Sunday, April 13, 2014

Davis-Monthan Airshow

I always enjoy airshows and especially if the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels put on a show.  One other group that does very well is the Patriots as they fly in close formation and do their tricks.  The pilots of those planes are truly in a class of their own and it shows when they fly.  My hat is off to those guys.

Gerry decided she was ready for a day off and opted out of the airshow.  With all the heat and wind, I think she made a good choice.  She stayed home and did some housework and worked on cards in the air conditioning.  Smart girl.

Grant and I picked up Ron K and headed for Davis-Monthan Airbase.  It was an easy entry into the base and we were directed to parking near the entrance gate to the exhibits and planes.  Close as in 300-400 yards away.

As soon as we entered the area Grant and Ron made a beeline for the restored B-17 WWII airplane.  It's in great shape for a plane built in 1944.  It is part of the old Confederate Air Force but now named the Commemorative Air Force.  Another case of PC being carried too far.  I still refer to it by the old name.

More information about the plane can be found at this website for those interested.  For those too young to remember, Betty Grable is the pinup on the plane.

Sentimental Journey 

 It was possible to take a tour of the plane and Ron & Grant scurried up the ladder.  When it became my turn once I entered the plane, it became obvious that I would have to get down on my hands and knees to get to the back of the plane.  No way that I could do this with my new knee replacement and I backed out.  Ron had to get down on his hands and knees to make it through the port.

The ticket taker said to go to the back of the plane and enter that way.  Since it was the exit, I had to wait until people exited.  By that time Ron & Grant had made their way back to the side by side machine guns and were battling the Red Baron.

 Next up was the A-10 Warthog airplane.  It is really a workhorse and proved to be the correct plane in Iraq as a tank buster.  The A-10 is stationed at Davis-Monthan and flies over our campground every evening after their practice bombing and strafing runs.  It is the sound of Freedom for us.

They were showing the crowd how they load the various armaments that it can deliver to a target.  It is a very impressive display of it's capabilities.

Meanwhile Ron & Grant were checking the cockpit of another A-10.  Grant wanted to sit in the pilot's seat, but was unable due to the crowd waiting to see the plane.

 While we were checking the A-10, the tanker plane was refueling helicopters over the airfield.  It can fuel one helicopter at a time and this enables the helicopters to stay on duty station for hours.

 Grant found another machine gun to shoot and climbed into the gunner's seat and was ready to take out the crowd.

 What is it about machine guns and kids?  Grant wanted to try this one out and found that it was way too heavy for him.  He did look like a bad guy in this photo and nobody to mess with.

 The Model A Ford is one of the original 1931 Fords delivered to the Arizona State Police.  This one has been restored to original condition and was a beauty.

 The B-1Bomber is a beautiful plane with it's swept back wings in place.  Today it was being used as a shade tree on the flight line. 

 The main attraction of the day was the Air Force Thunderbirds who are the equivalent of the Navy's Blue Angels.  They put on a super show with their flying skills and made those F-16s perform like champs. 

This Thunderbird had his flaps down and nose up and scooted down the runway in the position.  Sure made a lot of noise since he had the engines wining.  At the end of the run he made a straight up in the air ascent for thousands of ft.  Mighty impressive.

 The Thunderbirds were sitting on the tarmac for a while and there was some concern that they wouldn't fly due to the wind.  On Saturday they didn't fly since the wind was 30mph and they don't do their maneuvers in winds over 29mph.  They did fly today even if they were a little late, but were worth the wait.

 I managed to capture a picture as they fly directly overhead.  It is very difficult to capture them with our digital camera due to the 1/2 second delay.  I had to guess when they would be in the view finder.

Once the Thunderbirds finished their flying, the crowd began to disperse.  We joined the exodus and managed to leave the parking area in good time.  All in all we had a great time, but I was worn out by the end of the day.  It was hot & windy and the low humidity sucked the moisture right out of me.

We dropped Ron off and headed back to the motorhome in time to change clothes and go to church.  It sure was cool and pleasant in church today and I could have listened to another sermon, but they made us leave.

I think I will sleep like a log tonight.  First I am going to take some Advil to help ease the soreness in the legs and knees.  Wish me luck.

That was our day, how was yours?

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