Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blue Ash Airport Days

Spin in a PittsOn Saturday Dianne and I went to the Blue Ash Airport Days. For a small airport, it really is a nice event. It goes beyond being simply an airshow (although for me that's the most interesting part). They have an antique car show, 5k run, stuff for the kids, static displays, food, and rides in planes, helicopters, and a monster truck.

For being late September, it was pretty hot! However the sky was blue and the wind was light so it was a beautiful day for flying. There were several airshow performers (local and national) that put on some good aerobatic performances. The photo on the right is of Brett Hunter in his Pitts biplane doing multiple spins from high above the field. The smoke trail tells it all as he went up, stalled, got into the spin, and spiraled down. He did several more turns before pulling out.

BatmobileI'm not a huge antique car fan, but there were a lot of nice vehicles there for the competition. One of my favorites was this version of the Batmobile. It was pretty well done and had lots of buttons, levers, and 'bat gadgets' in the car. Clicking on the image will take you to a larger version in Flickr. I have a couple other photos here and here.

Cincinnati MissThe Tri-State Warbird Museum at the Clermont County airport in Batavia, Ohio (just East of Cincinnati) brought over their recently restored P-51 Mustang called the Cincinnati Miss. Paul Redlich, the president of the museum, flew the plane and did several passes over the field. Although he was flying relatively slow, it still gives you chills to hear the sound of that plane as it goes past. When not flying, the Cincinnati Miss was on static display in the warbird area.

Panchito on a Bombing RunThe highlight of the flying day for me was the low passes made by a restored B-25 Mitchell bomber called Panchito. The photo here shows the bomb bay doors open as if on a bombing run. The plane has a brushed aluminum finish that was reflecting the ground. Check out the large version in Flickr to see the reflection from the field along the bottom of the fuselage. You can also see the green of the grass and the brown of the taxiways reflected in this photo pass shot. Yesterday I stopped by the airport and got some pictures of the plane when it was on static display (click here and here). I poked my head inside the hatch where the waist gunners entered the plane. Yesterday I saw it land and the pilot put it down right on the numbers and used most all of the 3500 foot runway to slow down and stop.

Motorcycle JumpIn between a couple of the airshow acts there was a group of three motorcycle riders putting on a freestyle jump exhibition. The photo shows one of the guys at the top of his jump. It's hard to appreciate how high they were, but this photo showing the ramp gives you an idea. Those are mature trees so I'd guess they were at least 25-30 feet in the air. The starting ramp was really narrow and the finishing ramp sounded pretty rickety every time they landed. But they all hit every jump perfectly.

My favorite photo of the day is the high dynamic range (HDR) image of a PT-17 biplane shown below. I love the traditional paint scheme on those planes. It's a WWII era training aircraft. I can't imagine working up from this to a P-51 like the Cincinnati Miss. The way the airshow is set up in Blue Ash, you are pretty much looking into the sun when watching the air acts. That makes it hard to get a good photo as you get the shadow side of the planes. This plane was parked the same way. However, the HDR process brings out some of the detail in the shadows and I think makes for a more interesting image here. I also like the shadow the plane, and especially the wings, makes on the grass. The background isn't the best, but I caught it without any people around. You can see all my photos from the day here. The set also includes some photos of the Lima Lima squadron practice yesterday.

PT-17 at Blue Ash


Erika said...

Great pictures. I'm gonna blog to link to this!

Erika said...

... well I was going to but i lost the post somehow after i wrote it all out... anywhoo. I saw A bunch of lights at dusk the other night flying around... and it kind of scared me, but then I realized it was over in the blue ash airport direction. haha. I saw more of that corkscrew flying like you have in the picture today when I was on 71.

Earl said...

Sorry you lost the post. We missed the night display, although we heard it. Bet that looked cool at night.