ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The National Warplane Museum in Geneseo is hosting its 41st Airshow this weekend featuring historic planes such as the F-22 Raptor, the P-51 Mustang, and flybys with World War One replica aircraft.

I spoke with both the director of the show and some of the performing pilots to get a closer look at what the show is all about.

The tradition of the Geneseo airshow has been going on for over 35 years; carried on by those who run the show and its participants. I spoke with Chief Flight Instructor and “air boss” of the show Todd Cameron who told me that airshows serve as an opportunity to inspire a new generation of pilots, celebrate our veterans, and appreciate all the things the aircraft has done over the years.

“We’re very excited for such a wide range of airplanes, so there will be small single-engine trainers that move low and slow, there will be WWII era trainers, fighters, uh, very fast airplanes like the ones behind me P51 Mustangs, F4U Corsairs; people that are fans of these airplanes will be here every year to see those,” Cameron said.

For airshow pilot Thom Richard not only is getting to perform aerobatics in the sky a fun part of the job, but he gets to tell people about the history of the planes including his own, appropriately named “American Dream” in honor of his own dream now come true. 

“I perform in this P40 behind us which is an actual war hero. This aircraft shot down two aircraft in New Guinea in World War II so it’s got a pedigree, which is pretty fascinating.”

I decided when I was seven years old I was gonna go race airplanes and fly warbirds, and do what I’m doing now, so yeah I’m living the childhood dream,” Thom Richard said.

They say when people come to go for a ride in one of these planes they think that they’re just going for a normal plane ride. But what they don’t know is that they’re experiencing history and the world from a whole new perspective. 

“It’s just wonderful to have kids come to an event like this and meet them a decade later as military pilots, airline pilots, air traffic controllers,  and see how just a one-day air show can shape the entire direction of their life,” Todd said.

Gates to the airshow are open at 9 a.m. each day on June 4 and 5. The show is adding an additional viewing area for individual ticket holders and will continue its “tailgate” or “drive-in” format.

You can purchase these drive-ins or traditional tickets online.

~ Meteorologist Christine Gregory