WW II and Beyond

I recently attended the Terre Haute Airshow in Terre Haute Indiana.  There were the usual acrobatic participants and many of the aircraft were on display.  I had a photo pass which allowed me access to the aircraft early in the day.

There were many WW II era aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force.  These aircraft are all privately owned and are flown to commemorate the pilots and crews who manned these in securing the victories in WW II. 

The forth image in the top row is a B17. The first image in the bottom row is the B-25 bomber like the ones used in the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and other cities in Japan.  The third image on the bottom, the P-51 is painted in the colors of the Tuskegee Airman.  

Tora, Tora, Tora!

One of the reasons I wanted to attend this airshow was a performance of the group Tora, Tora, Tora.  This group reenacts the attack on Pearl harbor complete with air raid sirens, machine gun firing, and pyro bombs.  The narrator tells the story of December 7, 1941 with replays of actual radio broadcasts.

The planes are retrofitted Navy Trainers and were created for the original version of the movie Tora, Tora, Tora.  One interesting fact is that the cost of retrofitting these aircraft was approximately $20,000 each and the budget for the movie actually cost more that the actual raid by the Japanese forces.

 Dive Bomber

Dive Bomber

 Zero

Zero

 One of the sequence of events on that day was that a flight of B17 bombers were arriving at Pearl from the mainland.  The radar operators saw the invading aircraft on the screen but mistakenly thought it was the arrival of the B17's.  During the raid, the unarmed B17's attempted to land and were attacked by both the invading planes and the friendly ground fire.

One of the sequence of events on that day was that a flight of B17 bombers were arriving at Pearl from the mainland.  The radar operators saw the invading aircraft on the screen but mistakenly thought it was the arrival of the B17's.  During the raid, the unarmed B17's attempted to land and were attacked by both the invading planes and the friendly ground fire.

 Having access to the planes from early in the morning allowed me to get to the airfield before sunrise.  One morning the sun was just rising, burning off the fog, and I was able to get this image of the rising sun over the rising sun emblem on the Japanese planes.

Having access to the planes from early in the morning allowed me to get to the airfield before sunrise.  One morning the sun was just rising, burning off the fog, and I was able to get this image of the rising sun over the rising sun emblem on the Japanese planes.

The Jet Age Arrives

 At the end of WW II, the jet engine was just being introduced.  At the show were some early jets that ushered in the jet age.  Some of these planes were used in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

At the end of WW II, the jet engine was just being introduced.  At the show were some early jets that ushered in the jet age.  Some of these planes were used in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

 Another highlight of the show was a demonstration of the flying capabilities of the F22 Raptor.  This aircraft is capable of flying at supersonic speed while at the same time maneuver with fantastic speed and grace.  The image on the left shows the vapor cone that forms on the plane at high speed.  this aircraft made several high speed passes and yet did 90 degree turns to vertical.  It was even able to fly backwards while under power.

Another highlight of the show was a demonstration of the flying capabilities of the F22 Raptor.  This aircraft is capable of flying at supersonic speed while at the same time maneuver with fantastic speed and grace.  The image on the left shows the vapor cone that forms on the plane at high speed.  this aircraft made several high speed passes and yet did 90 degree turns to vertical.  It was even able to fly backwards while under power.

Precision Flying Blue Angels

The other major performance that I was interested in seeing and photographing was the only midwest appearance of the Navy Blue Angels. 

 The Blue Angels demonstration consists of 6 Boeing F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.  The narrator said that the maneuvers are not just for show but are actually combat maneuvers.  The show consists of 4 of the aircraft performing close formation-and they are tight and precise.

The Blue Angels demonstration consists of 6 Boeing F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.  The narrator said that the maneuvers are not just for show but are actually combat maneuvers.  The show consists of 4 of the aircraft performing close formation-and they are tight and precise.

 Two other aircraft perform high speed crossing passes.  To get an idea of how fast these planes fly, my camera shoots 10 frames per second,  I have several images where the nose of one jet is in the far left of the frame and the next frame (1/10 of a second later} only the tail of the jet is visible.

Two other aircraft perform high speed crossing passes.  To get an idea of how fast these planes fly, my camera shoots 10 frames per second,  I have several images where the nose of one jet is in the far left of the frame and the next frame (1/10 of a second later} only the tail of the jet is visible.

 The precision formations of the blue Angels.

The precision formations of the blue Angels.

The Terre Haute Airshow was a great 3 days.  I took over 5000 images, got sunburned even though I dutifully used sun screen, met some nice photographers, and talked to several pilots.  I would highly recommend attending an airshow especially if you can catch some of the performers that are mentioned in this post.

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