It has a new name, but the largest aerial spectacle in Southern Arizona returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base April 14 and 15 with just as much air power.

"Thunder and Lightning over Arizona" is the base's two-day, biannual open house, which will be a celebration of 100 years of Arizona statehood and American aviation.

Attendees are encouraged to park on base as early as 8:30 a.m. each day, with flying demonstrations to begin at 11 a.m.

Performers include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Air Force Academy Wings of Blue, an A-10 and P-51 heritage flight and many other military and civilian acts.

If you go

Thunder and Lightning over Arizona Davis-Monthan Air Force Base 2012 Open House

• When: April 14 and 15. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. Flying demonstrations start around 11 a.m. and end around 4:30 p.m.

• Where: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

• Parking: Enter through the Craycroft gate or Swan gate off East Golf Links Road. Last entry is at 2 p.m. Handicap parking available at Craycroft gate only. There is no shuttle service or off-site parking for this year's open house. Plan to walk a long distance from the parking lot to the display areas.

• Cost: Admission is free, but canned food donations for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona will be accepted.

• More information: d-mthunderandlightning.asp or

Bring Food Bank donations to the base

Receptacles located near the display areas will be accepting non-perishable items for the food bank, which could use:

• Boxed cereal

• Canned fruits

• Canned meats and/or tuna

• Canned tomato products

• Canned vegetables

• Pasta

• Peanut butter


Be prepared to undergo security procedures when parking on base and entering the display area. Davis-Monthan personnel have the right to turn anyone away who fails to consent to a search.

What to bring

• Each person can bring one clear plastic water bottle, which can be refilled for free at various spots around the display areas.

• Baby food, formula, milk and water (no glass containers).

• Carts for physically challenged/disabled visitors.

• Diapers bags.

• Service animals (no other animals allowed).

• Strollers.

What to leave at home

• Animals. (Service animals allowed only. Pets will not be left unattended in the parking area or inside a parked vehicle.)

• Any potentially airborne items, including balls, balloons and kites.

• Bicycles, go-karts, scooters, skates and skateboards.

• Backpacks, purses and/or camera bags larger than 18 by 24 inches.

• Camelbacks.

• Chairs and folding chairs (rental chairs available in display area).

• Coolers.

• Food, beverages and alcohol from outside the base.

• Military uniforms worn by non-military members.

• Political activity/demonstrations to include associated paraphernalia.

• Umbrellas and folding canopies.

• Weapons.

On StarNet

Find photos and videos of the teams that will be performing at the Davis-Monthan open house at

Upcoming coverage

Thursday: Get your four-page, pullout guide to Davis-Monthan's open house in Caliente.

Saturday and Sunday: Daily updates and photos from the flight line.