I love this show, it gets marked on our calendar just as soon as we know the date, and amazingly for me, I won’t even let a race weekend get in the way of it! Here are a few more photos from this year, I’ve posted some others here already.
I’m not a huge fan of jets, I much prefer the older planes, much more poignant and evocative to me, but you have to admire the parking abilities of the US Navy Blue Angels display team! They’re pretty nifty in the air too.
[Hello cutie! See, even big, strapping planes can be cute too! This is the rear end of a Phantom F4 jet, the grandfather of the modern F18’s above that the Blue Angels now use. The Phantom came into service in the early 1960’s and saw active duty in Vietnam, mostly against the Russian built MIG 17’s. One of the reasons we like this particular air show is the period demonstrations they do, in the morning it was World War II, complete with vehicles, guns, planes and re-enactors in uniform staging a mock battle. In the afternoon we were treated to a mock Vietnam battle with Huey support helicopters and an amazing dog-fight involving this Phantom above, and the MIG 17 pictured below.]
[This is looking straight down the front air intake of a MIG 17. Not your normal view!]
[Ah that’s better. A WWII Hawker Hurricane painted in desert colours]
[Every year the show honours a specific type of aircraft, this year it was the turn of the mighty Hercules C130, the unsung hero of many wars and supporting roles around the world. It’s list of achievements is long and varied, almost as long as the configurations this plane can be built in. The one above has been modified for ice landings! Because of the size of these big beasts they only had two airborne but they give a fantastic show, if you’ve never seen a Hercules take off under attack conditions on a short airstrip you’d be in for a treat. There were 14 planes in attendance, which was a sight in itself considering they’re no lightweights, and to see an entire runway given over to parked C130’s was astonishing.]
[These photos are all of the plane The Driftbuster, which supports a National Geographic outpost in the Artic! Now you can see why it needs the skids!]
[The final two photos are of one of the three University of Michigan Survival Flight helicopters. The U of M is one of the top hospitals in Michigan. As well as being a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Michigan based here in Ann Arbor (I work in AA) it is also one of the leading advanced care hospitals in the mid west of America. They have three of these helicopters, painted in the U of M colours of blue and gold, two are always on active duty and the third is on standby, or in this case, doing some PR by attending the airshow! One of our friends is a qualified triage (emergency) nurse/paramedic and she flies with this helicopter, when we saw it parked at the display we wandered over for a better look, not expecting to find Elaine there talking to the people and handing out stickers to the kids! We’ve never seen her in her flying gear before or in work mode, even though she was just answering a lot of questions. It was great to run into her and her husband Steve. I remember a couple of years ago talking to Steve about Elaine’s job and him saying that you don’t make polite dinner time conversation and ask her what kind of day she’d had! As you can probably imagine, this helicopter and it’s team are not attending to the little kid who fell off his bike and broke his arm. They do amazing life saving work but I hope I never have to meet her in a professional capacity!]