Two F-22 Raptors and a P-51 Mustang wait for their turn.

I hadn’t been to a decent air show for years. Yes, I’d been to a small airshow held in Rhinebeck every weekend during summer, but they only have a limited number of WWI era planes – interesting but not exactly gripping. The last big air show I went to was when I was young in the UK. This would have been some time mid to late 1960s.

I remember that an AVRO Vulcan flew by at low level, turning to show the magnificent spread of its distinctive delta wing. The UK display team in those days was (and I believe still is) the Red Arrows – at that time they were using the Folland Gnat jet trainer.

The UK had stopped building fast jet fighters by that time although I seem to recall that there were displays from older fighter aircraft such as the Hawker Hunter (a beautiful aircraft) and De Havilland Vampire. Co-incidentally a Hawker Hunter T7 recently (22 August 2015) crashed at the Shoreham air show in the UK killing 11 people and injuring another 16. I can’t pretend that I didn’t have this in mind as I went to the air show. I also recall that they made a lot of the then new Hawker Siddeley Andover with its strange “kneeling” undercarriage. The Andover’s first flight was in July 1965 so I believe the airshow was shortly after that. I also have a vague memory of a Blackburn Buccaneer being there.

The New York Airshow has a good selection of aircraft both flying and on static display (I took pictures of all the aircraft flying and some on static display):

US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet
Lucas Oil Pitts S-1-11b
US Marines AV-8B Harrier II
Aero L-39 Albatros
F-22 Raptor
HH-60(G) Pavehawk Helicopters of the 106th Rescue Wing
B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Panchito”
UH-72A Lakota Helicopter

The US Military Academy, West Point Black Knights also gave a parachute demonstration.

It was a very hot day and I was glad that we paid extra for seating in the Flight Line Club VIP, which provided shade, water, other drinks, food and shade – as well as a good view of the action.

I took lots of pictures (more than I have ever taken in a single day) and these will be appearing in additional posts so beware. Taking pictures was quite a challenge for me. The Sony Alpha 500 I used (because it was the only body that would support my longest lens) doesn’t have the fastest autofocus and I also had problems with exposure. The lens, a Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 is an inexpensive lens and I didn’t have great expectations. However, I got a lot of pictures, some of which I quite liked. Certainly I did better than I did at the Rhinebeck air show mentioned above. I still have a lot to learn about this type of photography though. And I need to practice a lot more to get better. Unfortunately, since I don’t normally take these type of pictures I probably won’t get the practice I need.

Had a great time though!!!

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