is characterized by the execution of the acrobatic figures entirely on the vertical plane; the low program is preferred instead when the clouds do not exceed 500 – 600 meters and vertical maneuvers are not carried out (such as looping or the bomb); finally, the flat variant includes low-level formation maneuvers. Only the best pilots have access to the Frecce Tricolori: each year, one or two of them are chosen strictly among those who have more than 1,000 flight hours, and once they have entered, must follow a gradual insertion training program.

The WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show welcomes Navy Legacy Warbird Pilot Lou Horshel, who will fly with the U.S. Navy F-18 Demo Team to perform the Navy Legacy Flight. Horshel has been an avid pilot for his whole life, flying with his father on a grass strip on their farm in his childhood. He soloed in a Citabria and still flies his Scout off that same strip today! Louis flies many types of planes—his favorite is flying aerobatic demonstrations in WW2 fighters, the P51 Mustang, and the Corsair. “It is a great honor for me to be able to fly in the Navy’s Legacy Flight Program,” Horshel says.

The Vought F4U Corsair is an American fighter aircraft which deployed primarily in World War II and the Korean War. The Corsair was designed and operated as a carrier-based aircraft, and entered service in large numbers with the U.S. Navy in late 1944 and early 1945. It quickly became one of the most capable carrier-based fighter-bombers of World War II. It was regarded as one of the most formidable American fighter plane of World War II.

We thank all members of the military of the past, present, and future.

For the first time in Milwaukee, The WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show welcomes The USAF C-17 East Coast Demonstration Team, from Charleston AFB, SC. The team’s main mission is to showcase the capabilities of the C-17 Globemaster III. When going to air shows, the team is the ambassador for the Air Force by interacting with air show fans and meeting community leaders. The demo team flies three different profiles ranging from 6 – 12 minutes. An air show profile is not much different from what C-17 pilots perform during real-world missions around the world. However, an air show demands that the demo team take its flying to the next level with precision and speed in putting on a proper demonstration for crowds; although the profile is not much different from an operational mission, it is very fast paced. A C-17 demo team is made up of a four-person team. Being a member of the demo team requires a high level of experience in the C-17, meeting training requirements, and senior leadership approval. Veteran pilots who have been instructors, evaluators, or aircraft commanders are selected.
The WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show welcomes the KC-46A Pegasus Aerial Refueler for the first time in Milwaukee! The KC-46 will make its first visit to Milwaukee thanks to McConnell AFB. The KC-46 gives us a preview of what is to come for the 128th Air Refueling Wing! Recapitalizing the U.S. Air Force’s aging tanker fleet with greater refueling, cargo, and aeromedical evacuation capabilities compared to the KC-135, the KC-46A will provide aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and partner-nation receivers. The KC-46A can accommodate a mixed load of passengers, aeromedical evacuation, and cargo capabilities. Two high-bypass turbofans power the KC-46A to take off at gross weights up to 415,000 pounds. Depending on fuel storage configuration, the aircraft can carry a palletized load of up to 65,000 pounds of cargo. The KC-46A can carry up to eighteen 463L cargo pallets. Seat tracks and the onboard cargo handling system make it possible to simultaneously carry palletized cargo and passenger seats in a variety of combinations. The KC-46A is also equipped with a number of defensive and communication features, making it more capable in a contested environment. The KC-46A represents the beginning of a new era in air-to-air refueling capability for the joint force. The aircraft has been in development since February 24, 2011, and its initial flight occurred in December 2014. The current contract, with options, provides Air Mobility Command with an inventory of 179 KC-46A tankers. The first KC-46A was delivered to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas on January 25, 2019. The aircraft will soon undergo operational tests and evaluations on the way to initial operating capabilities.

The WaterStone Bank Air & Water Show welcomes the 115th Fighter Wing as an official performer in 2024! This will be a chance everyone to see the 115th Fighter Wing perform in the new F-35 Lightning 5th Generation aircraft. The 115th Fighter Wing has now completed their transition from the F-16. The Wisconsin Air National Guardsmen will ensure that the Wing is trained and fully prepared for the arrival of a 5th Generation fighter. The mission of the 115th is to deliver dominant combat airpower and provide agile support for domestic operations. To achieve that mission, the Wing’s vision is to be the Air Force’s premier fighter Wing. The Wing is commanded by the United States Air Force Air Combat Command. As an Air National Guard unit, it is normally under the command of the Governor of the State of Wisconsin, but it has a federal role as well. Currently, the Wing has personnel and/or aircraft assigned to Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Jump Start—and it regularly serves with the Air Expeditionary Force in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Milwaukee’s favorite Hometown Air Force aerial performer! Based at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport, the 128th Air Refueling Wing’s principal mission is air refueling. The wing enhances the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary missions of Global Reach and Global Power. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft as well as aircraft of allied nations. The wing is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.

KC-135 | MKE Air & Water Show
KC-135 | MKE Air & Water Show

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show has consistently invited the USAF B-2, B-1-B, and B-52 aircraft squadrons to perform including invitations from previous years, dating as far back as from 2014 – 2022, and in 2023. Due to operational and other unknown circumstances, we have been unable to confirm these aircraft to perform. We will keep you posted on final confirmation from these squadrons.

U.S. AIR FORCE: B-2 Spirit / USAF B-1B Lancer / USAF B-52 Stratofortress
U.S. AIR FORCE: B-2 Spirit / USAF B-1B Lancer / USAF B-52 Stratofortress
U.S. AIR FORCE: B-2 Spirit / USAF B-1B Lancer / USAF B-52 Stratofortress

The Air & Water Show welcomes back USCG Air Station Traverse City! Always a crowd favorite, and appearing every year since 2009, Air Station TVC will show off its SAR capable Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk—a multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter operated for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions. It was originally designated an HH-60J before being upgraded and redesignated beginning in 2007. Chosen to replace the HH-3F Pelican, the MH-60T is a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family of helicopters and is based on the United States Navy’s SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. A total of 42 MH-60Ts are in service with the U.S. Coast Guard.

MH-60T | MKE Air & Water Show
USCG TVC Logo | MKE Air & Water Show
MH-60T | MKE Air & Water Show

The Michigan Air Guard team are now confirmed to return for 2024! Michigan Air National Guard’s A-10 Warthogs are from Selfridge ANG base, Michigan. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin-turbofan, straight-wing, subsonic attack aircraft developed by Fairchild Republic for the United States Air Force (USAF). In service since 1976, this aircraft is named for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II-era fighter-bomber effective at attacking ground targets and commonly referred to as the “Warthog”. The A-10 was designed to provide close air support to friendly ground troops by attacking armored vehicles, tanks, and other enemy ground forces. The A-10 was also intended to improve the performance and firepower of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider. The airframe was designed for durability, with 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of titanium armor to protect the cockpit and aircraft systems. The plane’s ability to take off and land from relatively short runways allows it to operate from airstrips close to the front lines, and its simple design enables maintenance with minimal facilities. The U.S. Air Force had stated the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II would replace the A-10, but this remains highly contentious within the USAF and in political circles. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10’s service life could extend to 2040; the service has no planned retirement date as of June 2022.

HC-144 Cape Cod Logo | MKE Air & Water Show
HC-144 | MKE Air & Water Show

Picture Perfect Performance! For the first time in the history of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, you will hear the thunder and feel the power of the T-28 Trojan vintage warbirds—featuring Waukesha native and long-time aviator Paul Walter! Paul has flown in and supported hundreds of veteran, patriotic, and special events, doing fly-overs and performances over many years across the U.S. Long before they can be seen, the thundering roar of T-28 radial engines will announce the arrival of Trojan Thunder! Trojan Thunder brings pride in country and patriotism to every air show and event as the team of T-28 Trojans fly overhead with a backdrop of noise from the nine-cylinder Curtiss-Wright engines. Trojan Thunder pilots expertly fly in aerial formations and perform aerobatic maneuvers with military precision amidst rolling clouds of smoke! The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a radial-engined military trainer aircraft used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s. Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War. It has continued in civilian use as an aerobatics and Warbird performer.

Trojan Thunder | MKE Air & Water Show
Trojan Thunder Logo | MKE Air & Water Show
Trojan Thunder | MKE Air & Water Show

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show welcomes the RE/MAX Skydiving Team for the first time! The RE/MAX Skydiving Team performs nationwide, participating in over 50 shows every year. This show-stopping performance consists of four team members with more than 100 years combined of skydiving experience and more than 15,000 jumps. “We’re ambassadors of the sport of skydiving and representing RE/MAX,” said team member Jeff Smith. “RE/MAX is very engaged in aviation promotion. Besides the skydiving team, they sponsor three hot air balloons in Texas, and so we as a team have jumped from planes and balloons. Mainly, we consider jumping out of planes a blast. And then the interaction with the crowds is really what we’re all about, and people look forward to seeing the parachutes. They want to come up to talk to us, get autographs—especially the kids, and it’s great to be part of that.” We are thrilled to have the RE/MAX Skydiving Team at the Milwaukee Air & Water Show. These highly trained professionals travel the world exemplifying their company’s commitment to excellence and demonstrating that RE/MAX is truly ‘Above the Crowd!’

Trojan Thunder | MKE Air & Water Show
Trojan Thunder Logo | MKE Air & Water Show

Bob Richards grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana, watching airshows and flying remote-controlled models. He is a graduate of the Purdue University Flight Program, where he received his first aerobatic training in a DeHavilland Chipmunk in 1992, flew his first biplane in 2003, and performed his first airshow in 2006. Bob is a certified motorcycle mechanic and now lives near Chicago, IL. He raced street motorcycles for over 10 years, winning expert series regional and national championship road races on Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki motorcycles. Bob flew a stock 180 hp Pitts S1S in airshows for 10 seasons, accumulating thousands of hours in that aircraft before purchasing and performing in his custom-built single-place Pitts with more power, different wings, and a three-bladed propeller. His desire for more power was realized when he acquired ‘Machaira,’ a custom-built aircraft producing 325 hp, previously owned by expert designer, builder, and airshow performer Doug Dodge. Bob looks forward to dazzling airshow attendees and aviation enthusiasts with the unique, high-energy performance of ‘Machaira,’ named for the Greek word meaning “two-edged sword.”

Rob Holland | MKE Air & Water Show
Rob Holland | MKE Air & Water Show

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