Nov 18, 2010

Road Trip! Part Deux.

After leaving Arches National Park, we headed back west towards Nellis AFB. 

We left the beauty of Arches and dropped down into the western Utah/Eastern Nevada area, and the terrain changes to more typical desert with a lot of bluffs.


Russ booked us into the Stratosphere which was pretty darn easy to find even without any driving directions (which I left sitting on my desk at home).  All you do is point the car towards the many lights and look for the tallest lights.

Fernando is excited about being there!

 We made it into Vegas about 9:00 or so and grabbed a quick bite to eat and a couple of beers to unwind from the drive.

Turns out Fernando likes his Guinness and his football at the sports book.
A short night of rest and we are up and at it early for the air show!  The event is two days, Saturday and Sunday.  They run it very well, all the parking is at the Las Vegas motor speedway and is free.  Then you go through bag check and metal detectors and board buses that take you onto Nellis AFB.

While getting off of the bus and walking along a path that leads you through the fenced perimeter, the Air Force security team is putting on a not so subtle show with their police dogs having them attack some poor junior airman in a big padded suit.  Then you enter the show area and it is one of the longest flight lines in the world for an air show.  There is 8000 feet of fence along the flight line!  You get to have a good view no matter where you stand.

There are an amazing amount of static displays to look at before the show starts.

 This is a specialized dune buggy designed for the SEAL teams to use.  60-plus Miles per hour, and a whole lot of firepower.
 
The C5 Galaxy cargo aircraft is the largest in the US inventory.  The front opens as you can see, and it opens with a ramp on the back also.  It can carry two main battle tanks.
The C17 Globemaster III is a slightly smaller cargo aircraft that put on a show at Nellis in 2008.  They are not flying at the show this time due to the ongoing effort to determine what happened at a crash up in Alaska just prior to an air show up there.
The CV22 Osprey takes off vertically like a helicopter, then the rotors transition forward for flying like an airplane.
Inside the Osprey, room for troops and cargo.

The Euros were represented by the Euro fighter.  Look at the canards on the front of that thing!
The F15 eagle.
The new F22 Raptor, which put on one hell of a show!  More on it with video in my next post.
The A10 Warthog, a close ground support aircraft.

 Fernando perched on the business end of the A10's Gatling gun.
They also had a lot of WWII vintage aircraft, this is a B25 which was made famous by Doolittle's raiders.
This is a 4 seat EA6 carrier based electronic warfare jet.  It jams enemy radars, and does a lot of other interesting things they dont tell you.
The E2 Hawkeye, a carrier based radar surveillance aircraft.  That big dome on the top rotates.
The massive B52 bomber.
Under the wing of the B52, those flaps are the size of barn doors!

 The bomb bay of the B52 is even big enough to haul the wide load of Fernando!
Russ and I were walking along and he pointed out these guys all lined up taking pictures.  Russ is an excellent photographer, so we had to go over so he could talk shop with these guys.  Russ said we are looking at about 15 grand in camera equipment right there!
This little dude was smart wearing the hearing protectors during the flights, it was loud.
This is the Strike variation of the F15 Eagle, a two seater and loaded for ground attack.
The f16's the Thunderbirds fly lined up on the flightline.
A Korean war vintage Super Sabre.
A Viet Nam vintage F4 Phantom.
The F22 Raptor

I took a couple of shots of the landing gear of the C17.  This thing sits wide and has a lot of tires, so it can land on an unpaved runway.
An oddball experimental small amphibious search and rescue plane.
Red Bull sponsers some restoration projects, this is a WWII vintage P38.
The F16 the Thunderbirds fly.
A Red Bull WWII vintage P51 Mustang.

I will stop boring you now and put up another post in a few days with video from the show.

13 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to see the Thunderbirds but...someday (maybe). They were at Camp Pendleton one year but no one else wanted to go.

    I saw my only airshow in either Colorado Springs or Pueblo when CO bro first moved there in '86. It was fun.

    Fernando looks like he had a blast!

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  2. I'll take the P51 Mustang. Looks like a great show!

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  3. Stop that pig, he's drinking all your beer!!

    I can hardly wait for the video, airplanes are cool.

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  4. I've always loved the Warthog (and the name is so much better than the Thunderbolt). I've never seen one up close. Damn, that's one massive, tank-destroying cannon you've got there, Mr. Warthog. *starry-eyed*

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  5. Dang, that B52 Bomber is so intimidating..I think it would scare the crap out of me.

    I get like that around cruise ships too...my heart starts beating really fast.

    I'm a freak

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  6. Fernando drinks more than you do! He must have been parched from all the dry desert air.

    Nice pics, looks like a great time. I'm glad you got away for a while.

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  7. I don't think of myself as a big Vegas person, but all of that stuff looks really cool.

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  8. I got stuck in a massive traffic jam because of an air show crash out here in about '88. That's about as close to an air show as I've been.

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  9. Bored, my butt! Great pics! Reminds me that my son and I have to make a visit to the Smithsonian, and the air wing when I finish with nursing school. I love airplanes. Have you been to Wright-Patterson? Incredible air museum; they've got an old B-58, the only surviving Valkrie, and the 707 that JFK's body was taken back to DC with, among many, many other interesting airplanes.

    If I went to Vegas, I'd seek out what's left of the old cheesy Vegas. Not much of it left from what I hear.

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  10. VEGAS!!!!!!!

    And I adore Fernando... I might do something like that with my little bear *light bulb*

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  11. Coincidentally, Fernando's nickname in high school WAS "A10 Warthog." What are the odds? (No Vegas pun intended)

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  12. I know I just said because I'm of the "jet" generation these older planes don't scare me, but I forgot about B-52s. Opinion recanted. :)
    The Euro jet looks small. Do you know what it is?

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  13. Fernando, the "oddball small experimental amphibious search and rescue plane" is a Republic RC3 SeaBee. Nothing experimental about it, many were sold after World War 2. After the war, many predicted that flying would become nearly as common as driving. With the SeaBee, you could fly to a lake, river, or ocean, and go fishing. Why it's wearing USAF markings, I do not know, but there are still more SeaBees in the air than Beechcraft Starships.

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