AirVenture 2017: Blue Angels

Although a precursor to summers end, EAA’s annual AirVenture in Oshkosh Wisconsin is always a special treat. I attended again this year (Friday, July 28th), along with an estimated 600,000 others (including Stan Lee and ten astronauts from the Apollo missions)!

Gentleman Jim: P-51

The weather could not have been better. Although I was baked by the sun, there was a consistent cool breeze which kept me quite comfortable throughout the day.

Old Crow: P-51

“Warbird Alley” is a must see for me every year. Sure, you see a few of the same planes every year – but think about it…your looking at planes made over 70 years ago!

Never Enough Grease

The dedication and spirit of the men and women who put their time, energy, and checkbooks into these planes is unimaginable.

Sweet Revenge: P-51

This isn’t like a car show. I’m sure there are dangers to that undertaking as well, but we are talking about flying a 70-year-old, six ton, wood chasse, hundreds to tens of thousands of feet into the air, at hundreds of miles per hour!

F4U Corsair

The reason I don’t think people understand how enormous some of these planes are, is because I’m surprised myself, every year I walk up to one. The Corsair; pictured above, has a wing span of over 40 feet. That’s the width of your average school bugs. The 2018 Corvette has 650 horsepower, this Corsair has almost four-times as much.

1932 Fairchild

Maybe more impressive are the vintage planes. Everything from Antique (built prior to September 1, 1945), Classic (built September 1, 1945 through 1955), and Contemporary (built from 1956 through 1970) are present at the EAA.

Vintage Metal Shaping: Mittler Brothers

I stopped by the Vintage Red Barn to see David Wenlarz work on metal shaping. Nothing like the clanging of a wood mallet on metal in the morning. This “English Wheel”; shown above, was a tad bit more pleasant.

The Forc3 - Matt Chapman, Rob Holland, Bill Stein

The daily airshows at the EAA AirVenture are “can’t miss” events! The cost of admission is worth these hours of gratification.

The Forc3 - Bill Stein

Although you may see some of the same pilots every year, they are always mixing things up: pushing the limit even farther, or combining their efforts. Like Matt Chapman, Rob Holland, Bill Stein (The Forc3) did this year.

F4U Corsair

It’s one thing seeing these old planes on the ground or taxiing, it’s another thing to see them fly past at 300 miles per hour.

B-25 Mitchell

The last few years they have detonated hundreds of pounds of explosives - simulating bombing runs. That is why the bomb-bay doors of the B-25 Mitchell; pictured above, are open.

F-86 Sabre

Not all of the war birds are from WWII, like these three American F-86 Sabres; pictured above, which would have been used during the Korean War.

B-29 Superfortress (FiFi)

The only two flying B-29 Superfortress’s in the world, at one place. "FiFi" is pictured above.

B-29 Superfortress (Doc)

The newly restored: Doc, B-29 Superfortress (above), whom just took his first flight since the 1950s on July 17th, showed himself off at the EAA this year - learn more.

Commander Weisser shortly after takeoff

The United States of America’s Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, has proven; once again, to be the best.

The 2017 Blue Angel Pilots:

  1. Commander Ryan Bernacchi (USN)
  2. Lieutenant Damon Kroes (USN)
  3. Lieutenant Nate Scott (USN)
  4. Lieutenant Lance Benson (USN)
  5. Commander Frank Weisser (USN)
  6. Lieutenant Tyler Davies (USN)

Blue Angels: Double Farvel

I was so excited to hear about the Blue Angels coming to this year’s air show. It had been about twenty years since the last time I saw them. Although I have seen other demonstrations by the Canadian Snowbirds and the U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds, neither had been as good as I remembered the Blue Angels being all those years ago.

Blue Angels: Diamond 360

I don’t know if it was the excitement the pilots showed for being at EAA Oshkosh, or if it was the rumble and roar of “Freedom” overhead - but the show did not disappoint.

Blue Angels: Fleur de Lis

Something to watch for at a Blue Angles demonstration is the “Sneak Pass”. Where some of the planes distract you, and another plane burns past at roughly 700 miles per hour (just under breaking the sound barrier), really low to the this case, the announcer purposely called it from the opposite direction too - I didn't get a picture.

Blue Angels: Fortus

This “Fortus” stunt; shown above, was the slowest they performed - but the most terrifying.

Blue Angels: Pass

I love seeing the condensed water form around planes. It gives an illusion that man is in control of nature for a few seconds.

Blue Angels: Line-Abreast Loop Line-Abreast Loop

Blue Angels: Inverted Tuck Over Roll Inverted Tuck Over Roll

Blue Angels: Opposing Inverted to Inverted Rolls Opposing Inverted to Inverted Rolls

Blue Angels: Barrel Roll Break Barrel Roll Break

Blue Angels: Tail Sitting Tail Sitting

Blue Angels: Afterburner Afterburner

Blue Angels: Moon Good Night

This year I tested out my newly purchased Cannon 100-400mm lens. Although much less versatile than my Tamron. I was looking for something with a little more range, and a clearer shot. It performed better than expected.

Alrighty 'nuff said.

Fairchild Republic A-10 (Warthog) Thunderbolt II Looking like a Badd @$$ being towed around in my BRRRT.

Douglas SBD Dauntless Douglas SBD Dauntless

B-25 Mitchell B-25 Mitchell

B-29 Superfortres's Belly Doc, the B-29 Superfortress's Belly - learn more.