Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Blue Angels in Battle Creek

The main reason for me to go to the Battle Creek Air Show was to see the Blue Angels. Even though, I will be seeing them in three weeks, I can never get enough of the Blue Angels (or their almost as good counterparts, the Thunderbirds).

I saw the Blue Angels for the first time in 1989 or 1990 at Willow Run Airport. Some people from my dorm were going and I tagged along. I've been hooked ever since. The Blue Angels themselves have been performing since 1946 and in that time they have performed hundreds of shows in the US and around the world. In another personal bit of trivia, one time when I was in Washington DC, I picked up one of those MIA bracelets and the person on it turned out to be a Blue Angel at one point (Harley Hall). After some research, I found out he is no longer missing as they've returned his remains to the US.
The Blue Angels open up their show with a demonstration of their C-130 named Fat Albert. He is manned by a Marine Corps team and is actually pretty impressive to watch. Sadly, they don't do the rocket assist take off anymore.Fat Albert coming in for a photo pass.
Another pass. I kind of like this picture but would have liked it more had I set the shutter speed so the propellors looked like they were rotating.
Like this shot, where Fat Albert demonstrates a hostile area landing.
The main diamond formation pilots taking off.
The opposing solos. I think if I could have been a Blue Angel, this what I would have wanted to do. It seems like they have the most fun as they get to do the high speed passes and what not.
The famous diamond formation.
The famous rightside up/upside down formation with the tailhook.
The diamond formation with the tailhooks down. The tailhook is used in landing on a carrier.
One of the planes in a pass.
The two opposing solo planes passing by.
Another pass. I think this was one of the times I was trying to get a shot of a high speed pass.
The echelon formation.
The only time where I managed to catch both planes in the shot during a pass.
Another side of the diamond.
The diamond as it is approaching.
The two opposing solo planes in a low speed/high angle pass. The engines are amazingly loud when they do this. This is also a pretty good demonstration of the plane's power as this is all engine and very little lift.
The formation breaking up and later they form up back in the diamond.
The delta formation where all 6 planes are flying together.
Another pass of the delta formation.
The starburst pattern.
The last Blue Angel coming in for a landing. It was pretty amazing to watch as they all landed at about the same spot on the runway.

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