Nov 16, 2008

Prepare to be bored!!

Last weekend was the trip my Navy buddy Russ and I took to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to take in the final air show of the season. It is called Aviation Nation and is huge, the second largest in the US behind the Oshkosh fly-in. This one is heavy on military hardware with tons of static displays on top of some top notch performances of military aircraft.

We had a great time, driving out to Las Vegas from Denver and getting caught up during the 12 hour trip. It's funny how much we have in common. We came from completely different backgrounds, but both wound up working at the same company in Boulder many years ago and have both been in high tech since. Russ brought along a bunch of comedy CD's, and it was a fun way to pass the time while driving. My new favorite is Brian Reegan, check him out if you haven't already.

So on to the show... Nellis is the home of the Air Force Thunderbirds. they were the headliners of the show, as they usually are. This year the team had their first female pilot flying lead solo in the #5 aircraft, which is quite a big deal. She is a really tiny person, probably no more than 5' 2" or so. When the pilots were all lined up together, she was a good head below all of the guys, but she is awesome!

Russ is a very good photographer, and bought a new lens just for the show. He took a lot of pictures (about 2000) and put some of the best on-line here.

Since he is so good, I decided to just take video. Unfortunately, my video camera is not up to air show performances, with the auto focus constantly moving in and out trying to keep up with the action. But I have put up some video of a few of the better demonstrations.

Here is the F-22 Raptor:

This is the newest fighter out there, with vectored thrust and the ability to "supercruise" which is flying faster than sound without afterburners on. It can fly straight up, throttle back and sit still in the air on its thrust.

Here is the C-17. Lots of fighters, and exhibits there, but there is something special about seeing a 75,000 pound aircraft go through it's maneuvers, land inside 500 feet, then back up!

One of the highlights was the Heritage flight, a P-51 flying in formation with an F-15 and F-22. Very moving considering there was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen sitting next to us who was in tears.

OK, enough geekyness, here is a short video of Russ and I stopping in Utah on the way home at the San Rafael swell. This is a huge geological feature where a massive piece of earth just shot up in the middle of nowhere. As it fell in on itself, it left a number of steep canyons that go nowhere. Lots of hikers have gone in and never been found. It is very impressive, and my video doesn't do the colors justice.

But stick around until the end to see two middle age men making complete fools of themselves!


  1. Anonymous4:42 PM

    That was just swell!!!

  2. That was very cool.

  3. I'm sorry, I got as far as "...Russ" before I suddenly just sort of Zzzzzzz....


  4. Looks like a great deal of fun was had by all!
    Thank you for posting the Raptor video, is it awesome. Funnily enough, I just ordered Brian Regan's DVD The Epitome Of Hyperbole today.

  5. You guys certainly did have fun, and helped solidify the idea that adults really are just big children. ;)

    That Raptor is byooooo-tiful! Sits still in the air, huh? That kind of shit makes me nervous but I'd love to see a fighter jet be able to do it!!!

  6. Now Henry, how are we gunna get the covered wagon way over there to Starbucks "B"? Who built that general store here anyway? Could it have been those financial geniuses Chris and Russ? Let's head to Salt Lake city and find some family to live with.