Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Parade of Pursuit Planes

Ever since they started to do air shows at Willow Run, they've been getting progressively better.  I think they have been trying to become one of the premiere warbird shows in the nation.  Each year, they get closer to achieving that goal.  For all the planes that were produced in World War II, it's kind of sad that there are so few of them left in flying condition.  That tends to make these sort of gatherings difficult especially since there are other places competing for them.
 First they had a flight of fighters.  This is the group of fighters that flew past.  It was kind of cool to see a formation like this.  I can only imagine what a formation in World War II would have looked like.
 First up was the Corsair.  The Corsair was originally designed for use by the US Navy but the US Navy found it difficult to fly these off Aircraft Carriers.  The Marines loved them for flying from land bases and used them to great effect.  The most famous group being the Black Sheep Squadron led by Pappy Boyington.
 The P-51 Mustang was probably one of the most famous airplanes of World War II.  It is considered by many to be one of the best airplanes of World War II.  It was developed by the North American Aviation Company at the request of the British Government.  Orginally, North Americans was requested to produced another aircraft under license but they decided to build a different aircraft.
 Originally it was built with an Allison engine but that wasn't very effective.  The British sent the planes for a Rolls Royce engine some of which ended up being built in Detroit.  The rest is history as they say.
 The P-51 also used laminar flow wings which meant the air flowed over them fairly efficiently.  This made the P-51 one of the fast planes of the war until the invention of the jet.
 Probably the next most famous aircraft of World War II was the Supermarine Spitfire.  These were used by the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain.  It was a thoroughbread compared to the draft horse of the Hurricane (although some will argue the Hurricane was better).  The Spitfire was a pretty cool aircraft.
 Another shot of the Corsair.  They were also used by the Royal Navy who ended up developing a method of take off and landing so that they could be used with carriers.
 Another view of the Spitfire.
 And the Corsair.
 I'm not sure which one of these is owned by a local man.
 I think this is my favorite scheme because I used to have a model of this one.
 This is one of the earlier models of the P-51, as evidenced by the canopy.  It was pretty good but had limited visibility in the back.
 Just look at the sleekness of the Spitfire.
 Probably the most famous feature of the Corsair is its gull wings.   These were because the designer didn't think it could get high enough for the propeller.
 Another shot of the Mustang.
 Another shot of the Corsair.
 Probably my favorite shot of the Mustang.
And I end with the shot of the Mustang.

Waiting For An Air Show

I haven't felt particularly motivated the past couple of days, so I took a little delay before posting my pictures from the air show.  I finally got motivated enough to upload my pictures so that they could be posted on my blog.  I'm not quite sure if I'm motivated enough to do more than this post.  However, since you've all been waiting patiently, here is the first post from the Air Show.
 Every year, they do a ground demonstration at Willow Run.  I think it's kind of cool because they usually have some aircraft to go along with it.  One year, I would love to see an artillery demonstration for the full combined arms effect.  At any rate, this is a German truck of some sort.
 This a Kubelwagen, which was the German equivalent to the Jeep.  It was made by Volkswagen and it was based heavily on the Beetle.  There were over 50,000 of these produced over the years.
 One of the American half tracks.  It was sort of the beginnings to mechanized warfare.
 And it wouldn't be a World War II thing without at least one Jeep. 
 A P-51 painted to look like one of the versions used by the Tuskegee Airmen.
 An A-26 Invader.
 It's kind of difficult getting pictures of the planes on the ground without getting a bunch of people in them.  Often I will try to get odd angles of planes in that case.  This is one of those times.  This is the nose section of a PV-2 Harpoon.
 Just as I was about to snap the shutter, this person got into my picture of the Mosquito.  This was my last ground shot because I figured I'd get better pictures in the air.
 A stunt plane.  I thought that I would see this one in the air.  Sadly, I didn't.
The Yankee Lady returning from a trip.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Upcoming Air Show Pictures

I went to the Willow Run Air Show today and I had a blast.  I've got a ton of pictures to sort through and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to arrange them for my blog post.
They had a pretty impressive line up of aircraft today.  For me, it's kind of a toss up of which caught my attention the most.  Given that I've never seen a flying one before, I guess the nod will go to the B-29 Superfortress.  Especially when you consider it is an aircraft with a longer wingspan than the original Wright Brothers Flight.  So for now, enjoy this picture of "Fifi" approaching.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Just Watching the Planes Go By

After hearing various planes from the air show flying over the office today and not really being able to see them, I decided that I needed to go planewatching.  I was hoping that it wasn't going to be like last night where I didn't see anything.
 As I was leaving the office, I saw that there was a plane circling around.  That usually means there is someone doing touch and go landings.
 One of the planes doing it was this Cessna.  However, I think this one landed right after I got there.
 That Cessna was soon followed by this Cessna but I think he only did a couple passes as well.
 It made for a nice picture though.
 Soon they were joined by this Piper Arrow.
 I kind of like the looks of these planes.
 And that was followed fairly closely by this plane.
 Although what caught my eye was this Aeronca Champion.  The Champion first flew in 1944 and entered production in 1945.    This initial production run only lasted until 1950.  As the light aviation market picked up again, production of this aircraft started again in 2007.  It is powered by a 65 horsepower Continental engine.  This gives the plane a maximum speed of 95 miles per hour.  With a stall speed of 38 miles per hour, it can handle low speeds pretty well.
 Another shot of the Cessna.
 I think this is a pretty neat looking aircraft.
 I kind of like the pattern on the tail.
 One of the Pipers approaching again.
 The straight out shot.
 As I was taking pictures of the other planes, I saw this Texan flying by.  This would be one of the aircraft from the Air Show.
 Back to the Champion.
 One more shot of the Champion.
 I got a surprise as I saw the Texan start to make a turn for the runway.  I was not expecting this.
 For a second, I thought that maybe he was just making a flyby, but he actually landed his aircraft.
I think this aircraft is a Dassault Falcon.  Dassault is a French Aircraft Company which is more famous for the Mirage series of fighter jets.  I don't know alot about his particular breed of business jet though.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Brief Stop at Willow Run

The Thunder Over Michigan Air Show is this weekend and I was hearing planes flying over the office as they were heading there.  As a result, I thought I might have a chance to go to Willow Run and see some of the planes.
 The normal spot where I'd try to look in on the airfield was blocked off, so I couldn't even get pictures of the B-52 and Privateer.  I had to settle for pictures of the F-101 Voodoo.  Not that it's a bad plane or anything like that.
 In fact, it's a little better because I can walk around and get different angles.  But it's not the same as getting some early shots of the Blue Angels.
 It was a little overcast and that made for an interesting backdrop.
 Still, I'd rather have pictures of the B-29 or whatever but I guess I'll have to wait.
 Nearby is the RF-84 Thunderstreak.  This is the reconnaissance version of the fighter.  You can see the panels for the cameras.
Again, not the Blue Angels but I wanted to watch some planes.