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Air show didn't apply for Blue Angels or Thunderbirds, both popular acts, due to logistical concerns

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - The Canadian Forces Snowbird jet team last visited Hillsboro in 2014.The Canadian Forces' Snowbirds will headline next year's Oregon International Air Show next year, the air show announced on Monday.

The Snowbirds last performed in Hillsboro four years ago, and have headlined the air show three times in the last 25 years.

"The Snowbirds were a tremendous hit the last time they appeared here and we are excited to get them back after a four year absence," said Bill Braack, president of the Oregon International Air Show. "The Snowbirds are just the beginning of what is going to be a blockbuster lineup of world-class air show entertainment in the sky and on the ground at our 2018 show."

The air show made the announcement from the International Council of Air Shows convention in Las Vegas.

The snowbirds, a nine-member group flying red and white CT-114 Tutors, are one of only three military jet teams from North America. The team was the top target for Oregon Air Show officials, said Herb Gillian, a spokesperson for the air show.

"They only have four shows in the U.S. this year," Gillian said. "We're very lucky to get them and very excited to have them."

The air show is set for Sept. 28-30, 2018, later than the air show has historically run. While the show has typically taken place earlier in summer, the date was moved to September due to extreme heat in 2015.

"When we've had shows in September recently, it has been great weather," Gillian said. "But primarily, we're going to hold the show when we can get a featured performer. The Snowbirds typically stay in Canada in the summer months."

Tickets will go on sale in January. Gillian said the 2018 show will include a visit from an A-10 Thunderbolt. More performances will be announced over the next few months.

Gillian said restrictions at Hillsboro Airport bring logistical challenges to hosting some air show jet teams, such as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels or the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

The Thunderbirds require a long runway, forcing the Air Force jet team to deploy from Portland International Airport, Gillian said. The unorthodox setup is something the Air Show has done in the past, but Oregon Air Show officials did not submit an application for the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds for 2018, he said.

The Blue Angels, which typically draw large crowds to the annual event, have not performed in Hillsboro since 2015 and had to cancel their 2013 performance due to a scheduling conflict.

"There are some issues with getting the Blue Angels to fly in the box [in Hillsboro]," Gillian said. "It's a non-standard box that makes getting to fly there unusual. It's not out of the question, but it's not going to be every other year."

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