Aviation Spotters Online

Aviation Spotters Online

Fort Worth Air Power Expo 2016

There is always a risk when you travel across the globe that the weather will not play into your hands on the day you chose to go to the show.

The show at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base was held over the weekend of the 23rd & 24th of April, 2016.  Due to prior commitments I was only able to attend on the Sunday which, as it turned out, was not the pick of the days weather wise.

I bit my lip and enjoyed the show regardless, and as it was the first time watching the US Navy Blue Angels I still came away amazed at what an impressive show they managed to put on!

There were various aircraft scattered around the tarmac on static display, with a couple of highlights being the F-35 from the “Grim Reapers” squadron and the classic Grumman Tracker.

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A classic Hornet parked next to a Super Hornet gave a good size comparison, whilst the pair of A-10’s always had a nice crowd around them.

There were a couple of last minute cancellations.  The FighterJets Inc MIG-17F unfortunately went U/S on the Saturday with a fairly serious engine issue, and the US Army Golden Knights were unable to jump due to the strong crosswinds.

The Golden Knights did however still send up there jump plane, which performed a few high speed passes for the crowd.

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As the high performance aerobatic contingent of the weekend, Adam “Shake n Bake” Baker performed flawlessly in his ‘Playful‘ Extra 330!

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Next up was the beautiful A-26B Invader from the CAF, “Night Mission“.

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Performing some very elegant formation maneuvers, the pair a T-28 Trojans sounded wonderful over the field!

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Taking the show to it’s lunch time break, the every impressive F-16 Viper demonstration team & USAF Heritage flight feature a lone P-51D.

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After the lunch break, during which a Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony was held, the show kicked straight into a Wings Over Vietnam special performance.

This included some classics such as a DHC-4 Caribou, Douglas A-1 Skyraider and my favorite, the A-4 Skyhawk.

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The ‘Scooter’ put on a great performance.

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3 classic helicopters from that era also joined in on the action!

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Finally the moment I had personally been waiting for, my first viewing of the US Navy “Blue Angels”

As always there show starts with the high energy performance of their C-130 Hercules.

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Although some of the flare has been lost since they stopped performing the rocket assisted takeoffs, it is still impressive to watch this old girl get thrown around like it was!

Then on to the grand finale, the pièce de résistance, The Blue Angels.

I don’t want to talk to much about the performance as I firmly believe it is one military display team you must see be you “move on”!

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As I mentioned at the start at times the lighting was far from ideal, and due to the time of day most shots were back lit, I am still so pleased I had the opportunity to see them perform.

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With it being announced that the team has started the process to switch to the Super Hornet over the next few years, I can only see things getting better & better for this team.

It’s a credit to the entire team that they can perform show after show, weekend after weekend with a very impressive serviceability rate.

As a whole, I did rate the Air Power Expo reasonably well.  My only criticism would be there was defiantly holes in the day where other acts could of performed.

But as my first time watching the Blue Angels, a tip of the hat to them.  They play a crucial part of the recruitment drive throughout the USA, inspiring young people to consider a career in the armed forces.

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Thanks for reading, and remember to always keep the blue side up!

Peter Lawrence

 

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