EAA Airventure Day 2

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July 24th 2012
Published: August 3rd 2012
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I had a wonderful evenings rest. It seems all that walking takes it out of me. Some of the other people mentioned that they had struggled due to the music and partying in the camp boma, which my tent was pitched next to, but I didnt even wake up. I seem to be in the rhythym of waking up at 5.30, which is great. I had a nice breakfast of breakfast bagels, bread rolls, and a bunch of grapes. I decided to walk down to the flight line to get an early start to my day.
At the flight line, I sat at the closest cafe and had a donut whilst using the wireless and trying to upload some photos.
I saw a few new aircraft that had arrived overnight and walked up to the observation platform to have a look. A quarter of P-51's took to the sky as I arrived at the top, roaring past in a symphony of sound; Mustangs in the Morning.
After taking a few photos, my camera proclaimed itself dead, so I headed back to camp to try and see why it had not charged overnight. It seems the battery was just not great, and doesnt want to hold charge. Phil mentioned that there was a place that sold camera stuff, and he walked with me to find it. I ended up buying two no name batteries for my camera (yes it uses a built in battery), and those batteries seem to work really well.
I walked back down to the flightline and was rewarded with the roar of an F-18 Super Hornet flying past. He came in and taxiied to the far end of the runway, and there, out of human reach, it stayed. The active military aircraft that were actually flying in the shows werent kept near touching hands.
The massive C-17 Globemaster was the next addition to the inventory. He landed and taxiied to show centre; it was to be put on display for a day or so.
I took a walk with Phil to the Warbirds in Review area to listen to a talk about the F-4 Phantom vs the Mig-21. This was a really interesting session with the min focus being about a USAF Pilot who had shot down a Vietnamese Mig 21 in the Vietnam War, and then many years later tracked the pilot down and become great friends. One of the pilots who the Mig pilot had shot down was also present. The entire story is document in the book "My enemy, my friend." I walked around the warbirds parking area and found an ex-SAAF Harvard still in its original training scheme. The Afrikaans instructions, such as Geen Vashou, and Pasop, were still displayed.
During the day, a KC-135 tanker also arrived.
The afternoon airshow had many repeats of the previous day, with the Liberty Parachute Team, MegaGlory, the opening Warbirds, etc. The one unique aircraft part of the warbirds today was the Curtiss C-46 Commando "Tinker Belle". She was a transport from WWII that was used mainly in flying the Hump between India and China, to supply B-29 missions. She had 11 camels on her fuselage, which indicated she had done 11 round trips. This is quite an achievement, as the journey over the Hump was not on a fixed route, and was often covered in bad weather, and there was no hope for lost aircraft crews. The crew that survived would be captured by the Tibetans and handed over to the Japanese; others would just freeze in the mountains.
The new acts I saw were the Twin Beech, which in the lead up to Airventure I thought would be boring. I could not be more wrong. The pilot, Matt Younkin, put the old twin through an aerobatic routine which I would never expect from something that size. The commentator said that the aircraft was completely stock, and that no modifications had been made for the aerobatic capabilities.
Melissa Pemberton was next in the Edge 540; she can really throw that plane around, and she flies low and daring.
Kirby Chambliss and the Red Bull Airforce were next, with Kirby throwing mad aerobatics around two wingsuit jumpers. Kirby then went on to do an amazing show of breakneck aerobatics, some of his pulls to vertical reaching in the near 11 G region.
After that, the Junker Ju-52 of the luggage company, Rimowa, took to the air. This aircraft had been part of the backbone of the Luftwaffe's transport arm during WWII. Apparently an aircraft of this type was involved in a midair colllission in the 1930's with another aircraft and lost half a wing in the process. The pilot landed safely, and with no injuries to any of his passengers. One of the passengers on the aircraft was, at the time, head of Lufthansa, and he was so impressed with the aircrafts safety that it became the main aircraft of Lufthansa for many years. It was interesting to watch the old bird fly around and perform slow, steep turns, as well as the interest of listening to the German commentator.
The show ended on a sombre note as Team RV performed a Missing Man in memory of Carroll Shelby, and avid aviator and the designer of the Ford Shelby line of motor vehicles.
Phil madea chicken curry for supper, which was really good, and needed after a long day in the sun. I had an interesting conversation with Kevin and George whilst listening to the music performed by Gary Zimbabwe.
I just closed my day with a shower, and now I'm going to hit the hay.


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