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Not all the aircraft participating in the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday and Sunday in northern Italy were modern fighter jets. These propeller driven biplanes performed aerial tricks with acrobats attached.
Not all the aircraft participating in the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday and Sunday in northern Italy were modern fighter jets. These propeller driven biplanes performed aerial tricks with acrobats attached. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Not all the aircraft participating in the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday and Sunday in northern Italy were modern fighter jets. These propeller driven biplanes performed aerial tricks with acrobats attached.
Not all the aircraft participating in the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday and Sunday in northern Italy were modern fighter jets. These propeller driven biplanes performed aerial tricks with acrobats attached. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force's aerial acrobatics team, flew in 10 strong to the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday. The group is based at Rivolto Air Base, about an hour's drive away - and much quicker via MB-339-A/PAN - from the beaches of Jesolo where the show took place.
Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force's aerial acrobatics team, flew in 10 strong to the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday. The group is based at Rivolto Air Base, about an hour's drive away - and much quicker via MB-339-A/PAN - from the beaches of Jesolo where the show took place. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Thousands of spectators, many of them tourists from Germany and Austria who came to the beach to get some sun, watched three hours of aerial acrobatics Saturday at the Jesolo Air Extreme Show in northern Italy. Among those participating were the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds.
Thousands of spectators, many of them tourists from Germany and Austria who came to the beach to get some sun, watched three hours of aerial acrobatics Saturday at the Jesolo Air Extreme Show in northern Italy. Among those participating were the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Four of the six Air Force Thunderbirds participating in an the Jesolo Air Extreme air show east of Venice on Saturday fly in a diamond formation past the smoke left by a fellow F-16 that had just passed. The U.S. jets  performed for about half an hour in the three-hour show.
Four of the six Air Force Thunderbirds participating in an the Jesolo Air Extreme air show east of Venice on Saturday fly in a diamond formation past the smoke left by a fellow F-16 that had just passed. The U.S. jets performed for about half an hour in the three-hour show. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Fighter jets didn't have all the fun at the Jesolo Air Extreme show on Saturday. Civilian aircraft and a military cargo plane also took part.
Fighter jets didn't have all the fun at the Jesolo Air Extreme show on Saturday. Civilian aircraft and a military cargo plane also took part. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Five members of Italy's Frecce Tricolori team almost got lost in the smoke put forth by their fellow team members after the jets had made a series of passes
Five members of Italy's Frecce Tricolori team almost got lost in the smoke put forth by their fellow team members after the jets had made a series of passes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Military jets were joined by civilian aircraft at Jesolo Air Extreme, including this bright yellow one whose pilot repeatedly climbed high into the sky and appeared to cut off its engines, drifting down towards the Adriatic Ocean before re-engaging and zooming into another maneuver.
Military jets were joined by civilian aircraft at Jesolo Air Extreme, including this bright yellow one whose pilot repeatedly climbed high into the sky and appeared to cut off its engines, drifting down towards the Adriatic Ocean before re-engaging and zooming into another maneuver. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
The Breitling Air Team, a group of civilian pilots based in France sponsored by Breitling, were among the first aircraft to take to the skies Saturday at the Jesolo Air Extreme show east of Venice. Dozens of aircraft took part in the three-hour show, viewed by spectators from the beaches of Jesolo, Italy.
The Breitling Air Team, a group of civilian pilots based in France sponsored by Breitling, were among the first aircraft to take to the skies Saturday at the Jesolo Air Extreme show east of Venice. Dozens of aircraft took part in the three-hour show, viewed by spectators from the beaches of Jesolo, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
A lone member of the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds flies over the Adriatic Sea on Saturday during the Jesolo Air Extreme air show east of Venice. Thousands of spectators lined the beaches near Jesolo or leaned out windows facing the ocean to watch the three-hour show, which was set to be duplicated on Sunday.
A lone member of the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds flies over the Adriatic Sea on Saturday during the Jesolo Air Extreme air show east of Venice. Thousands of spectators lined the beaches near Jesolo or leaned out windows facing the ocean to watch the three-hour show, which was set to be duplicated on Sunday. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Nine members of the Frecce Tricolori aerial acrobatic team - Italy's equivalent of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds - leave trails of smoke while soaring straight up into the sky during the Jesolo Air Extreme air show Saturday east of Venice. Thousands of spectators watched the three-hour show over the Adriatic Sea from beaches filled with sun-seeking tourists.
Nine members of the Frecce Tricolori aerial acrobatic team - Italy's equivalent of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds - leave trails of smoke while soaring straight up into the sky during the Jesolo Air Extreme air show Saturday east of Venice. Thousands of spectators watched the three-hour show over the Adriatic Sea from beaches filled with sun-seeking tourists. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
One of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds drew a lot of admiration from onlookers Saturday not by flying quickly by spectators gathered on the beach,   but by flying by slowly. Thousands watched a three-hour display over the Adriatic Sea from the beaches of Jesolo, Italy.
One of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds drew a lot of admiration from onlookers Saturday not by flying quickly by spectators gathered on the beach, but by flying by slowly. Thousands watched a three-hour display over the Adriatic Sea from the beaches of Jesolo, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Several pilots, including this member of Italy's Frecce Tricolori, demonstrated their ability to maneuver their aircraft by flying past spectators upside down. Thousands watched the three-hour show Saturday from the beaches of Jesolo, Italy.
Several pilots, including this member of Italy's Frecce Tricolori, demonstrated their ability to maneuver their aircraft by flying past spectators upside down. Thousands watched the three-hour show Saturday from the beaches of Jesolo, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Five of the six participating U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds soar upward in formation during the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday over the Adriatic Sea near the beaches of Jesolo, Italy.
Five of the six participating U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds soar upward in formation during the Jesolo Air Extreme show Saturday over the Adriatic Sea near the beaches of Jesolo, Italy. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Hundreds of German and Austrian tourists clad in swimwear and looking for some sun found it on the beaches of Jesolo, Italy, Saturday. At least when it wasn’t blotted out by swiftly moving aircraft and the smoke trailing behind them.

The sometimes bemused tourists joined thousands of Italian air enthusiasts to watch Jesolo Air Extreme, a three-hour aerial display over the Adriatic Sea just off the beaches of Jesolo. Among those participating were the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds and their Italian Air Force counterpart, Frecce Tricolori (tri-colored arrows in English).

The Thunderbirds, temporarily based at Aviano Air base to the northeast, and Frecce Tricolori, based at Rivolto Air Base a bit further to the northeast, took up about a third of the show between them. They were joined by civilian aircraft flying in teams or alone.

Though it took the military jets only a few minutes to travel the distance from their bases to the beaches along the Jesolo Lido a few miles west of the city, it took some spectators almost two hours to travel the same distance, due to the conflux of tourists on holiday and the airshow traffic.

The show was one of eight performances the Thunderbirds will make in Europe this year. A show in Denmark is up next.

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