Officially named the 2008 Joint Services Air Show, KungPow and I joined our own services to bring a slice of the air show to you in this RightPundits exclusive. KungPow is an accomplished photographer took some spectacular pictures of some beautiful aircraft. For all you ariplane buffs, there are plenty more photos below the fold.
Yes, in honor of the controversy about the Tennessee GOP ad about Michele Obama, the airshow truly made me proud to be an American!
Although I saw one woman with a Hillary T-shirt, the “No Political Activity” rule kept politics to almost nothing. Everyone was there to have a great time and the joint services put on a great show!
Other sobering post 9-11-01 rules was that you could only get on base using their provided buses, after an airport-like trip through the magnetometer and a hand search of all bags – no liquids allowed. A soldier was present on each bus and needless to say, the wait getting out was a rather long 2 hour wait (while being carefully watched by machine-gun carrying police and bomb-sniffing dogs – remember, Andrews AFB is where Air Force One is based….) Thank you Osama – we had a great time despite (to spite) you!
This fly over was one of the more impressive sights, particularly when all four joined together to form the diamond configuration and the jets having to keep speed with the much slower P-51. The F-22 was an amazing aircraft, able to fly at high speeds and also almost hovering over the airstrip. The kids got posters of the F-22 aircraft signed by the pilots of the 1st Fighter Wing of the famous “Hat in the Ring” 94th Fighter Squadron. Of course, it was comforting to know that the air base was protected by attack by a Patriot missle battery! The historical tie-in is that my father was stationed with some P-51s in the South Pacific during WWII.
The static displays are fun too. There was a good mix of historical aircraft, such as the Memphis Belle, DC-3, some biplanes, and also, being joint services, there were vehicles from the Coast Guard (my daughter’s favorite), the Navy, Army, National Guard units and the Air Force. The obligatory C-5 was also on display and provided a HUGE area to sit and cool in the wind tunnel caused by the sheer mammoth size of the aircraft. Also on display, as seen in the photos are two airlifters and a U-2 spy plane, ably guarded by some well-armed soldiers who appear in the photo to be protecting the crowd from the plane.
Since this is the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift (1948-2008), there were commemorations throughout the airshow. Survivors and German dignitaries were there to express their thanks to the US for keeping Berlin supplied with food during those tense times.
The soldier assigned to this display was helpful and very polite (they all were). When we asked why they had a Russian vehicle, he grinned broadly and said, “For this airshow of course!” He had no intention of telling us how on earth they managed to obtain a Russian infantry fighting vehicle. We assume they got it from operations in Afghanistan or Iraq.
And of course, the finale of the show – the Navy Blue Angels…
The Blue Angels put on a spectacular show. With all the incredible sights that day, I wasn’t sure they would be able to top the other acts – but they did. When I asked one of the airmen on duty if he enjoyed the show, a little inter-corps rivalry sprung through: “Yes, Ma’am. It was good, but I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the Thunderbirds had flown!”
The weather was wonderful. All in all a good day. The sunburns will go away soon, we all hope!