Cocoa Beach Air Show 'Opening Act' for Discovery

The USAF Thunderbirds will be performing at this year's Cocoa Beach Air Show. The show is set the weekend prior to the last scheduled launch of shuttle Discovery. Photo Credit: NASA.gov

CAPE CANAVERAL – The space shuttle Discovery is currently scheduled to launch no-earlier-than Nov. 1 – a Monday. That weekend (Oct 30-31.) the Cocoa Beach Air Show will be held beachside and will act in a way as the “opening act” for the final flight of Discovery. This is the second year that the show has been held and the timing was just right to have these two aerospace events occur around the same time. Event planners have even included a space shuttle in this year’s logo.

The F-22 Raptor is scheduled to make an appearance at this year's Cocoa Beach Air Show. Photo Credit: USAF/Tech Sgt. Justin D. Pyle

Performers at this year’s show range from stunt flyers to high-performance military jets, helicopters and parachute demonstration teams. The Thunderbirds will be performing at this year’s show as will the F-22 Raptor, F-18 Hornet, F-15 Strike Eagle, C-17 Globemaster III will be demonstrating the amazing capabilities of these aircraft. The F-16 Falcon will be seen in the skies above Cocoa as a flyover is planned.

Jets are not the only thing that will be demonstrated during the Cocoa Beach Air Show, the 920th Rescue Wing will demonstrate how they save lives, and there will be parachute demonstrations by the Navy Seal’s Leap Frogs Team and the Army’s 101st Screaming Eagles. Rotary-wing aircraft will be represented by the Pave Hawk helicopter.

Photo Credit: Geico.com

Civilian aviation also has a strong showing at the Cocoa Beach Air Show with a number of performers present. The Geico Skytypers will wow the crowds with their stunts, along with Team MS760 the skies should be filled with aerobatics. Closer to the ground, Ms. Geico will race one of the Skytypers to test out who is faster – boat or plane? Other performers include; Rob Holland, Jason Newburg and John Black. There will also be a flyover by the Tico Bell.

After the show concludes on Sunday attendees can stick around the Space Coast area and witness history unfold as NASA launches the space shuttle Discovery on her final flight – STS-133. The 11-day mission will be a resupply flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The payload includes the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module with the first humanoid robot to fly into space – Robonaut-2 inside along with the ExPRESS Logistics Module-4 and other space parts for the orbiting outpost.

“It is a huge weekend for Central Florida with the Cocoa Beach Air Show and the US Air Force Thunderbirds followed immediately by the final launch for Space Shuttle Discovery,” said David Waters the Cocoa Beach Air Show’s public relations director. “Both events really mesh because pilots and air show viewers are staying for the Space Shuttle launch and many of the shuttle workers will be at the air show.”

The Cocoa Beach Air Show will be held Oct 30-31. Image Credit: CBAirShow2010

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