Posted by: nhfalcon | September 6, 2008

Up, Up, and Away!

Well, Cookiemaker and I have been running Little Man all over the place lately, haven’t we? A week ago this past Thursday it was to the zoo. A week ago today it was up north to my father-in-law’s for a Labor Day cookout (which, when I wasn’t eating, I spent playing Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the Xbox, courtesy of Dad-in-law. Great game, btw). Tomorrow we’ll be running south and west to some friends’ house for an afternoon of NFL football and grillin’.

Today was off to see the Blue Angels! Unfortunately, weather did not permit them to fly (there was no precipitation or high winds, but the cloud cover remained too low for them to safely perform their manuevers and still be seen by the audience). Damn tropical storm Hanna! 😦


We did, however, see a lot of static displays on the ground, and Little Man got a little toy Blue Angels F-18, so the day wasn’t all bad.











A UH-60 BlackHawk.











An AH-1 Cobra. Pretty tiny little thing, ain’t it? It was developed during VietNam when Huey pilots were getting sick and tired of their gunship variants getting shot up by ground fire. The Cobra is a MUCH smaller, faster target to try to hit, and is better armored.











From foreground to back: a P-40 Warhawk, an F4U Corsair, and a pair of F-15 Strike Eagles. What do the Warhawk and the Corsair have in common? They were both flown by the late, great Gregory “Pappy” Boyington (Lt. Col. USMC, ret., a Congressional Medal of Honor winner) – the P-40 when he was a member of the Flying Tigers, and the F4U when he was the commanding officer of the Black Sheep. 











A KC-135 Stratotanker. DAMN, that is a big airplane!











An F-16 Falcon. Surprisingly, despite its name, the F-16 is not my favorite modern American fighter plane. It’s actually the F-15.











A B-25 Mitchell. An early version of this plane was flown by Doolittle’s raiders to deliver the first American strike against Japanese soil in WWII. This one is flown and operated by the Disabled American Veterans, a very noble cause.











The stars of the show, hoping in vain for the clouds to lift.


We meandered around the static displays for an hour or two, then hit an Arby’s for lunch, and then found an off-base field to hang around in while we ate, hoping for the Blue Angels and others to be able to get off the ground. While that never did happen, we were able to see an enormous group of Canada geese hang out in the field, with squadrons and squadrons of others flying in all the time. It was pretty cool. I tried to take some pictures with my cell phone to give you an idea of how many there were, but the phone’s camera just isn’t good enough. 😦


One final observation: outside the base there were a couple of small groups of protesters using the show to voice their opinion on the war in Iraq, war in general, and the fuel being wasted to put on this show. On the base there were vendors selling t-shirts with slogans like “Peace through superior firepower” and “Kill ’em all – let God sort ’em out” and (my personal favorite) “Snipers – 671 grains of diplomacy!”

Interesting dichotomy, huh?



  1. I am an oxymoron when it comes to this stuff – I LOVE fast machines and all the accompanying goodies, but I HATE that they have to be used for anything other than thrilling spectators on the ground. I have no problem with the protesters, or with the t-shirt vendors, truth be told. I find it hard to reconcile myself to that.

    I adore living under the flight path of an active ANG base. I get to see a lot of really interesting hardware go, literally, right over my roof. F16s THRILL me. When I hear them fire up their engines eight miles away at the base (and yes, I hear them), I’ve got to get my ass out in the yard right quick, or I’ll miss ’em.

    And yes, I loved Top Gun.

  2. I think they’re cool but, especially these days, the waste of fuel chaps my ass.

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