Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Greatest Show on Turf, 2010

Dan, Brian and I attended the "Greatest Show on Turf" in Geneseo, NY.  I think I can say without hyperbole that this was one of the best times I've ever had at an airshow.  The skies were blue, there was no rain, temperatures were moderate, and so were the crowds.  Rob Holland put on a superb aerobatic act, as always.  Perhaps the most gripping display was one that much of the audience missed: an aerobatic sailplane routine performed by Manfred Radius.  I've never seen a glider do hammerhead stalls before and the low, inverted pass/ribbon cut was spectacular.

And, of course, we saw plenty of magnificent vintage aircraft up close and personal.

Antitorque rotor of a Rochester-based Blackhawk helicopter.  My token "artsy" shot for the day.

A New York-based C-130 Hercules put on quite a demonstration.

It may look ungainly, but you have to admire the capabilities of the C-130.  It's a modern-day DC-3.

The C-130 on final approach for runway 23 at Geneseo.

The Corsair Skyboss was visiting from Long Island, NY.

Another shot of the Corsair waiting to taxi for takeoff.

There's no mistaking a flying Corsair for any other aircraft.

  A Fairey Firefly (British), based in Hamilton, ON.

Glamorous Gal, a P-51 Mustang from Long Island, NY on its takeoff roll.  I think this is my favorite photo from the entire set.

As always, the Harvards were present in force.

Unfortunately, we were eating lunch under a tent during much of the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team's performance, but just hearing the harmonious growling of three Pratt and Whitney radials was enough to keep me happy.

A Curtiss Helldiver from the Commemorative Air Force flew formation work with Skyboss.  This is the only flying Helldiver in the world.

The Helldiver taxies for takeoff.

Helldiver turning base for landing with its dive brakes extended.

A rare Westland Lysander British liason aircraft with outstanding short field performance.

The "belle of the ball" was the "Hollywood" Memphis Belle, based in Geneseo.

I think the nose art has been repainted since the Memphis Belle arrived here a few years ago.

Although the B-17 bomber looks massive from the outside...

...the interior quarters are rather tight.  For a five dollar donation, I was able to climb, crawl, and slither my way through the narrow passages inside.  It was money well spent, though $5 is probably not even enough to cover the fuel cost of starting a single one of the Memphis Belle's four radial engines.

The Memphis Belle made a few passes on the field, once with her bomb bay doors open.

She literally posed for photographers on a subsequent pass.

Miss Hap, a B-25 Mitchell bomber from the American Air Power Museum.

Never Miss, a P-51D Mustang on short final.  During its performance, the announcer commented that the pilot couldn't find the Geneseo Airport on his way in.  I'm sure Never Miss's pilot was delighted by that announcement.  Then again, he's flying a freaking Mustang, so how unhappy could he be?

Old Red Nose, a P-51D from the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.

Take-Off Time, a privately owned B-25 bomber.

Take-Off Time makes a pass of the airfield.

A P-51C Mustang in Tuskegee colors painted as a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen.

What a terrific day!

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