Thursday, August 25, 2016

The F-100 Super Sabre

The F-100 Super Sabre rocked through the skies over Willow Run airport.

The F-100 took off with the greatest of ease.

The first US Fighter to attain supersonic speeds in level flight, the Hun rocked the show, especially with the very distinct and loud bang sound of its afterburner igniting.

The Hun whipped its way across the sky.


Quite the sweet and loud sound from that jet engine.

The exhaust could be clearly seen during slow flight as the engine is not very efficient at low speeds at low altitude, but it made for some good pictures.

A perfect landing and then it taxied off to the ramp.

More Helicopter Encounters At Thunder Over Michigan

It was time for some crime-fighting demonstrations and for the Michigan State Police to demonstrate their helicopter and law enforcement skills.

There was a report of a "suspicious vehicle" on the west side of the airport, so an MSP car and helicopter went off to check it out.

Yes, it was a simulation not an actual incident, and they showed how the helicopter could track the "suspect" both in the vehicle and out of it, leading to his "arrest" by the trooper on the ground.

Either during the day or at night with its searchlights and FLIR, if a criminal tries to run from the MSP's chopper, he's just going to be tired when he's arrested.

Then another crime fighter took to the air.

Yes that is the original Batcopter from the original Batman television show.

Adam West sadly did not make a personal appearance, but it was very cool nonetheless.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The F/A-18F Super Hornet

The Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet made an impression at Thunder Over Michigan.

First let's get an idea of the size of the Super Hornet by comparing it to an everyday well-known vehicle, the humble mini-van:

It's super-sized all right.

It's got plenty of power to move that size through the skies, and the volume to match and the Demo team thrilled the crowd by putting the Super Hornet through its paces:

Including an easy inverted roll and then kicking in the burner and climbing:

The Demo team also demonstrated a carrier landing and bolter:

Note the markings on the wing:

The "6 KUSS" is in honor of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, a Blue Angels pilot who flew Blue Angels Number 6 solo, sadly lost in a crash this year. The Demo team did honor to his memory with an outstanding performance.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Military Helicopter Flying Display

There were a few historic US military helicopters that strutted, or is that rotored?, their stuff at Thnder over Michigan in an impressive display of mobility and maneuverability.

There was a UH-1 Huey helicopter in medevac livery.

There was not one but two AH-1 Cobra gunships:

They were quick dancing around the sky, and both had rocket pods attached that they "fired", creating flame and smoke for effect.

So maneuverable, they could stop on a dime, whip around and give you 9 cents change.

There was a OH-58 helicopter that showed how maneuverable a little bird could be.

And there was a UH-1 in troop transport configuration.

It was quite an impressive display, and more helicopters were to grace the show later on.

More Of The A-4

After the TBM completed its flyby with the A4, the scooter jet got a chance to strut its stuff alone.

We got to see slow flight from a Skyhawk: Flaps down, gear out, hook out:

Then some beauty passes and rolls showcasing the maneuverability of Ed Heinemann's wonderful design:

In for a landing after a great demonstration.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Breitling Jet Team

From France, and consisting of seven performing L-39 Albatross aircraft and an eighth that acts as a photography/videography chase plane, The Breitling Jet Demonstration team is the largest privately owned jet aerobatic team in the world.

The team is mostly composed of former French military pilots.

The L-39 Albatross, made by Czech manufacturer Aero Vochodny is a former Warsaw Pact jet trainer, with more than 2,800 being produced and it is still in use today and a new variant has been announced to be produced.

The team took off and then entered into a unique initial formation - flying with the MiG 17, and this was announced as the only time the Breitling team would fly with a MiG 17.

After flying with the MIG it was time for their own show.

First there was some tight formation flying.

Each formation maneuver they perform is named after a watch in the Breitling line.

Then they performed some dynamic aerobatics:

Complete with a low level pass:

Lots of cool aerobatic skill was on display by this team. This is part of the first tour the Breitling Jet Team has done in North America, and hopefully in the future they will visit again.