Thunder Over Michigan – 2017

This year’s Thunder Over Michigan was held this last weekend; the first in September which made it Labor Day weekend and the first three day event I remember them doing.

As always, there were some familiar acts, and a few new things I hadn’t seen before.  My one small complaint is the length of the show, given that cost goes up every year I wish they would do more than a 3 1/2 hour show.  Add an act or two and get it up over four hours; that’s more what I expect for an airshow regardless of admission.

But overall it was a terrific show. For me, the biggest highlight was paratrooper reenactors.  50+ troopers jumped from 5 C-47s on Saturday.  I didn’t see Sunday; but Monday they had six C-47s joined by a C-46, unfortunately, due to high winds, there was no jump on Monday.  The fickle nature of such things…

IMG_0035

Reenactors jump from C-47s at Thunder Over Michigan.

IMG_0036

The second wave dropping before the first is down.

This was at least the third time Sherman tanks were promised for the land battle part, and the first time I’ve actually seen them deliver.  It was awesome to see two Shermans on the battlefield opposing a Hetzer, a Lynx light tank and a 222 armored car.

For flying demos we were treated to a Curtiss Hawk 81 this year.  That’s an early P-40, or Tomahawk for RAF fans.  For years there have been no shortage of later Warhawks or Kittyhawks (mainly E and N models).  But its a recent thing to have an airworthy B or C model (I think there are two now flying?).  For all the movies and reenactments I’ve seen that try to do Pearl Harbor or Flying Tigers, the Hawk 81 is most appropriate.  It is sleeker looking than the later models, and first impression I would say its quieter than the later models (I believe it had no supercharger, or it might just be that this example was particularly well tuned!)

We also had aerobatic displays with a Stearman (with wingwalker), Twin Beech (an unlikely type to see doing a loop!) and a Bearcat.  The Blue Angels were the headliners, and put on a terrific show as always.  Due to weather they did their low show on Saturday (louder, but less vertical) and the high show on Sunday and Monday.

IMG_0041

Blue Angels diamond making smoke.

~ Dave 

Advertisements

About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
This entry was posted in Air Show, Museums and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Thunder Over Michigan – 2017

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Lucky!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s