Friday, June 07, 2013

Waterloo Air Show 2013

Pulling up close to the airport, I quickly noticed the organization and hard work put into preparing for this big event. Buses shuffled into position to shuttle people from their automobiles to the airfield. While on the bus, children sat behind me with their parents. I asked them what they were going to see? One quickly piped up "Airplanes!" His sibling interjected, "Dusty!" The conversation continued with them "I'm going to see Army!" Pulling up to the airfield their eyes opened wide as I could imagine the same as on Christmas morning.
The Static Display- "Wow"... and that was my exclamation. Before us on the tarmac sat a CC-130J Hercules. Walking into the shadows of the Hercules, I started reflecting on the purposes of this plane: It carries equipment, food for the soldiers.. and the many care packages sent by families. And then there were return flights home, repatriations. I stood at the foot of the ramp. A sadness quickly befell me as I looked up. I put one foot on the ramp and it was a strange feeling overcame me...I can't explain it. Faces of our fallen flashed before me, their families, their comrades walking up the ramp, saying goodbye, hearts tearing inside, yet trying to maintain composure. I turned back walked to the side and touched the body of the plane and saw the maple leaf - pride.
Deep breath - I continued up the alley. This was a great opportunity to meet up with and learn about aircraft from different parts of the world and speak with people, soldiers who eloquently and passionately spoke of the aircraft or vehicles they brought to the show. The Engineers' blue and red flag proudly fluttered in the wind above their display. In the tent were displays of IED's /  mines and equipment they use to find and destroy them. The RCA stood before a diverse display of artillery prepared to answer any questions.  Children eagerly opened doors of vehicles, shyly talked to soldiers... "army".   Walking along, there was so much to see. I thought I would run out of time! Helicopter rides by the Great Lakes Helicopter team, A B25 (which was featured in beginning of the movie Tora Tora Tora) called the Yankee Warrior.
It was built in 1945. They crew flew to the show in this. "There is heat in the cockpit area, but it got real cold out back during our flight." It along with the Yankee Lady are housed at the Yankee War Museum . "Come on down and see us!" There were many rides and amusements for the children. For the airshow, earplugs were being provided for the children no charge. (This is something that is usually I have found to be overlooked) A gentleman was walking around talking to the parents and directing them where to get protection for them.
The wafts of Food Truck delicacies filled the air. mmm...I stopped for an apple fritter and continued on to watch the show. The American Anthem was played in honour for all our visitors. Then the Canadian Anthem (Hockey Night in Canada theme song at first -and that was the beginning of the smiles)  

Richard Cooper, Waterloo Air Show Co-Producer started the show easily grabbing everyone's his Czechoslovakian L29 DelphinThe Czech designed and produced Aero L-29 Delphin (translating to "Dolphin"; NATO designation of "Maya") series was a highly utilized Cold War jet trainer aircraft for the Soviet Union and its satellite states. The twin-seat aircraft was capable of speeds over 400 miles per hour and a ceiling of over 36,000 feet.

Soon to follow were the aerobatics of  71 year old Gord Price flying his Russian Yak 50 (serial #1).

 The Yak 50 was built in 1972 at the Yakovlev Design Bureau in Moscow. Inscripted on his plane reads "The Dam Pub"  named after their Scottish Whiskey Pub in Thornbury, ON. His dream was always to fly. He flew many difficult manoeuvers this weekend from inverted flying to spins and when finished, descended down the ramp, climbed on his plane and refuelled it himself. I told him I wanted his energy!

The MAKO SHARK is one of the best known T33s in North America and it rounded the runway next. Bearing its menacing teeth and all.

 The T-33 is one of the most successful jet trainers of all time. When Canada decided to move to jet trainers Lockheed won the competition and Canadair awarded the contract to build the aircraft under license. The RCAF gave the T-33 the name Silver Star in honour of the first Canadian airplane, the Silver Dart. Read more

F1 Rocket Sport Wing Homebuilt Racing Aircraft (Little Bit) Wayne Hadath of Kitchener, flew his homebuilt F-1 Rocket Airplane. The top speed is approx. 275 mph. The Harmon F1 is well known for its unbelievable speed.  The video below takes you on a flight with Mr. Hadath and the "Little Bit"


CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team's presence was one not very easily overlooked! Standing on the runway, I was quick to notice the large afterburners up to the nose reaching towards the sky.The team was very welcoming and polite, quickly offering to take my camera and take pics themselves (of me!) Soon, I took back my camera and took a picture a couple of the team.
Shown starting top left/clockwise: Captain Patrick Pollen waves as he taxis down the runway. Staring at the afterburners. F18 Hornet lifts off to the skies. Firefight demonstration (happy they're on our side). MCpl Theriault and MCpl Doucet stand before the F18.                                                                                                        Photos by M.M.

 This year, the CF-18's Demo Team's theme is  "The Common Thread" that ties Canadians of all backgrounds together. To embody this theme, this year's Demo Hornet displayed tail and dorsal art representing the diversity of our country that is united by "The Common Thread" . Canadians alike embrace peace, freedom and equality, and the Canadian Armed Forces makes it a priority to defend these values. Every day, airmen and air women conduct aerial sovereignty, reconnaissance and surveillance patrols, carry out search and rescue operations, and defend North American airspace through NORAD. From the vast Arctic reaches to the homeland that lies between Canada's coasts, the Royal Canadian Air Force is proud to be part of defending "The Common Thread" of this great nation. Top speed: 1814 km/hr. Mach 1.8

As the F18 was landing, the noise of the Canadian Forces Griffon was heard approaching.  

Visiting from Borden, the Griffon can carry up to 13 people (two pilots, a flight engineer and 10 passengers) and has a maximum gross weight of nearly 5400 kilograms. The Griffon can reach speeds up to 260 kilometres per hour. It is also used at home and abroad for search and rescue (SAR) missions, surveillance and reconnaissance, casualty evacuation and counter-drug operations. The helicopter has also played a key role in many national and international humanitarian relief operations, including those for Manitoba’s Red River flood in 1997 (Operation Assistance) and in 2011 (Op Forge); Eastern Canada’s ice storm in 1998 (Operation Recuperation); and the United Nations effort to stabilize Haiti in 2004 (Operation Halo) and again in response to the catastrophic earthquake that struck Port-aux-Prince in January 2010 (Op Hestia). The CH‑146 Griffon helicopters deployed on Operation Jaguar in 2011 as Canada’s contribution of military aviation and search-and-rescue capability to support the Jamaica Defence Force.
When it joined Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing, deployed on Operation Athena, the Griffon utility tactical transport helicopter helped reduce the risk of exposing personnel to ambushes, land mines and improvised explosive devices by providing increased protection to movement of troops by transport helicopter and road convoys.

To Be Continued..... Under construction

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