Monday, August 22, 2016

Thunder Over Michigan - 2016 - Part III

And so we get to the last flying part of the show....
 I know that this aircraft has been much maligned in this blog but if I had to say that there was a star of the Air Show this plane was it.  Here it is waiting to take off.
 With 70,000 pounds of thrust, it didn't take too long for it to get into the air.  For comparison's sake, a 747 has a total of 50,000 to 63,000 pounds of thrust.  The F-22 weighs quite a bit of less than a 747.  In fact, it has a thrust to weight ratio over a little over 1.
 There was quite a bit of moisture in the air and this evident when the plane goes into some its violent turns.
 The shape just exudes speed.
 Another quick pull up.  I think it went straight up and was able to stay in place at the top of the arc.
 In order to maintain stealth characteristics, all of its weapons are stored in a weapons bay.  If it needs a heavier load there are four additional hard points on its wings.
 And I just love this picture.
 And this picture represents 70 years worth of aviation evolution.  The P-51 would be the air superiority fighter of its day.
 And both planes have a very cool shape.
 And one more shot of the pair.
 I decided to wander around after the show was finished.  That gave me the opportunity to get some pictures of the static aircraft without too many people in them.
 Although I guess a shot with the pilots is cool.
 The cockpit of a CH-47 Chinook.
 I was trying to take a picture of the instrument panel and then I realized I had a pretty cool transparent reflective shot.
 I'm not sure if this is a CH-53 Super Stallion or a CH-53K King Stallion.  Either way, this is a pretty cool looking helicopter and is the heaviest in the US Military's inventory.  This helicopter emerged as a result of the US Marine's quest for a heavy helicopter.  The prototype first flew in 1964 and would become the Jolly Green Giant.  Then the Marines were looking for a heavier helicopter and the Super Stallion emerged in 1974.  Over the years there were 234 built for the US Navy, Marines and the Japanese Maritime Defense Force.
 I had to get a closeup of the A-10's gun.  It's hard to believe that each of those holes is 20 mm in diameter.
 Just in case the top picture wasn't scary enough.
 A more or less full shot of the A-10 Warthog.  This aircraft is not maligned on this blog.  In fact, this aircraft is loved by this blog.  And this blog was delighted to find out it is staying around a little longer. 
 The P-3 Orion.  It is a maritime surveillance and anti-submarine used by the US Navy and many US Allies.  In 1957, the US Navy was looking for a replacement for the P2V Neptune that was in service at the time.  In order to keep costs down, Lockheed suggest that the Navy use the airframe of their L-188 Electra.  The first flight was in 1958.  The aircraft was equipped with sonobuoys, torpedoes, depth charges, etc.  A sonobuoy is a buoy equipped with a sonar array and radio to relay information back to the aircraft.  Probably the coolest feature is what is known as a magnetic anomaly detector.  A submarine is basically a large tube of steel passing through water.  That will create anomalies in the magnetic field and this plane will detect them.
 Over the years, there have been several upgrades this outstanding aircraft and there have been a total of 757 of them built.  Sadly, these aircraft are getting old and will be replaced by the P-8 Poseidon.
 As I was walking back to the car, I saw this shot and had to take it.  Two Boeing beauties in one shot.
 This is the Bell 430 that is used by the Michigan State Police.  This airframe is a descendant of the Bell 222 that was made famous as Airwolf.  It first flew in 1995 and 136 have been built since.  It is equipped with cameras and night vision, so it seems that Blue Thunder wasn't too far from the truth.
 I don't remember what this aircraft was.
 A C-47 Chinook.
 A Canadian Trainer Aircraft with a pair of pilots.
 An F-16 Fighting Falcon from Ohio.
 One of the F/A-18 Super Hornets on the ground.
 An even cleaner shot of the P-8 Poseidon.
And we pretty much leave off where we began.

Next year's Thunder Over Michigan will be over Labor Day Weekend.  The Blue Angels return to Ypsilanti.  It should be cool.

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