Thought I'd finish up with some of the jets at the QCAS.
The big fast jet display was put on by the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The big cousin to the F-18, I have to say, was pretty darned impressive. The pilot put the Hornet through its paces (spins, stalls, four-point rolls, and the ever-popular Pugachev Cobra) and it handles surprisingly well for its size. It even did good in some unstable manuevering, which tells me that its flight control software is pretty solid.
You know, I have to remember to take the videocamera to airshows. It's just too damn hard to try to focus and click in time!
The now-venerable F-15E Strike Eagle made an appearance as well. Though the Eagle design is almost 40 years old, it's still an impressive sight as it goes through its paces. It certainly looks to me like the Eagle can still handle itself on the modern battlefield.
A Heritage Flight of (top to bottom) a P-51 Mustang, the F-15E Strike Eagle, and that airshow favorite, the A-10 Warthog. This is a great formation to watch, but something of a challenge: the Mustang has to go full out and the jets have to fly at about as slow as they can without stalling!
Yes, the Warthog Demo Team showed off the big tank-killer as well:
The Hog is great fun to watch-it's big and slow and at certain angles has an uncanny resemblance to an old B-25 Mitchell bomber. But it can turn on a dime and give you three cents change, carry a massive load of weapons, and is tougher than 10-year-old dried turkey. It made the long low pass over the field on a strafing run, the 30mm Gatling gun flashing at the nose and a loud 'BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRP' and a long gout of dust. Quite the machine!
Look! A baby Raptor! All it needs is some food, water, and the tender loving infusion of several million defense dollars, and it'll grow up to be a Big Fighter!
Ah, there's a Hornet up close. This example is from the Navy's VFA-211 (Fighter/Attack Squadron 211) which either just came off or more likely to be attached to USS Enterprise. VFA-211 is known as the 'Checkmates' (When you're out of Checkmates, you're out of fighters!). The folks in the tent were selling T-shirts with the squadron logo on them. The proceeds will probably go to the squadron's slush fund or for a few rounds of beer at the next port of call.
Now those are causes I'll gladly donate to! I'd rather buy a squadron T-shirt than the gear the regular vendors sell. This will go with my VS-32 Maulers shirt.
And that is that. You readers are probably saying 'Thank God! You do go on way too long when it comes to planes!' I'm going to try to get to Rockford at the end of the month. I'll see if I can get vids of the BUFF and some of the planes they can't get here.
Thanks for your patience and forbearance!