Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Greatest Show on Turf, 2012

In mid-July, it was once again time for the Greatest Show on Turf in Geneseo, NY. This year's show was a little rough: blistering heat, an unusual arrangement of things on the ground, and some high profile no-shows (I was really looking forward to seeing the FW-190). Despite the disappointments, it's always a pleasure to visit Geneseo.

Of course, there were some gorgeous warbirds to see:

A truly beautiful Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair privately owned by Jim Tobul from South Carolina.

North American P-51D, Never Miss.

The North American P-51C, Tuskegee Airmen was accompanied by a mobile movie theater (air conditioned!) that brought together the stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and this airplane in particular, inspiring all to "rise above".

Curtiss P-40 Jacky C from the American Air Power Museum in Farmingdale, NY.

Geneseo's own Douglas C-47 Skytrain, "W7" tossed some "meat missiles" out over the field in authentic WWII paratrooper gear (that must have been hot).

Exploring the Historic Aircraft Group's hangar, we found this cool Douglas A-26 Invader.

There were several Stearman biplanes present, most of them painted in WWII era military training schemes.

Kent Pietsch returned in the Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet.  Sure, he pulled-off the same three routines he performed last year, but I really needed to see them all again with my own eyes.  This guy is an artist with stick and rudder.

Oh no!  Where's his aileron?!  *grin*  This was taken during the first Jelly Belly appearance in the middle of Rob Holland and Rick Volker's aerobatic routine, when the Cadet appeared to clip one of the aerobatic performers.

The feat of landing the Interstate Cadet on an RV was repeated, but required at least four tries this year.

Of course, without a crane to remove the airplane from the top of the RV, what comes down must go back up.  Here, the Jelly Belly Interstate launches from the makeshift carrier deck

The third and final appearance of Kent Pietsch and the Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet was a beautiful dead stick aerobatic routine that ended, as it did last year, with Pietsch completing the routine by planting the airplane spinner into the palm of someone's hand.  Cool.

For all of that amazing flying, this is a pretty unassuming little airplane.  And the pilot?  He blended right in with the rest of the crowd and disappeared.

Rob Holland, aerobatic pilot extraordinaire, put on an incredible performance - as always.

This MX2 is a cool airplane with a 400+ degree per second roll rate.  Just thinking about that roll rate makes my head spin.  Rob is also a heck of a nice guy, as I learned when I met him at the fuel pump in Le Roy last year.

One of Rob's signature moves: the airplane pitched to a vertical climb attitude and is literally sliding sideways through the air.  As I watch him perform some of these routines, all I can do is shake my head in disbelief.  Simply amazing.

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