2016 Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show


When the featured performer of the 2016 Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air show cancelled their appearance, a few people commented on social media sites that they were going to skip the annual event at Quonset State Airport. The USAF Thunderbirds’ stand down, after a non-fatal crash in Colorado a little over a week prior to the Quonset event, led to a perceived gap in the flying program. Too bad for those who chose to skip it, for the air show was still the top-notch event that spectators have come to expect.

Warbirds were a big part of the show this year, with Mark Murphy flying the P-51D “Never Miss” as well as the Collings Foundation’s F4U-5N Corsair. Rob Collings flew the Foundation’s A-1E Skyraider too.

Gregory Colyer performed in his CT-133 Silver Star “Ace Maker II”, and the American Airpower Museum’s C-47 represented the Disabled American Veterans organization.


The weekend almost provided another obstacle for the show’s producers. Although Friday’s practice day enjoyed fair weather, a rapidly approaching front threatened Saturday’s show. Displaying maximum flexibility, the show’s duration was shortened and all performers were able to complete their presentations before rain arrived at the Bay.

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Sunday saw the return of fair weather and many performers flew two shows during the day. Photorecon/ClassicWarbirds photographer Scott Zeno exclaimed that “Sunday was the day of the banana pass” – as most of the performers flew multiple graceful arcing photo passes as a bonus to their already enjoyable routines. Warbirds changed up a few formations during the day too.

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Even without the Thunderbirds, the 2016 “Quonset” Air Show had plenty of entertaining acts and displays to see. As in the past, it was still a top-notch show.

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