Believe it or not, EAA’s AirVenture 2018 headline: “Year of the Tanker”, didn’t draw my attention as much as last years “Blue Angels”, but I was not disappointed. If you haven’t caught on already, AirVenture is one of the worlds largest air shows in the world. We are talking about an average of ~134 takeoffs/landings per hour, for a solid eleven days – approximately 26% higher than O'Hare International in 2017! (source)
Although my excitement wasn’t sky-high this year, I think it worked out for the best. This allowed me to: take it easy, be a bit more creative with photos, and explore more of AirVenture. For the first time, I checked out the Warbirds tram tour run by the Warbirds of America. This turned out to be a great way to see the entire Warbird area and get a rundown of many of the planes.
World War II, Korea, and Vietnam are all covered in EAA's "Warbird Alley". Due to the awesome dedication of the Warbirds of America and its members, they all fly.
The Warbirds of America also run the “living history” / reenactment WWII camp, where men and women live in similar conditions as they would have during the war: uniforms, encampments, weapons, and all. Their dedication is uncanny, and their knowledge seems boundless.
Nothing gets you in the mood for war stories like 1940s-era music. Theresa R. Eaman made another appearance this year at AirVenture. It was a nice surprise whilst waiting for the C-47 Skytrain “Warbirds in Review” interview.
At 102 years young, Ret. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cole, told his side of the “Doolittle Raid” story. An inspiring; practically suicide, mission that did little to harm the Japanese materially, but raised doubt of the Japanese people, and raised the morale of the Allies.
The second part of the “Warbirds in Review” was an interview with Captain Mike Trahan a AC-47 “Spooky” Gunship pilot who served in Vietnam. For all intents and purposes, the AC-47 was a WWII Douglas C-47 Skytrain with three MXU-470 miniguns mounted out the windows off the left wing. Theirs’s something “spooky” about 18,000 rounds per minute falling from the heavens splattering an area the size of a football field - or is it just me?
Before the airshow, this U.S. Customs & Border Enforcement Black Hawk appeared to be making rounds over the crowd. Apparently, it was giving rides to Make-A-Wish children. --Of course this is more obvious on review of the photos.
Mike Goulian is one of the most talented aerobatic aviators in the world. His 30 years of experience appears to give him a license to defy gravity. Each push, pull, and roll is a deliberate execution of precision.
Of course, it's impossible to capture the show he puts on with still images, it's something you have to witness.
What’s more American than taking two Russian Yak-55s, combining them, and painting it red, white, and blue? Dell Coller and Jeff Boerboon made a “Yak-110” a reality.
--Ok, there is something more American than an American-made red, white, and blue Yak-110. It’s an American-made red, white, and blue Yak-110 that has a General Electric turbojet under it, capable of 3000 pounds of thrust!
One way to distract the crowd is rolling up in your Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. They might as well have put the rest of the airshow on hold whilst this pilot played pong on his HUD. It seemed like he sat there for an eternity!
Once it gets to it, the F-22 Raptor takes off quite fast. I have quite a few photos of the nose and tail of the plane, not too many of it in the same frame.
This is something I never thought I would see: in-flight refueling - and with an F-22 no less!
Just look at this plane, can you believe its development was started over 30 years ago…in the 80s? And it’s first flight was in 1997! This goes to show how much time, money, and effort is put into providing our armed forces with the right tools to defend our freedom.
What a beautiful sight. Those puffs of white, and long curled white clouds on the wings of aircraft are called wingtip vortices. They occur when the high air pressure on the bottom surface of the wing escapes to the wingtip whilst moving towards the low air pressure on the lower part of the wing.
That pulsating orange out the afterburners of the F-22 is called “Shock Diamonds”. Essentially the pressure of the exhaust is higher/lower than the surrounding air pressure.
Aaron Fitzgerald, flying his Red Bull MBB BO-105 helicopter, did some crazy stunts that most of us have only seen in movies and videogames. I did not expect to see the top of a rotating helicopter blade, it wasn’t on my bucket list, it never crossed my mind, but boy I can’t wait to see it again!
The Mig-17F which was made in the 1950s, was the tightest turning fighter in the world for ~20 years. It’s loud, obnoxious, but boy does it look fun. (learn more)
'Merica: is hanging out of a C-130J with an American flag.
It’s not every day you get to see a 282,000 pound bird fall from the sky, reverse-thrust on landing, stop within a few hundred feet, and immediately begin to taxi backwards at 20mph...unless you fly a Boeing C-17A Globemaster.
Combining my Tamron 16-300mm lens for ground targets, and my Cannon 100-400mm lens for those targets in the air, turned out to be a much better, more versatile plan.
Alrighty 'nuff said.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
Gloster Meteor T.7
Douglas A-1 Skyraider
Geico Skytypers SNJ-2
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt