Well, that was a fun 24 hours.
I started last night by going to the Air Rendezvous Hanger Party but weather prevented the scheduled night air show from taking place (they postponed it until tonight and I’m not there). While the bands went on and played anyway, ite was just too cold in the hanger and after a couple hours we left for a warmer establishment to play darts until 1:00 AM. I haven’t done that in a while. Staying out to 1:00 that is. Married, children, yada, yada. I also apparently still have my darts mojo.
Slightly hung over, it was off to the main air show this morning. The weather was pretty good except for a northwest wind that could cut right through you during gusts.
I got there too late to see Springfield’s own 183rd Fighter Wing open the show but I caught everything else.
Let me say that this was one of the best attended shows I’ve seen in years. I mean, there were long lines at some of the food vendors and many booths sold out of much of their merchandise and food items.
The corporate tent I was in was jammed and even ran out of some amenities. There wasn’t a chair to be had by the time the show climaxed with the Blue Angels who, as expected, performed flawlessly.
My favorite part of the show was the US Air Force Heritage Flight. This year it featured a World War two era P-51 fighter and a Vietnam era F-4 fighter. They, along with the F-15, did a series of spectacular close-formation fly-bys. It was really cool to see three generations of some of America’s best military aircraft flying together like that. The U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight program is an annual feature at Air Rendezvous (and other air shows) that teams various vintage Air Force plane with their modern successors. I think it’s a great thing. And kind of moving to watch.
Also, a special shout-out to Team Red. It’s easy for the older prop driven planes to be greatly overshadowed by the powerful and speedy jets, but this group of old Chinese and Soviet prop trainers was really cool. They flew no less than 15 aircraft simultaneously. Very cool to see.
The lowlight of the show was the stupid Air Force Reserve Jet Car. Why does the Air Force Reserve need a jet car? I speculated maybe they use it to get to and from Baghdad Airport on that very deadly highway so many people have died on in Iraq. Otherwise, what a waste of money. And it’s a car, it doesn’t belong at an air show (even if the little kids do love it).
I’m sunburned and a bit burned-out otherwise. But was a great 24 hours.