Home » Thunder Over Louisville aircraft display returns after 20 years

Thunder Over Louisville aircraft display returns after 20 years

Packed lineup of military, civilian craft is April 24
A new U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrives at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky, Jan. 7, 2022, with the director of the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, on board. The aircraft, being delivered to the 123rd Airlift Wing from the Lockheed-Martin factory in Marietta, Georgia, is the third of eight slated for the unit, which is converting from legacy C-130H transports. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Dale Greer)

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  – The Kentucky Derby Festival is pulling out all the stops for Thunder Over Louisville fans. For the first time in more than 20 years, the Planes of Thunder Static Display returns to Thunder weekend! In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Air Force, and the Air National Guard, the Kentucky Derby Festival will present an aircraft static display at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base.

The Planes of Thunder Static Display Presented by T-Mobile is set for Sunday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the day after this year’s Thunder Over Louisville show. The event is an opportunity for fans to get an up-close look at select military aircraft from the air show, as well as meet some of the aircrew who fly them. The static display of aircraft was also part of Thunder from 1996 until 2001.

Guests who want to see the aircraft this year will need to reserve their spots in advance. There is no parking or direct access to the base for the event. Guests can only access the event by parking at the Kentucky Exposition Center (Lot J) and reserving shuttle passes for an assigned time to see the static display. Shuttle passes are $10 each (children that are 6 and under are free). The first 5,000 guests receive a commemorative Thunder Wing Pin.

All guests will need to adhere to safety and security procedures that will be in place for the event, including metal detector scans. There is also a list of permitted and prohibited items that cannot be brought onto the base. More information is available online at ThunderOverLouisville.org.

This year’s Thunder Air Show will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force with a packed line-up of military and civilian aircraft. Scheduled performances include the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo, U.S. Air Force C-17 Demo, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, the Kentucky Air National Guard 123rd Airlift Wing with the new C-130J, and the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29, B-24, and B-25, as well as the U.S. Navy E/A-18 Growler Demo with a Legacy Flight, Younkin Airshows, and many more. More details on aircraft participating at Thunder and in the static display will be released in the coming weeks.

“It’s going to be an outstanding event! This year’s air show will showcase many aircraft we have not seen here at Thunder,” said Lt. Colonel Josh Ketterer, Director of Operations for the 165th Airlift Squadron and Director of Air Operations for Thunder Over Louisville. “It is the pleasure of the Kentucky Air National Guard and Kentucky National Guard to serve our community in any way, and Thunder is a special way for us to do that.”

Themed “The Legend Returns,” 2022 marks the 33rd production of Thunder Over Louisville. Thunder is one of the more than 70 events produced by the Derby Festival in the spring. It provides an estimated impact of $56 million to the area’s economy.

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