Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Miramar Airshow

My face hurts. It is quite sunburned because I have been outside in the bright sun all day long. Today we went to the Miramar Airshow. It is held at the Miramar Marine Corp Air Station which is only five miles south of our house. Lisa's Dad has been threatening for years that he's going to come down sometime for the Miramar Air Show and this year he actually followed through on his threat. It is great to have him and I have been looking forward to seeing the show since he announced his intentions. We did come years ago when the kids were little but it's been way too long. The Miramar Marine Corp Air Station used to be called the Miramar Naval Air Station before the Marines took over the place and it was the home of the Top Gun Training school. Top Gun is where the movie "Top Gun" was filmed which was based on this school. The school really existed. In any case, the air show was great. So much so that I took way too many pictures and while I thinned them down a lot I'm afraid I'm testing the limits on how many pictures "Blogger" will let you post. If you don't care to read about all the pictures then just browse through the pictures and enjoy. It was a great day even though I now have a three day blush. I really hate putting on sunscreen so I purposely wore long pants and a long sleeve shirt and a hat so I wouldn't have to. The only problem is that I didn't wear a hat with a brim so my ears and cheeks are burned. Oh well, you don't have many nerve cells in your face so it doesn't really hurt that very much.


We arrived around 8:30 and by the time we got to the grandstands this guy was flying. I think it may be a mustang. In any case, it is a cool looking plane.
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I loved this jet powered truck. He puttered up and down the runway a few times making lots of fire and smoke and about the time I decided that it was all a bit stupid he lit up his engines and took off down the runway. It accelerated very fast. I was very impressed
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This hang glider sort of appeared out of nowhere. Sarah and I finally figured out that he was towed up by a rope. It was pretty cool to watch but when he landed they announced that the guy flying the hang glider is a paraplegic. I decided right then that if I ever lost the use of my legs I'm getting a motorized hang glider and flying all over the city. You do need your arms so if we're going to get Evan a motorized hang glider it's going to need a joy stick. I'll work on that one.
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I'm not sure but I think this might be another mustang.
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This glider was towed up by another plane. Gliders are so graceful to watch. It really does bring a sort of peace to you.
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This is the first time ever that the Canadian Snow Birds have come to the Miramar Air Show. The guys in black are the mechanics for the planes and the guys in red are the pilots.
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First of all the mechanics walked out in front of their parked planes. When they reached a plane the mechanic for that plane stopped in front of his plane. The pilots then did the same thing.
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The pilot and the mechanic then saluted each other.
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And then they shook hands.
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They checked out the plane together
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And then the mechanic stood by while the pilot made himself comfortable in the plane.
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The mechanic put on his ear muffs.
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Marched out to the front of the plane.
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And then one by one the planes all pulled out and left.
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When the mechanics plane left he turned to his left and watched it leave.
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The planes formed up on the runway.
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And flew off into the sunset.
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The Snow Birds are known for how tight their formations are.
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One of the freakiest things that they do is one plane fly's from the right and another from the left and they fly right towards each other. It looks like they barely miss when they meet in the middle but I'm sure they leave themselves a safe distance even if it looks like mere inches.
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They made several very beautiful formations.
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Another one.
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These planes are so close together than when I took the picture I thought it was only one plane. It is actually three very closely stacked up on each other.
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Look how close they are.
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And then they landed and it was over. Near the end of their show they stopped the formations and one of the pilots landed his plane. We were wondering what was up when they announced that the formation leader hit a bird with his plane. Grandpa talked to them after the show and learned that the bird hit just inches from the intake of the engine. If it had gone into the engine it would likely have been the end of the engine.
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At noon a couple of parachutes jumped from a plane. The first one carried the Canadian Flag to honor the Snow Birds.
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Thje second guy had a US flag. We stood for both flags.
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They demonstrated in flight re-fueling techniques for the F-18 hornets.
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The marines demonstrated how they might perform a ground attack.
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Once they're on the ground they blow up their targets
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I love the F-18. It is a beautiful (and powerful) plane.
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And it carries a lot of very destructive weapons.
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Of course the Marines have to show off some of their heavy artillery
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These guys are not military, I think they're a private group.
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The Hercules is Grampa's favorite plane. He was a mechanic for one for years. He can tell you where every one of them (by serial number) is. I guess one of them (or whats left of it) is in some jungle in South America.
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Nana's favorite jet (and perhaps mine) is the Harrier made by the Brits. Here it is coming to a stop right in front of us.
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And then he turned and looked at us.
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After briefly landing he nearly "leaped" off the ground and took off in a real hurry. This plane is VERY loud. Every body were plugging their ears. I loved the sound of the power so much that I wanted to thrill in every decibel. I think I'm paying for it today with the ringing in my ears.
--------------------------------Fat Albert (another of Grandpa's Hurc's) is a support ship for the Blue Angels.
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They say the Canadian Snow Birds are known for their tight formations but the Blue Angles seem to be in a pretty tight formation as well.
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I love the F-18. It is fast (nearly twice the speed of sound), and very powerful.
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The Snow Birds do have more planes in their formations. The Snow Birds have up to nine planes but the Angels only have six.
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Top view.
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Side View
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Here they are once again trying to make you think they're going to hit each other.
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Don't they look like they're nearly sitting on top of each other?
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It looks awfully close to me.
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The picture doesn't do it justice but they looked very cool with the setting sun reflecting off of them.
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Cool
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Oracle had a very agile little stunt plane there.
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The F-18's in the rising moon.
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This is a view of the back of the bleachers. We sat on the very back row right above these porta potties. Sarah of course is on her phone the entire day texting everybody she knows. I forbid her from texting during the Angles and Snowbirds but there was enough down time in between that it didn't make sense for her to just sit and wait. At one time she dropped her phone (she always drops her phone) and barely stopped it from falling down below the stadium. I warned her then that if she dropped her phone it would be replaced with the cheapest thing I could find. Right now she has a Palm Treo. Well guess what? That's right towards the end of the show her treo took this twenty foot drop to the concrete below. With horror on her face she ran down the bleachers to recover the parts. Amazingly enough, she found all of the separate pieces and the screen was uncracked and the phone fully functional. She stuffed the phone in my camera case and it took nearly an hour before she succumbed to the temptation to pull it out and continue texting.
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Here is the Hurc with eight rockets assisting a very quick take off. Or as Grandpa would say, eight "bottles". Grandpa has taken off with two "bottles".
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This is our paraplegic hang glider at night trailing some sparklers.
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You can't see the F-18 but if you notice the diamond shapes in his after burners that is what happens in a gas flow that is super sonic. I work with plasma guns that shoot plasma at super sonic speeds. There is actually a brand name that calls their guns "diamond guns" for that very reason.
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The show ended with another "bombing" run but at night it has a special appeal.
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You can actually feel the heat wave and feel the shock wave when it hits you. It is also a good lesson in physics because you see the explosion and feel the heat a good two seconds before you feel and hear the shock wave. So if the delay is two seconds who can tell me how far away the explosion was?
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The latest thinking is that black holes can't exist. It has been shown that as the gravity gets very large in a "would be" black hole, a quantum force called vacuum polarization grows large enough to prevent the star from collapsing below the event horizon. They are now calling these things "black stars".
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7 comments:

Kim said...

681m of course--I hope. Don't tell my Dad if I'm wrong. Fantastic pics! My kids would love it, so will have to add it to my ever growing places/things to see list. Thanks for sharing them!

Peter and Mandy said...

Wow that looks like you all had fun. I especially loved the story about Sarah's cell phone...too funny. This was the first year in awhile that Peter has not gone to the show, I'm pretty sure he'll go next year and perhaps I'll go in tow.

Fred ... said...

Hi Fred
I loved your blog on the airshow and felt like I was there with you. I LOVE the Harrier, your photos were fantastic and as far as I'm concerned its the only plane worth going to see.The precision of the drill prior to flight and the Snow Birds performance must have knocked everyones socks off. Go Canada !!

Nana

Trevor and Alycia Crowley said...

I am so sad, I wish I could have been there! All the years we have gone to the air show and talked about how much grandpa would just love it, and he is there and i am not! BOO! haha Looks like it was great!

Justin, Kira and Evan said...

wow!! How fun! I don't know if I want Evan flying threw the air.

(that is soooo Sarah!)

Lynn said...

Great photos!!!!! I hope to see them when they come to Lethbridge again. I missed them this year. : (

Sorry about Sarah's phone....ha!

Alex Leavitt said...

Man i really wish i could have been there with ya guys. would have been way fun