Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Selfridge Air Show - Part II

I didn't want to put all my pictures from the Air Show into one post.  If you enjoyed the first part, you should enjoy this one.
 The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk was used by the US Army as a military observation and attack aircraft.  When the US Air Force was formed in 1947, the US Army was forbidden from using fixed wing aircraft but I don't think that included propeller aircraft.
The OV-1 program began as a joint Army-Marine program.  The Marines didn't want the sensors the Army wanted, so they dropped out.  The Air Force didn't like the armaments of the Mohawk and tried to get it killed.    The Army managed to continue with the program.  The first flight was in April of 1959 and production started that same year.  A total of 380 were produced.  The program continued into the mid-90's.
 Next up was an F-100 Super Sabre.
 I've seen this plane before.
 They did a mock dogfight with a MiG-17.
 I really like this shot.
 Next they did a demonstration of a pilot rescue using the aircraft of Selfridge.
 Selfridge is home to the 107th Fighter Squadron which flies the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
 It also home of the 927th Air Refueling Wing which flies the KC-135 Stratotanker.
 The A-10 Thunderbolt is an awesome aircraft which does its job pretty effectively.
 Originally designed in the late 70's as a counter to the large Soviet tank forces, over the years it has seen it's missions expanded.  It's main armament is the 30 mm Gatlin gun in the nose.  It can also be equipped with various other armaments depending on its mission.  It can carry 16,000 lbs of munitions which is almost the same as four B-17's configured for a long range mission.
 It also has a fairly long loiter time which means it can stay on station for a while.  This makes it a very effective platform for the wars that we are currently fighting.
 Unofficially it is nicknamed the Warthog but I think it is a cool looking aircraft.
 They used the HH-65 Dolphin as the rescue helicopter.
 The KC-135 was developed from the Boeing 707.  Early in the game, the Air Force discovered that a jet tanker would come in handy.  When refueling early jets, the KC-97 was flying at full throttle and the jets would have to angle up to maintain stall speed.
 The first KC-135 flew in 1956 and production began in 1957.  After eight years of production, 380 were produced.  I think this version was re-engined.  The Air Force is in the process of procuring the replacement.
 A pair of A-10s flying cover for the downed airman.
 the Airman rescued, the Dolphin returns to base.
 Next up was a demonstration of the F/A-18 Hornet.

 It was pretty cool to watch.
 A Piper Cub going through it's paces.
 And landing on the back of the truck.
 We got to see a very brief demonstration of the F-35.  The Piper Cub act was drawn out too long, I think.  I would have rather seen more of this plane.
 Next up was a Pitts Special powered by a 540 horsepower Lycoming engine.
 It was pretty cool watching this plane go through its paces.
 Especially in some of the maneuvers.
 Of course the main thing that most people were interested in was the Thunderbirds.
 The Thunderbirds are the aerial demonstration unit of the US Air Force.  They were formed in 1957 (after the Blue Angels btw).  They operate out of Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas.
 Here they are in their famed diamond formation.
 Even though it's not a great shot, I always love getting a passing shot.
 Of the solo planes.
 Since it was cloudy and windy, I think they did their low altitude show.  This was the low profile bomb burst.
 The diamond formation before ending.
And the first rule of aviation....take offs are optional but landings are mandatory.

Selfridge Air Show - Part I

I went to the Selfridge Air Show on Saturday.  It was free, so I headed over there fairly early. 
 I didn't get there early enough.  They had the World War I planes as I was heading into the air show.  Since I took a shuttle ride into the field, I didn't get a chance to get any pictures.  I did manage to get a picture of this parachutist though.
 First up was an AT-6 Trojan.  They were celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Selfridge Air National Guard base.  They came pretty close to having an example of every plane that flew there.  I think it was used as a training base during World War II (among other things).
 The Yankee Air Force's C-47.
 And of course, the Yankee Lady made an appearance.  Even though I see her quite a bit, I can never get tired of seeing a B-17.
 This time the AT-6 wasn't going through a cloud of smoke.
 Another AT-6.  I think this one was actually decked out like a plane that flew out of Selfridge.
 The Yankee Warrior.
 Another angle of the B-25.
 Another angle of the C-47.
 A P-40 Warhawk decked out to look like one of the Flying Tigers.  If I remember correctly, the announcers said that this plane was being flown by a US Senator.
 The P-51 Mustang.
 Another P-51 Mustang made to look like one of the Tuskegee Mustangs.  The Tuskegee Airman used Selfridge for training.
 A Hawker Hurricane.  Most people are familiar with the Supermarine Spitfire but the Hawker Hurricane was more of the workhorse for the Royal Air Force in World War II.
 Another angle of the P-40.
 A P-39 Airacobra.  The P-39 had the engine mounted behind the pilot.  It was also equipped with a fairly large cannon in the nose.  It wasn't very popular with the Americans but the Russians loved it.  It was a pretty good ground attack aircraft.
 Another shot of the P-51.
 And the Tuskegee Airmen one again.
 This was a group called the Trojan Horsemen.  They are a civilian demonstration group that flies the T-28 Trojan.  The T-28 was a training aircraft used by the US Air Force and Navy starting in 1950.  It was designed as a replacement for the T-6 Texan and was used as a primary trainer until the 1960's.  It continues to be used in the civilian circuit.
 This was a pretty cool maneuver where one of the solo pilots would do rolls around the diamond formation.
 One of the solo pilots flying.
 And the break.
 The T-33 was developed from the P-80 Shooting Star.  The P-80 Shooting Star was the first operational jet used by the United States.  The T-33 was used as a trainer.  It was produced from 1948 until 1959.  The last operational one was retired this year from the Bolivian Air Force.
 the plane coming out of the sky.
 When I saw this plane at the Airshow, I thought it was a Cessna but it turns out that is an American Champion Super Decathlon.  It is used as an Acrobatic trainer and first flew in 1970.  In that time over 6,000 have been produced.
 the plane coming off a Cuban 8.
 I kind of liked this picture.
 I really liked this picture.
 An F-86 Sabre.  Many of the pilots that fought in the Korean War were trained at Selfridge.  Some of those pilots became aces and for a while Selfridge was known as the Home of the MiG Killers.
 An A-10 Thunderbolt getting ready to takeoff.
 A KC-135 taking off.
 An Extra EA-300 flown by Jacqueline Warda.   The EA-300 was designed in 1987 by Walter Extra, a German aerobatic pilot.  It is powered by a 300 horsepower Lycoming Engine and is capable of going 253 miles per hour.  It is a pretty amazing aircraft.
 It has a pretty light airframe.
And pretty cool to watch.