It was a small show. I was impressed by the way it was run though. The Blue Angels were there for their first show on the road. I have seen them so many times that I spend my time wandering through the static displays.
The Brits and Dutch had their Test F-35s under the canopies on the line.
BTW, I have disabled person plates on my vehicles and I parked about six spaces from the entry control point for ADA and VIP folks.
The following pics are of special paint schemes commemorating the Centennial of US Naval Aviation.
Just a sampling, mind you.
The Prowler and Growler are Electronic Attack Platforms. The Prowler has been around since 1970. The Growler is the replacement. It is essentially an F Hornet with an electronic warfare suite installed. VAQ129 is the Fleet Replacement Squadron for both during the transition. Three Fleet Squadrons have already transitioned. VAQs 132,138 and 141. A very old friend of mine retired from 141 in the mid nineties.
The upper picture of the Goshawk is an aircraft from Training Wing One at NAS Meridian, MS. The lower aircraft is from Training Wing Two at NAS Kingsville, TX.
These two are used by the Fleet Replacement Squadron at NAS Lemoore, CA. The legacy bird RAG outfit was stood down and integrated into 122 last October. The Raiders of 125 are no more. I remember when that outfit was brand new. This is due to the Super Hornet becoming the dominant Navy Strike Aircraft for the foreseeable future. The lower picture of the Super Hornet is over the San Joaquin Valley. I was in VA147 and SeaOpDet Lemoore from 85 to 89 here.
The new primary trainer. Sharp aircraft. This was as it was finished out at the plant in Wichita. I worked in the building next to this one while at Hawker Beechcraft.
This is just a sampling as I said. For more additions the US Naval Air Forces page on Facebook has more and will add as aircraft are painted for the Centennial. The Kick Off for which is 10-12 February aboard the USS Midway Museum, San Diego Harbor. The official date is May 8.
For all you Air Force guys, we have been stand alone for 100 years. And our heritage is not the US Army Signal Corps!
Jason “00” in the hot fuel pits at NAS Lemoore, CA. Was in this outfit when we had the Venerable LTV A-7 Corsair II. The squadron transitioned to the F/A-18C Hornet in 1989 after 22 years. Some years ago, it went to the “E” Super Hornet. It is not the same but the CAG bird shown does have one bitchin paint job. The Argonauts call sign is Jason. Put two and two together.
Ain’t it just so damn cool. Even us Naval Air and Marine Air guys love this airplane. Tomcat guys do not count for the most part. When I was in the A-6 community, our motto was, Medium Attack, Everything Else Is Just Support.
For the Air Force, these “Hogs” were and still are the best close in attack airplane left in the inventory. I served with Marines who dreamed of a carrier version for those funny, far off, shit holes we always spent time just over the horizon from.
I ran into an engineer from L-M Fort Worth the other day. He described the F-16 Falcon as the “finest multi-role combat aircraft ever built” Old dogs should be wary of the multi thing. And he could have been my son. Jeez, Buck. The engineers are children. And I would have to now argue on the side of the F/A-18E/F. It can also do the tanker thing. I don’t think Falcons, Eagles and Raptors can do that.
And a note of somewhat historical significance. The 17th of December would have been my Paternal Grandfather’s 106th Birthday. For the uninitiated, that very same day in 1903 was when Orville and Wilbur flew the Wright Flyer at Kill Devil Hill, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
And the top image is of what I am enjoying at present. Got it at Albertson’s in Tehachapi. Decent taste and body at a reasonable price.
I never was in a Hornette Squadron but the CAG birds are usually very sharp. One of the sharpest is VFA-102 over there in Atsugi, Japan riding the USS George Washington. A long time ago, they were flying Phantoms from the USS Independence. Used to chock and tie those airplanes. I did a new shot in the header because it has airplanes that represent 11 years or so of my career. Nine in the A-6 and two in the T-2. The pic is of the bone yard at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. There is a site called Air Fighters at http://airfighters.com/ that has a section devoted to bone yards. I have one down the road in Mojave. ANA 747s, about a half dozen Air Canada 767s including the Gimli Glider. For the non aircraft enthusiast, places like Davis Monthan, Mojave, Victorville, Kingman and Marana are where airplanes go to die. Sometimes they do get a reprieve, a fair number are given heavy checks and serviced and sold to other countries.