A Slice of Life
Day 12 – Sunday July 12th
The airshow was so well organized and choreographed that just as one group of aircraft had finished their performance the next group was taking off, so there was very little time in the next 2-1/2 hours that there wasn’t a number of aircraft in the sky to thrill us. After the “Spitfire Tailchase” two F4U Corsairs, a F8F Bearcat and a FM-2 Wildcat took off, formed up, and flew individual high speed passes as well as formation passes over the field.
Next four Curtis Aircraft; a P-36, a Hawk 75, and two P-40s took off, formed up, and flew individual high speed runs (some as low as 50 feet) and formation passes over the field. In each case their formation flying was so good it was like watching a demonstration team.
Following that four P-51 Mustang’s took off, formed up, and performed individual high-speed and formation passes over to the field. I was amazed at the formation flying ability the pilots showed with all of these airplanes, which had come from all over the UK. You could tell they had performed together before.
Next a B-17 Flying Fortress took off, formed up with the four P-51 Mustangs, and made low level formation passes over the field, to represent the thousands of U.S. 8th Air Force bombers and their fighter escorts that were based and flew from the many British air bases during WWII.
Following the American representation, a German Junkers Ju-52 and three HA-1112-M1Ls (Spanish built Me-109s) took off, formed up, and made low level passes over the field in formation, to represent the hundreds of German bombers and their fighter escorts that fought for Germany throughout WWII.
Then a Bristol Blenheim I, a Hawker Hurricane and three Supermarine Spitfires took off and made low level passes over the field in formation, to represent the British bombers and their escorts that defended England during WWII. Each of these formation groups was really impressive and gave me goose bumps.
Next two Gloster Gladiators took off, and performed individual low level high-speed and formation passes over to the field. I was not familiar with the Gladiator and was not aware that Britain had built such a powerful high speed bi-plane toward the end of WWII.
The Red Bull B-25 Mitchel bomber and P-38 Lightning took off and flew individual and formation high-speed passes over the field. I had never seen a B-25 put into a 90 degree turn like that before. When the pilot would make one of those turns, I kept expecting to see that plane fall out of the sky. But of course it didn’t.
These formation groups and low level high speed passes (some as low as 50 feet) over the field where continuous until about 4:30 in the afternoon. My mouth was drooling the whole time. I was like a kid in a candy store!
The grand finale which they called the “Balbo Finale” was what had originally captured me last year, when DiVoran’s brother, had sent me a video “teaser” of the 2014 Flying Legends Airshow. Some 30+ aircraft that had performed for this event took off, formed up, and made several beautiful formation passes over the field. The sound of all those engines flying over at the same time was absolutely magnificent! I don’t think anything has thrilled me like that since I watched the first Apollo/Saturn 5 moon rocket lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in 1967. I was almost moved to tears, the sights and sounds were so wonderful for me.
Remember Takashi Koreeda from Yokohama Japan, that I mentioned earlier had given me a CD? Well, when I got home and was able to play the CD, it turned out to be a video of the 2015 Paris Airshow he had recorded. What a great gift that was! This 2015 Flying Legends Airshow was so memorable, I think I will order the professional video to keep and refer to anytime in the future when I need a real boost.
—–To Be Continued—–