MQ-9 Reaper to Make First Appearance at Dayton Air Show

Dayton Air Show Celebrates 50 Years with a Historic First

The upcoming Dayton Air Show, set to mark its 50th anniversary, will feature the MQ-9 Reaper drone for the first time ever. Alongside this military marvel, attendees can expect an array of ground displays and aerial performances, promising an unforgettable experience.

MQ-9 Reaper: The Star Attraction

The MQ-9 Reaper, valued at around $30 million each, is renowned for its versatility and effectiveness in various military operations. Introduced in 2007, this drone has played a significant role in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and combat missions. Recently, it has been spotlighted in discussions about aiding in its defense against .

Kevin Franklin, president of Wright Brothers Aero and executive director of the Dayton Air Show, reportedly expressed excitement about this year's event.

“We have a Reaper which will be here at the show this year, which will be unique for the show,” Franklin stated.

The Reaper, originating from Holloman Air Force Base in New , will be prominently displayed behind the show's main gate.

More Displays Than Ever

This year's show will feature an impressive lineup of nearly 120 ground displays, surpassing previous years in scale. Among these, attendees can look forward to seeing a B-25 Stratofortress from Minor Air Force Base in .

Franklin highlighted the significance of these exhibits, noting, “It's going to be a great, great 50th anniversary show.”

Aerial Thrills: Blue Angels and T-34 Association

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, known for their thrilling aerobatic performances, will headline the show, flying F/A-18 Super Hornets capable of reaching speeds of 1,190 mph. While the Air Force Thunderbirds were unable to participate due to training commitments, the Blue Angels' presence ensures an electrifying aerial display.

Additionally, the T-34 Association will bring both static and flying displays of T-34 trainers, a nod to aviation history.

Association member Jim Clark shared his enthusiasm, saying, “From my seat, from my perspective, what I see is a lot of people with their heads just looking up at the sky and just watching us fly. What I particularly enjoy is the children. Their eyes — I mean, you can see them from space.”

The 50th Dayton Air Show promises to be a memorable event, with the debut of the MQ-9 Reaper and an array of engaging displays and performances. Aviation enthusiasts and families alike will find plenty to enjoy at this milestone celebration.

DroneXL's Take

The inclusion of the MQ-9 Reaper at the Dayton Air Show highlights the growing importance and fascination with . As drones become more integral to military and civilian applications, showcasing such advanced technology at public events can inspire future innovations and interest in the field.

Get your tickets here.

Photo courtesy of the Dayton Daily .

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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