A Westover C-5A is displayed for the thousands of visitors who attended the 2004 Great New England Air Show. Due to fiscal constraints and operational commitments, this year's air show has been rescheduled to the summer of 2008. A date has not been determined yet. (US Air Force file photo/Master Sgt. Tom Allocco)
5/18/2012 - WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- Dozens of modern and vintage aircraft, an Army National Guard band, and aerial and ground displays will highlight the August Great New England Air Show and Open House.
The air show is scheduled for Aug. 4-5. This year's theme is a "Salute to the Greatest Generation." To that end, World War II-era aircraft will join the modern aircraft being flown into Westover from around the country. As many as 60 airplanes will pack Westover's sprawling flight line. From the B-52 bomber (once stationed at Westover during the Cold War), to the F-15 Eagle fighter jet, to the B-25 Mitchell World War II bomber, generations of spectators will be able to take in the sights and sounds of today's and yesterday's armed forces.
Visitors will experience Westover itself. Some of its historic buildings continue in service to the country after more than 70 years. Up to 30 exhibits will be on display in the Base Hangar, built in 1939. That hangar is a former maintenance dock for President Dwight Eisenhower's 1950s version of Air Force One - a C-54 cargo plane dubbed the "Sacred Cow." The Army National Guard Band will perform in the hangar, and will send its members onto the flight line as part of "roving" band.
Opening the base gates to the public is a decades-long tradition at Westover, an Air Force Reserve-owned base since 1974. Throughout its active-duty years from the 1940s until 1974, the base opened to the public annually for Armed Forces Days.
Since the 1990s, Westover has held its air show every two to four years, alternating the event with shows at Barnes Air National Guard base in Westfield, which held its most recent show in 2010.
Several hundred thousand spectators are expected. Because there are just three base gates available for inbound traffic, base officials urge visitors to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion.
This is Westover's first air show in four years. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit www.greatnewenglandairshow.com.
7/6/2012 6:24:08 PM ET We are so very excited to see Westover will have the New England Air Show this year. You do a great job Know that there are many of us in the community who appreciate this opportunity and are proud to have Westover in our backyards. Thank you for all you do for our country