You don't have to be an aviation enthusiast to appreciate the mid-air stunt shows that headline the world's biggest and best air shows. Dozens of such events take place each year around the globe, and 10Best has scoped out the best of the bunch.
Florida International Air Show in Punta Gorda, FL
Each year at the end of March, Punta Gorda, FL kicks off air show season with the Florida International Air Show. Both military and civilian aircraft take to the skies to perform death-defying stunts. Back on the ground, visitors can see aircraft dating back to WWII up close.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Oshkosh, WI
Oshkosh, WI hosts the largest annual gathering of aviation enthusiats in the country during the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. 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.EAA AirVenture Oshkosh — Photo courtesy of Michael Pereckas
Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In in Lakeland, FL
Florida's Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In, another early-season event, invites solo pilots, military stunt teams and aviation exhibitors to Lakeland for plenty of family fun. If you've ever wanted to go up in one of these more eclectic aircraft, this show is a great place to do it.
Bournemouth Air Festival in Dorset, England
The Bournemouth Air Festival, the largest free annual airshow in Europe, combines two great things: airplanes and the beach. The four-day festival draws over a million spectators for its aerial shows, hot air balloon rides and fun in the sun.Merlin HM1 At Bournemouth Air Festival — Photo courtesy of Tanya Hart
Tannkosh in Tannheim, Germany
While nothing in Europe can really compare to AirVenture Oshkosh in terms of size, Tannkosh in Germany is the closest, with more than 1,000 private pilots attending. In addition to the vintage aircraft you'll often see in the air, many spectators have started showing up in their vintage automobiles and motorcycles as well.
Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire, England
If military aircraft interests you, then the Royal International Air Tattoo should top your list of must-see events. As the largest all-military air show in the world, RIAT includes in-air performances, two miles of stationary aircraft to check out and interactive activities for visitors of all ages.Rokaf T-50 (Black Eagles) at Royal International Air Tattoo — Photo courtesy of Peter Gronemann
Reno Air Races in Reno, NV
While the annual Reno Air Races in Reno, NV 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.
Miramar Air Show in San Diego, CA
Each September, pilots take to the very same skies where the American classic Top Gun was filmed at the Miramar Air Show in San Diego. It's the largest military show in the United States, and spectators are treated to a performance by the Blue Angels each and every year.Blue Angels at the Miramar Air Show — Photo courtesy of Official Navy Page
Abbotsford Airshow in Abbotsford, Canada
As Canada's largest air show, the Abbotsford Airshow attracts more than 125,000 spectators to watch dozens of performers take to the skies, including the Canadian Snowbirds, SkyHawks (parachuting team), Thunderbirds and Blue Angels.
Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna, TN
For two days each July, air performers fill the sky above Smyrna, TN at the Great Tennessee Air Show. Get up close to some pretty cool planes in the static area between solo and team stunt shows in the skies.Smyrna Air Show — Photo courtesy of Kevin Stephenson