Saturday, September 30, 2006


Today's air show out at Love Field was equal parts barnstorming/aircraft display -- and carnie. Too tough to wrap my head around it all, so here's a look at the more serious, aircraft side.

The barnstorming pilots (one in a real biplane) brought back my early years! A modern addition: the smoke generator, to let onlookers get a better picture of what just happened. Missing -- nobody out on the wings. Probably not an FAA certified activity.

Actually, I'm really pleased (and amazed) that I caught a couple of pictures of the barnstormers! I missed the earlier fly-overs by assorted retired military fighters ...

... while the parachuting ladies barely show up (left center) in this photo of the intent crowd.

Part of the fun of the air show is climbing all over old Air Force and Navy fighter planes.

That includes this Grumman TBM-3 Avenger from 19-aught-42, which takes me back to my teen years in Jacksonville FL, a Navy flight training base. Our skies were full of Grummans and our dances were full of pilots. A lot of my girlfriends wore wings.

The machine belongs to the "Commemorative" Air Force. That's PC for what was the Confederate Air Force -- a much cheekier name for the crowd which put together a fleet of decommissioned military craft back when nobody wanted them. Today, such planes are collectibles for people who are willing to pay as much as a couple $ mil for a twin-tailed P-38.

This is a small piece of one of the CAF's planes; guess where it originated.

The Air Force was much in evidence at the show -- most of the ushering types wore USAF T-shirts. Probably students at ERAU. But the Navy was also recruiting, much more sedately.

Of several experimental and/or homebrew aircraft at the show, this little bug was the most intriguing. Where are the wings, asked my SIL (how did you think I got out there?) Oh, said the owner of this one-of-a-kind, "see that parachute bag? When I taxi to build up speed, the parachute opens, fills and I take off."

(Yes, that is my SIL and the granddaughter above -- they came down from Flag for the show.)

Note: I haven't forgotten the carnival scene -- it'll be up in a couple of days.


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog. There is an F-51(P-51) in the background of the lady chutists shot. The TBM (a GM version of the Grumman TBF) was a torpedo plane, sometimes dive bomber.


Granny J said...

As a teen-ager during WW2, I especially loved the P-38s, with their twin tail fuselage. Pure heresy in a naval aviation city. As I recally, there was a minor furor when the cartoon strip, Steve Canyon, showed a P-38 before its existence had been announced by the military.

Lane said...

Careful! Granddaughter might give up horses for flying ones!

Granny J said...

Airplanes are already up there with horsies, difference being that one can occasionally ride a horsie in passing, while doing an airplane is a really BIG deal.

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