From beaches, boats, and balconies, hundreds of thousands of spectators flocked to the lakefront this weekend for the 60th anniversary installment of the Chicago Air and Water Show. The two-day event provided a number of civilian and military performers a chance to showcase their daring as well as an opportunity for photographers—both professional and amateur—to test their skill and share the results on social media.
This year’s show included the headlining U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Squadron, the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs parachute team, an aerial refueling demonstration from an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker, the F-35 and P-51 Heritage Flight, and the final Chicago Air and Water Show appearance for retiring veteran stunt pilot Sean D. Tucker and his red Team Oracle biplane.
The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team opened the show on Saturday morning by jumping with special guest local hip hop legend Che “Rhymefest” Smith. The military skydiving team also paid tribute to fallen Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer and Chicago Fire Department rescue diver Juan Bucio.
While the partly overcast sky early Saturday wasn’t ideal for plane-spotting, the cloud cover soon lifted and treated show-goers with near-perfect weather. The lingering moisture in the air rewarded photographers who were able to capture vapor cones around some of the faster jets like the F-35 and F-16’s.
Here are fifteen of the best Instagram posts that captured both the high-flying stunts and energy of this year’s edition of one of Chicago’s favorite summertime traditions.
- Chicago Air and Water show 2018: What you need to know [Curbed Chicago]