Monday, August 27, 2012

Rocky Mountain Airshow

Last Saturday Connie and I drove up to Broomfield to see the Rocky Mountain Airshow at the Rocky Mountain Regional Airport. It was our first time to attend one of these.

There were a fair number of aircraft on static display including this mobbed A-26.

The orange markings on this C-130 show that it is one of the planes that the Colorado Air National Guard has modified to allow for quick conversion to firefighting slurry bombers.They got a lot of use during the big fires we had back in June.
Here is a tired-looking USMC CH-46. The last of these was built in 1971 and everytime I see one I marvel that they still keep them flying. Apparently the Marines will phase these out over the next few years as they are replaced by the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey.

I enjoyed this grim reaper unit insignia on the front of the CH-46.

Commemorative Air Force flew in this TBM Avenger torpedo bomber.

The Navy Reserve flew in a couple of these F/A-18s.

Loved the paint job on this MiG-17. It's one of the relatively rare two-seater trainer variants. You can always tell a MiG-17 from a MiG-15 by counting the number of wing fences on top of the wing: two for a -15 and three for a -17.

I was surprised to see the large number of non-aircraft related WWII reenactors who were set up there to show off their uniforms, equipment, and vehicles. I was doubly surprised to see how many of them were wearing Wehrmacht uniforms.

I told Connie she could get me a jeep with a 50 caliber machine gun mount for my birthday.

Or even better an M5 Stuart light tank.  

The 37 mm main gun looks surprisingly small and for someone who is more used to modern tanks, you wonder how they crammed four guys in there and could still carry enough fuel to get anywhere.

I hadn't seen one of these M2 half-tracks for a long time. When I was a little boy, my father's National Guard unit was an Antiaircraft Artillery battalion armed with quad 50 caliber machine guns mounted in the back of half-tracks similar to this one. I was always thrilled to see him leading his battery, marching in front of their half-tracks in the Fourth of July parade.

The highlight of the show was a demonstration flight by a USAF F-22 Raptor. Its high thrust to weight ratio, vectored exhaust, and state-of -the-art flight controls make it capable of doing maneuvers you just can't believe. Watching that plane do controlled flat spins and controlled tail-first dives makes you shake your head.
I was glad I could catch this shot of vapor bursting over the leading edges of the F-22's wings as it pulls a tight turn.

The finale was the F-22 and a P-51 doing a fly-by in formation. The F-22 made the Mustang look sort of like a little toy.


Darrell said...

A20? A26???

I wonder if that red MIG is the one I mentioned in the US MIGs thread.

Reid Farmer said...

You are correct - A-26. I never got close enough to it to look it over, but the show on-line listing shows it as an A-26