Vintage aircraft large and small soared above the crowd gathered at the Santa Maria Public Airport as the two-day Thunder Over the Valley air show wrapped up Sunday afternoon.

Aircraft aficionados mingled with just plain curious individuals and families who gathered to check out biplanes, stunt aircraft, trainers from World War II and others that were parked on the airport tarmac.

Radio-controlled model aircraft, ranging from only about a foot long up to a B17G Flying Fortress several feet long, were a big hit, especially with the kids.

Aircraft owners appeared more than happy to talk about their planes, explaining everything from handling characteristics and records set to their specific impact on the nation and aviation in general.

This year’s air show was dedicated to America’s wounded warriors and unique veterans groups from the Santa Maria Valley.  Special honorees this year included the 442nd Infantry Regiment Nisei, Filipino Guerillas and Scouts, Women Air Service Pilots, also known as WASPs, and Tuskegee Airmen.

In addition, all uniformed military personnel and their families were admitted to the show free of charge.

8/24/15 Staff Report Santa Maria Times