Monday, October 28, 2013

Air Show!

The base that I do my reserve duty at has an airfield as a primary part of its reason for existence; although it is now known as a "joint forces training base" up until the 70's it was a Naval air station and was quite active.  Now it is mostly used by Army National Guard aircraft although other services pass through here frequently.  I've even seen a C5 on the field!  I have seen a picture of the airfield during Iraqi War I with the ramp absolutely packed with C141s and C130s picking up supplies for transit to the Gulf.

Each year there is a combined aircraft and car show and this October my unit was tasked with providing support for the event.  So I got to attend the show and satisfy my drill obligation for the month. How cool is that?   Because of the heavily overcast conditions all over the coast many of the war birds that planned to fly in that morning couldn't make it but some flew in the day before and the B-25 shown here made a late morning arrival once the haze and fog burned off.

I took some pictures of some of the best and here they are for your viewing pleasure:

One of the few remaining flying H-21 helicopters in the world.  this helo started as a rescue bird for the B-36 in the arctic and then was adopted by the Army and used heavily in Vietnam in the early 60's.  I used to seem them flying when I was a kid.  We called them 'flying bananas'   Wonder why that was?

The O-1 Bird Dog observation plane used by forward air controllers in Vietnam.  I read an excellent novel about the plane and the pilots called "The Delta".  I highly recommend it.  These were only armed with spotter rockets to mark targets for ground attack aircraft.  
The 'Storch/Stork' liaison and spotter plane for the German army in WW2.  When I was stationed in West Germany in the late 70s I would see one of these sans wings sitting in a backyard along the autobahn.  Had it been there since the end of WW2?  The wings were resting next to the plane.  I wondered how the plane got there and how they were going to get it out someday.

Not a very sophisticated aircraft but its ability to land and take off in very short lengths was amazing
The F4U Corsair, used by the Navy and Marines from mid WW2 to the mid 1950s.  A phenomenal fighter and later ground support fighter-bomber

The Stearman 'Yellow Peril' student pilot trainer from WW2 and many were turned into crop dusters after the war.  The Missus bought me a ride in one for Father's day.  I couldn't stop smiling through the whole flight!

OK, so it isn't an airplane but it is cool anyway!
The B-25 getting ready to leave.  Love the sound of round engines!  The B-25 has to be the sexiest twin engine bomber of WW2 - I don't care what the Brits say about the Mosquito!

A video I shot with my digital camera of some of the aircraft leaving at the end of the day.  Notice how the props seem to be barely turning?  It is an optical illusion from the camera.

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