Thunder Over Michigan – 2016

Today was a grey and muggy day in southeast Michigan, so I was concerned at how much of a show we’d even see.  And for the second year in a row we left my wife’s good camera at home due to the threat of rain.

But the rain did hold off and we got a good show.  Some of the acts, mainly high performance military acts, did switch to their “low” shows.  On the plus side, high-G maneuvers in high humidity means lots of highly visible shock waves!

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A fun look at some of what we saw fly today.  F-18 demo team at left, F-22 demo team on the right, and eight Breitling Albatrosses lined up behind.

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This year’s land battle included a pair of Sd.Kfz 231 armored cars, both 6-rad and 8-rad models.  Cool!

I saw the Breitling Jet Team for the first time.  They really put on a terrific show!  They fly a tight seven ship formation with Czech Albatross trainers.  We also saw good performances by a MiG-17, F-18 and F-100.  There was a noticeable absence of World War Two aircraft this year, bummer.  But the highlight was spectacular, an F-22 Raptor demo.  It is fast, powerful and unbelievably nimble.  Seriously, it can twist and tumble in ways that aerodynamics should never allow; the benefits of thrust vectoring are obvious!

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I have no idea what this was doing there…

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Heritage flight. P-51 and F-22.

I apologize for not many pictures this year.  That’s why you should all go for yourselves!

Posted in Air Show | Tagged | 13 Comments

Thunder Over Michigan – 2016

A reminder for everyone in southeast Michigan, or anyone who can get there on a day trip.  Thunder Over Michigan, the annual air show put on by the Yankee Air Force is this weekend, August 20 and 21.  I think the biggest headline for this year is a tactical demo by the F-22 Raptor.  This will be the first time I’ve seen one fly, so I am very excited!  Other things of note will be an F-18 demo, the Breitling aerobatic team (in Albatross jets), MiG-17, F-100, Hind helicopter, WWII land battle and many others.

Thunder Over Michigan is always a ton of fun, and plenty loud.  Check it out if you can!

Posted in Air Show | Tagged | 4 Comments

Vought SB2U-3 Vindicator

This dive bomber was one of the first generation monoplanes in Navy service and was thoroughly obsolete at the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific.  Yet a small number served in Marine squadrons until the Battle of Midway.

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Join me for a look at an early dive bomber. Continue reading

Posted in Bomber - Naval, USA | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Fire and Fury by Randall Hansen

This is a fascinating and well written book on the combined bomber offensive, that is, British and American strategic bomber operations against Nazi Germany.

Join me for a brief look a thoughtful and well researched study. Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Programming Note

It looks like I jinxed myself a couple weeks ago by saying I expected to get so much work done this summer!  Family emergencies, in addition to more normal summer chaos have made this a difficult time to get anything done.

My next post will be the SB2U Vindicator, I have about five days of work remaining on it.  What I can’t say is when I’ll find those five days.  So keep watching this space…

Posted in Administrative | 10 Comments

Panzer 38(t)

This prolific early war tank was a key part of the Wehrmacht’s Panzer divisions even though it was never made in Germany.  It’s derivatives would remain in production past the war’s end.

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Join me for a look at an important light tank. Continue reading

Posted in Armor, Czechoslovakia, Germany | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Messerschmitt Bf109F-2

Germany’s Bf109 is one of those iconic types that served through the entire war and is a symbol of that nation’s war effort.  Like other long serving types the Bf109 was modified heavily during that time.

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Join me for a brief look at an intermediate model. Continue reading

Posted in Fighter, Germany, Spain | Tagged , , | 24 Comments