June 04, 2007

Rockford AirFest 2007

This past weekend Ktreva and I took Clone to see Rockford AirFest 2007. All last week we could hear the planes arriving and practicing. We could watch them from our front porch. Clone would get so excited hed run all over the house trying to see them. It took quite a bit of convincing that by the time he could hear the jets, they were already past.

We decided that maybe hed enjoy getting to see the planes up close. Surprise! We nailed that one on the head. In fact he was so excited with in the first 15 minutes of being there, I think he actually short-circuited his brain. He didnt know what to point to, where he wanted to go, or anything. He couldnt even complete a sentence. Here is, I kid you not, an actual transcript. WOW! Dad look at.. Over there is Momma! Do you see the.. Dad, that way I want to Look up there its. Wow! Can we go DAD!!!!!! Then I think he had a mental overload as the sound of the Millennium Falcons hyperdrive failing came from his head.

When we arrived a squadron of P-51 mustangs were doing a demonstration. At the end of it they flew the missing man formation in honor of all the men and women that have given their lives in the service of our country. Folks, I will honestly admit that not only did I feel a lump in my throat as that formation flew right over my head, but I damn well misted up.

Missing Man Formation
P-51s in a missing man formation

We spent some time looking for a place to watch the show. We had just finished setting up our chairs when this longhaired hippy came up and started begging for beer. I wasnt about to give him any since he was already had a beer in each hand. Then I realized thats no hippy, its T1G. in bad need of a haircut. (Seriously I have a picture for proof). We also bumped into Ragingmom. It was like a mini-ubercool blogmeet.

I brought my camera with to take some pictures. There were some people around me that made the comments Why bother? All youre going to get are dots in the sky. I figured its digital. Its not like Im out any film. And even if I had been, I still would have tried. Normally I dont share a lot of my more artsy photos as I take pictures mainly for me, but I really liked some of these photos. I ended up taking 620 pictures. I only wish I had brought the zoom lens with, I figured the wide angle would be better for the ground shots. Since I really didnt end up taking any, I should have brought the zoom lens. Oh well.. next year. Also I edited the shape of some of the photo's in order to cut out dead space and reduce their size.

Part of the show had a P-51, an F-15 and an F-16 flying in formation together. It was pretty cool to watch these three generations of planes flying together. Watching them though, I could help but to think that the P-51 had to be straining to keep up the speed and that the F-16 looked like it was about to fall out of the sky because it was moving so slow. But it did make for some great viewing.

P-51, F-16, F-15
From top to bottom. P-51 Mustang, F-16 Falcon, F-15 Eagle.

The main attraction this year was the US Navy Blue Angels. This was the first time I actually was able to see them perform. It was truly amazing. At times they looked like they where actually touching each other they where so close. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the Blue Angels in action. Click to enlarge any of the photos.

AirFest Blue Angel.jpg
There is not a larger picture of this one, it flew right over my head.

Blue Angels
The leader flipped his plane upside while in formation at 400 MPH

Blue Angels
A six-jet formation

Blue Angels
Six Jet flyby.

I do have one question for my readers. The US Navy has the Blue Angels, The Air Force has the Thunderbirds (At last years show), The Army has the Golden Knights parachute team (Also at the show this year) What do the Marines have? Seriously, Im sure they have something; Im just not sure what it is.

Posted by Contagion in Family Life at June 4, 2007 07:36 PM | TrackBack

What do Marines have? Guns & attitude :-)

Posted by: Harvey at June 4, 2007 10:45 PM

Marine pilots fly for the Blue Angels. You know Don & Roma on WLS? Their son Hunter is a Marine and flew with them.
Your pictures are so much better than mine! All I got was clouds.

Posted by: Raging Mom at June 5, 2007 04:51 AM

Harvey, I was waiting for someone to say, "The Marines are too busy actually working to play" or something like that.

Ragingmom: Thanks for the compliment. I have a total of 620 pictures everything from the Red Baron Flight Squad to Fat Albert (The Blue Angel's C-130)I just couldn't share all of them.

Posted by: Contagion at June 5, 2007 06:07 AM

I am so geeked because this year at the Willow Run Airshow the Blue Angels will be back.

The last time they were at the airshow was a couple decades ago.

We can see the show (except low flying stuff) from our back porch.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at June 5, 2007 10:12 AM

While Fat Albert is a USMC plane, and there are Marines on the Blue Angels' team, it's still listed as sponsored by the Navy. I think the Silent Drill Team is about it for the USMC.

They'll still give you goosebumps, though.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at June 5, 2007 08:04 PM

Hell I thought the Marine's were sponsored by the Navy :)

Posted by: BloodSpite at June 5, 2007 09:57 PM

I skipped it this year since I just went last year. Saw the Angels fly right over my house a couple of times though.

Posted by: Shadoglare at June 6, 2007 09:04 PM

Awesome pictures!!! We're going to have to make it donw for that next year!!

Posted by: Richmond at June 8, 2007 11:52 AM