Hello again WIXers,
I've been catching up on some homework, and finishing the story of our trip to Whiteman AFB (Knob Noster, MO) keeps getting put on the back burner.
Suffice it to say that it was well done. The Air Force did their level best to' make everyone happy, and I'd be hard pressed to deny that they did exactly that--kudos to their fine airshow team!
(They kept apologizing, to the effect that "we are used to just taking airplanes and bombing people, and putting on shows is not our main thing, so we're really sorry if it's not what you're used to". But honestly, folks who put this sort of thing on professionally could learn a thing or two from them. Great job, Major Avery and team!)
So, being all backlogged and with yet more homework waiting to be attended to, let us get to the photo spread, shall we?
There's Hot Stuff, on the ramp the morning of Show Day 1. She flew like a champ, with no squawks to speak of.
Our nearest neighbor: a B-2 Stealth bomber. Nose to nose with this menacing-looking bird all weekend, we were, and it was a sight we didn't tire of.
Nose to nose, all right!
Other neighbors, farther down the ramp, included a Barksdale AFB B-52, an Elmendorf AK B-1, a KC-135, and a C-17. Some of our folks (including copilot Machine Shop Gaylon) got up in one cockpit or another--Gaylon sat in the C-17's seat, and got the full low-down from its pilot. Of course, Gaylon returned the favor when the C-17 boys came to visit.
There's a view of the visiting and schmoozing, right there. Taking the plane to a military airbase gives one a higher-than-normal percentage of extremely knowledgeable folks. It was really great, talking with them.
There's PJ with that B-52. I'm including this photo specifically for our man Electrical Guru Roy. Not only will Roy tell you that he is an old Coon-Ass from Louisiana, he also served a career as a B-52 electrician. I bet he probably worked on this very aircraft back in his day.
The B-1 had some interesting nose art. A record-holder in various categories, and a combat veteran.
One of the home-station fighter squadrons, the 403rd FS, threw a party for the performers on the Friday night before the airshow weekend. Stashed in their hangar were several highly interesting items, including this Waco CG-4, which is well on the way in its restoration. I believe the org who owns it is intending to fly it when it's done--or at least have it be capable of flight.
As part of that Friday night show, the US Army Golden Knights parachute team did a night drop, to a small "X" on the apron in front of the party-hangar. Nearly all of them hit the spot bang on, too. Noteworthy: second from the middle on the right is Staff Sergeant Ryan Ray, who grew up a neighbor kid of our Gaylon's. It is just such a small world!
Another view of Hot Stuff, with the airshow in full swing. That is one huge ramp! The crowd was estimated at 75,000, and I believe it, but people had plenty of elbow room in any case.
We had a line out the door and along the wing pretty much all the time. It can be exhausting as you please, being on your feet all day spieling the spiel, but you know, I just don't get tired of telling people about our old bird. And these folks were extremely interested to hear about her, too, almost universally.
There's a view of Captain Bubba, up on the wing checking the fuel levels. We fueled up Sunday morning, but he couldn't stand it--he had to know the consumption. We had a good economical flight, both fuel-wise and oil-wise.
As always, our PX was run by Sandy Piercy, who invariably does a bang-up job. This could easily be a thankless job, but we are all so happy to have someone of her caliber that we thank her and thank her until she's sick of hearing about it. And yet she brings us cookies!
We didn't fly during the show, having been hired as a static display, but the job of making R-2800 noise was ably filled by this CAF A-26. PJ and I went over and hobnobbed with them at their invitation, and it was pretty swell--I'd never been up in the cockpit of one of these, and as the movie "Always" is just about my favorite movie ever (live-action division), I was eating it up with a spoon.
Another thing that was swell was getting a nice long visit on Sunday from our old friend Gary Hilton. He lives near enough, and got home from a road trip in time to come out and see us. There he is, hanging out at the PX table with Sandy and PJ. Good to see you, Gary!
So, WIXers, that's about all we have time for this time. Next up, I believe, is a trip down to Freeman Field (Seymour, IN), for their airport open house. That's on Oct 9. If you're in the neighborhood, drop in and see us!