Yeah, we couldn't either. And the day they were performing was today. But we did go all together as a family, we didn't purchase anything, and we didn't go crazy and run all over the place.
But I did take a lot of pictures! Over 150. I won't share them all here, but I have posted the best ones. I know it's a lot of photos but since you guys couldn't see it in person, I wanted to show you the highlights.
This jet smiled for it's photo. Notice the bottom of the nose. This is a Navy jet. The long stick thing on the back end is a hook. When a plane lands on the aircraft carrier, that hook catches on to the drag line that runs across the deck. This pulls on the huge counterweight on the side of the ship and basically brakes the jet. The runway on the ships is too short for a regular landing. They also have a shorter length to build up speed for takeoff, so they can gear up speed a lot faster too.
Another older World War II plane. This is made of aluminum, which makes it really hot. And it was very vulnerable to gunfire. One shot in just the right spot would puncture the radiator and the pilot would have to gauge if he had enough time to make an emergency landing. If he judged wrong he would have to jettison before the plane exploded in a fiery blaze because it overheated and ignited the gas.
I had a hard time getting them in the famous "diamond formation". These four jets did several maneuvers in the diamond. Turning and rolling and looping in perfect sync and formation. They fly extremely close to one another, very dangerous! This flyby demonstrated just how close they fly.
One of the solo flyers in the group. He looks like he is about to land, since his nose is up. However, he is flying level over the runway, about 50 feet up, with his nose up. Like doing a wheelie on a motorcycle. I love the flame coming out of the engine.
The "Five Card" formation. I would not want to be the middle plane! They did rolls in this formation, and some loops, as well as the tricky stunt of rearranging themselves to include the 5th pilot.
All six together. They fly really fast, and it was not so easy keeping them in view for the pictures. This is another signature of theirs. The lead pilot, the one in the very front, has to make sure that everyone turns at once, as to not break the shape. If they are not perfect, they will crash at such close quarters. Everything has to be exact.
And just to show you how big the engines are on the cargo planes. Each one has 4 of these big guys, 2 on each side. Wow. You can see how big they are from the people sitting under them.
Thanks for bearing with me, and hope you enjoyed a little taste of the 2008 airshow. This was an amazing experience, and I am very proud to be a supporter of this amazing Air Force! I am so proud of you, Mark, for all the hard work that you do to make sure our pilots keep flying!