This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Air show

On Saturday I had a non-Rensselaer adventure--I attended the Indianapolis Air Show east of Indianapolis. I had attended this event previously because my son works in the aerospace industry and not only loves planes but also knows a lot about them, especially the engines.

We got there early and had time to wander around the exhibits. There were some planes that were static exhibits--they would not be flying in the airshow. The A-10 Warthog was one of those.
The Mustang from WWII, on the other hand, flew twice, once as part of the warbirds section, and then later doing aerobatic maneuvers. It was also part of an exhibit featuring the Tuskegee Airmen.
We saw three Soviet-bloc trainers that were the initial act getting ready to take off. There are a lot of Soviet bloc airplanes on the air show circuit. They were relatively cheap to obtain and many rich hobbyists have purchased them. These were built in Czechoslovakia.
The air show started with a plane pulling an American flag past the viewing area. You can see the three jet trainers at the top of the picture.
The various aerobatic exhibitions are hard to capture in pictures. Easier were the flybys. Here a giant military cargo plane flies over. It did a single pass--that was all that was allowed it.
One section of the program was the warbird section, which featured military aircraft from the World War II era. Many of them were trainers--they must have been a lot of them in the surplus market. Below you can see them flying in formation. By the way, a pilot has to be rated to fly in formation in order to do this.
You can see the halo around the sun in both this picture and the picture below. If you go to an air show, bring plenty to drink. There is little shade near airports, and the food vendors are able to charge a premium for drinks.

Below you can see another fly over, this one by a plane that was put into service in 1952. It is the B-52 bomber and 75 are still in service. There are some families that have had three generations of pilots flying these planes. They are not scheduled to be taken out of service until 2040. Think about that for a while.
There is also some comedy at airshows, like this jet-propelled outhouse.
One of the most striking acts was a wing walker. Being willing to walk on the wing of an aircraft is crazy, but having your ex-husband as the pilot is even crazier.
The world's fastest school bus was a big hit with the crowd.
It reached a speed of over 300 mph at the end of its run. You can see that it has a big jet engine providing thrust.
The show ended with the Thunderbirds, an USAF demonstration team.
The team splits into two parts for most of the show, a group of four that does formation flying, and two others who do other tricks. While one group is recovering and getting ready for the next pass, the other group is doing its stuff in front of the crowd.

Among their many stunts was the mirror formation, in which two planes fly by the crowd, one right side up and the other upside down.
If you have never been to an airshow, consider going. There were over 40,000 people attending on Saturday. It takes about an hour to empty the parking areas.

Update: Some of these pictures (the Globemaster, the bus, and the Thunderbirds) were provided by my son.


Anonymous said...

You showed good photos. I did like the air walker, but he must be nuts. Thanks for the trip.

Old WPUM Engineer said...

Some of the airshow traffic was passing over my neighborhood. It definitely was not the usual Indy International traffic.

Anonymous said...

If this show got your juices flowing---a trip to Oshkosh in late July is in order!!!