EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Wins Best Air Show

Fort Lauderdale Air Show, National Championship Air Races, Wings Over Houston Airshow and SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo also winners

You don't have to be an aviation enthusiast to appreciate the mid-air stunt shows that headline the nation's biggest and best air shows. Dozens of such events take place each year around the country, and 10Best teamed up with a pair of air show experts to narrow the field to the best 20 in the nation as nominees for the Readers' Choice title of Best Air Show.

  • Planes of Fame Air Show
    Chino, Calif.

    The Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, Calif. is the setting for the annual Planes of Fame Air Show (April 29-May 1, 2016). This show, popular with aviation and history buffs alike, features some 50 vintage aircraft in the sunny California skies.
    Photo courtesy of Pete Markham / Flickr

  • Cleveland National Air Show
    Cleveland

    The Cleveland National Air Show (September 3-5, 2016) at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland is the first civilian air show in the nation to feature the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II as part of its heritage flight. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels headline the show, now in its sixth decade.
    Photo courtesy of Cleveland National Air Show

  • Mid-Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend
    Reading, Penn.

    Reading Regional Airport plays host to one of the best air shows for WWII buffs: the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend (June 3-5, 2016). Highlights include FIFI, the only flying B-29 Boeing Superfortress in the world, as well as a performance by the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team. Flight enthusiasts can even book a ride in a warbird.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Great Tennessee Airshow
    Smyrna, Tenn.

    For two days each summer, air performers fill the sky above Smyrna, Tenn. at the Great Tennessee Air Show (June 4-5, 2016). Visitors can get up close to some pretty cool planes in the static area between solo and team stunt shows in the skies.
    Photo courtesy of Kevin Stephenson / Flickr

  • National Warplane Museum Airshow
    Geneseo, N.Y.

    Nicknamed "the Greatest Show on Turf," the National Warplane Museum Airshow (July 8-10, 2016) takes to the skies above Geneseo, N.Y. for two days of aerial performances with vintage WWII and Korean aircraft and a WWII re-enactment.
    Photo courtesy of Larry Neuberger / Flickr

  • SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo
    Lakeland, Fla.

    Florida's Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo (April 4-9, 2017), an early-season event, invites solo pilots, military stunt teams and aviation exhibitors to Lakeland, Fla. for plenty of family fun. Enthusiasts who've ever wanted to go up in one of these more eclectic aircraft will have plenty of opportunity at this show.
    Photo courtesy of VisitCentralFL / Flickr

  • Wings Over Houston Airshow
    Houston

    The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wings Over Houston Airshow (October 22-23, 2016) takes place at Ellington Airport, where the Blue Angels, CAF WWII Warbirds and Tora Tora Tora take to the skies. Proceeds from the event – one of the largest non-profit civic events in the city – go toward a scholarship program for students interested in careers in aviation.
    Photo courtesy of M&R Glasgow / Flickr

  • National Championship Air Races
    Reno

    While the annual National Championship Air Races (September 14-18, 2016) in Reno every September has its fair share of airplane acrobatics, the real reason pilots come back year after year is for the racing. Six classes of aircraft go head to head on 3- to 8-mile race courses in the sky.
    Photo courtesy of Midland Airport / Flickr

  • Fort Lauderdale Air Show
    Fort Lauderdale

    The Fort Lauderdale Air Show (May 6-7, 2017), the self-proclaimed Super Bowl of air shows, takes to the skies over Fort Lauderdale beach each spring with headliners like the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Canadian Armed Forces Snowbirds and Breitling Jet Team.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
    Oshkosh, Wis.

    The town of Oshkosh, Wis. hosts the largest annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the country during the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (July 25-31, 2016). With more than 10,000 aircraft in attendance, there's a little bit of everything represented, including warbirds, home-built aircraft, ultralights and vintage planes.
    Photo courtesy of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

For the past four weeks, 10Best readers have been voting for their favorites, and after a tight race to the finish, we have our winners.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Air Show are as follows:

  1. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - Oshkosh, Wis.
  2. Fort Lauderdale Air Show - Fort Lauderdale
  3. National Championship Air Races - Reno
  4. Wings Over Houston Airshow - Houston
  5. SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo - Lakeland, Fla.
  6. National Warplane Museum Airshow - Geneseo, N.Y.
  7. Great Tennessee Airshow - Smyrna, Tenn.
  8. Mid-Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend - Reading, Penn.
  9. Cleveland National Air Show - Cleveland
  10. Planes of Fame Air Show - Chino, Calif.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Ron Rapp and David M. Vanderhoof (Airplane Geeks Podcast) were chosen based on their extensive experience on the air show circuit.

Other nominees included the Boeing Seafair Air Show, CAF Airsho, Chicago Air and Water Show, Florida International Air Show, MCAS Miramar Air Show, NAS Oceana Air Show, NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, Nellis Air Show & Open House, Oregon International Air Show and Vectren Dayton Air Show.

Congratulations to all our winning events!

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Ron Rapp

Ron Rapp

David M. Vanderhoof

David M. Vanderhoof

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