It isn’t every day you get to see a jet-powered car hit 350 mph rocketing flames out its exhaust while in a race with a plane and a helicopter.
But then again, it isn’t every day the Quad City Air Show comes to town. It’s only two days a year. And Saturday afternoon, a crowd of almost 25,000 people enjoyed a panoramic array of aerial attractions, events for families, ubiquitous fair food, and more at the Davenport Municipal Airport.
The tempting aromas of bubbling funnel cakes and sizzling hot dogs and burgers mingled with the sounds of oohs and ahhs and the sights of an array of planes, everything from helicopters to crop dusters to trick prop planes to the mightiest of the Air Force’s fighter jets, the F22s, ripping through the sky in acrobatic wonder.
“It’s awesome; it’s an awesome show,” said Ayana Petersen, 18, of Davenport. “I’ve never actually been here before and it’s really impressive.”
“I’ve lived here all my life and this is the first time I’ve been to the show, and it’s even better than I thought it would be,” said Isaac Jones, 20, of Davenport. “It’s really amazing.”
Six-year-old twins Madeline and Jack Blais of Vinton, Iowa, both had high praise for the show.
“I liked it a lot; I liked the skydivers the best,” said Madeline.
“I liked it when the airplanes did tricks,” added Jack. "I liked the blue one the best.”
“It’s a great family event,” said their father, Bill Blais. “It’s a lot of fun to watch, and the kids liked everything about it — watching the planes and skydivers, going to the bouncy houses, seeing the toys and the planes, and the food.”
“It’s a good time for everybody,” said Sgt. Lawrence Alexander, with Medical Unit 4224th of the U.S. Army Hospital, who led a group of soldiers passing out free bottled water and other sundries, and providing free medical care during the event. “It’s great for us because the soldiers have the opportunity to be here mingling in the community and we get to take in the show.”
Air show officials were likewise pleased.
“It’s been a perfect day; the weather has been unbelievable, and the crowds have been terrific,” said Mike Payne, gates, parking and admissions manager for the show. “Last year there weren’t as many demonstrations and we didn’t have the military fighters because the military was on sequester during the show dates, so this year we expected the crowds to be up because the military jets were back, but this has exceeded even our expectations.
“We’re really happy; it’s a great show,” Payne said. “And we encourage people to come out early to see it (on Sunday) because Sundays are always our biggest day. The weather is going to be great and we’re sure people are going to have a good time.”