Air shows are events in which pilots demonstrate their flying skills and the capabilities of their aircraft to those watching by doing various aerobatic maneuvers. Air shows that do not have any aerobatic displays where the planes are shown parked on the ground are called static air shows.
Some air shows are held as a business venture or as a trade event where aircraft, avionics and other services are promoted to potential customers. Many air shows are held in support of local, national or military charities. Military air firms often put together air shows at military airfields as a public relations exercise to raise the profile of the military, thank the local community and promote military careers.
Air shows take place all around the world at various times of the year. For instance, the United States show season generally runs from March to November. The Middle East, New Zealand and Australia hold their events between January and March. The air show season in Europe generally starts late in April and is usually over by mid October. The other months of the year when there are no air shows are used for practice and maintenance.
The types of air show events vary a great deal. For instance, some are large scale military events with large flying displays and ground exhibitions while others held at small local airstrips can often feature just one or two hours of flying with just a few stalls on the ground. The events can be held during day or night with the night events becoming more and more popular. Shows do not always take place over airfields; some air shows have been held over the grounds of castles, stately homes or over the sea at coastal resorts.
Air displays tend to be very noisey so have a proper seating location during the show. Sit at the back center part of the show and stay away from the loudest areas which are along the barriers or fences in the front. Also, planes land and take off in those areas. Try to make sure you do not sit near engines as well. To help protect your hearing, select a pair of ear plugs that can be inserted into your ears. Buy quality but affordable earplugs so you can use them for other purposes like listening to music or videos. Keep in mind, when attending air shows in the United States, the Blue Angels are among the loudest jets that will perform before the air display ends so you may want to sit inside your car and watch from a distance especially if you have kids with you