After a tragic crash in 2012 and federal budget sequester, the Quad City Air Show faced its share of challenges.
But after careful planning, the show is charting a new course this year.
Gates open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Davenport Municipal Airport. The main air show begins around noon each day.
As the federal sequester forces this flyer on a reduced schedule, Lt. Col. John Klatt remains a man on a mission.
"Despite what's happening with the sequester, recruiting retention is very vital to our nation's security," he said.
While the Quad City Air Show honors the WW II era this weekend, it's already impressing the next generation.
"I think it's really cool," said Erica Schumacher, 13. "I would like to do it one day."
That wonder makes the air show a local legend after 27 years. It's still flying for families. This is like a seminar in the sky. This weekend, re-enacting the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"It makes you think that bombs are being dropped," said Dave Schumacher, Quad City Air Show. "There's going to be a lot of fire, a lot of noise. It's just a really good time."
And the air show will be flying high by saluting the Greatest Generation. It will become a living history lesson for kids of all ages.
That's why crews are busy getting ready for the big weekend. It takes a lot of volunteer support to make it all happen. It's still impressive after all these years.
"How much stuff there is to do and see," Erica said. "A lot of things to do."
Whether high in the sky or watching from ground level, it's helping youngsters to think big.
"They're the future," Lt. Col. Klatt said. "For us to interact with them and interact with the folks that come out to the air show, it's pretty special for me."
Sequester or not, the show must go on.