Aviation Nation 2016: 75 Years of Airpower – Part IV

Aviation Nation 2016 celebrated “75 Years of Airpower” at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. In addition to all the modern flying tech of today (please see my previous post) the Nellis Heritage Parade component of the air show included various warbirds from World War Two and the Korean War era, accompanied with plenty of pyrotechnics!

Replica Aichi D3A Val dive bomber built from a Vultee BT-15 trainer Aviation Nation 2016
Replica Aichi D3A Val dive bomber built from a Vultee BT-15 trainer
Japanese attack Aviation Nation 2016
Nellis AFB under Japanese attack!
Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (with a second seat added) Aviation Nation 2016
Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (with a second seat added)
North American SNJ-5 Texan Aviation Nation 2016
North American SNJ-5 Texan – N2550 (c/n 88-15348 / USAAF Ser. No. 41-34418 / USN BuNo 43683)
Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter Aviation Nation 2016
Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter
The Kingcobra was an improved design over the P-39 Airacobra but despite this one being in USAAF markings they were primarily used in WW2 by the Soviet Union Aviation Nation 2016
The Kingcobra was an improved design over the P-39 Airacobra but despite this one being in USAAF markings they were primarily used in WW2 by the Soviet Union
The P-63 like its predecessor the P-39 had the unique engine behind the cockpit layout Aviation Nation 2016
The P-63 like its predecessor the P-39 had the unique engine behind the cockpit layout
USAAF North American B-25J Mitchell "Photo Fanny" takes off Aviation Nation 2016
USAAF North American B-25J Mitchell “Photo Fanny” takes off
B-25J Aviation Nation 2016
The North American B-25J Mitchell was a versatile medium bomber put to great use during World War Two
Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer takes off at Aviation Nation 2016
A big old Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer takes off at Aviation Nation (as used by the US Navy as a maritime patrol bomber and later a civilian fire bomber)
Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer takes off at Aviation Nation 2016
The big Privateer on an attack run
The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was developed from the B-24 Liberator and is a great looking aircraft Aviation Nation 2016
The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was developed from the B-24 Liberator and is a great looking aircraft – check out the guys in the rear side window taking photos!
 Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer Aviation Nation 2016
A view of a PB4Y-2 Privateer coming in like this was not one an enemy submarine captain would have liked to have seen!
USAAF North American P-51D Mustang "Dolly" Aviation Nation 2016
USAAF North American P-51D Mustang “Dolly” – The P-51 saw valiant service in both WW2 and Korea
1950's era North American T-28 Trojan Trainers Aviation Nation 2016
1950’s era North American T-28 Trojan Trainers
As the PB4Y-2 Privateer lands a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star takes off Aviation Nation 2016
As the PB4Y-2 Privateer lands a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star takes off
Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star "Ace Maker" jet trainer Aviation Nation 2016
Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star “Ace Maker II” jet trainer
The T-33 makes a low fast pass at Aviation Nation 2016
The T-33 makes a low fast pass at Aviation Nation
Soviet Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI two-seat trainer Aviation Nation 2016
Soviet Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI two-seat trainer
Soviet Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI two-seat trainer Aviation Nation 2016
Soviet Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI two-seat trainer
MiG--15
The single seat MiG-15 caused a stir when UN pilots first encountered it during the Korean War (1950-1953) and this lead to the first jet on jet air battles
MiG-15UTI Nellis AFB Aviation Nation 2016
The mountains make for a spectacular backdrop as the MiG-15UTI zips by
USAF North American F-86 Sabre "Jolly Roger" Aviation Nation 2016
USAF North American F-86 Sabre “Jolley Roger” – The F-86 became the “MiG Killer” of the Korean War
North American F-86 Sabre jet Aviation Nation 2016
North American F-86 Sabre jet
North American F-86 Sabre jet Aviation Nation 2016
North American F-86 Sabre jet
Soviet Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI two-seat trainer Aviation Nation 2016
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15UTI

These warbirds could also be seen on static display throughout the day. There was so much to see during the air display, I unfortunately didn’t get to spend a lot of time in this area and it really wasn’t until the end of the show that I wandered through there.

Aviation Nation 2016 Nellis AFB Warbird Statics BT-15 Val P-40N B-25
Top to bottom: Replica Aichi D3A Val dive bomber built from a Vultee BT-15 trainer, Curtiss P-40N Warhawk and North American B-25 Mitchell
Curtiss P-40N Warhawk and Bell P-63 Kingcobra Aviation Nation 2016
Curtiss P-40N Warhawk and Bell P-63 Kingcobra
Aviation Nation 2016 Warbird Statics PB4Y-2 OV-10 F-86 Spitfire Ml XIV P-51D
Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, Rockwell OV-10 Bronco, North American F-86 Sabre, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV and North American P-51D Mustang

The Vietnam War era aircraft provided a real treat in the chance to see the last public air show flights of the McDonnell Douglas QF-4 Phantom II. A Cold War warrior legend that’s time is coming to an end. The F-4 was a major combat aircraft of the USAF from 1963 until 1996 but they will retire the last of these now aerial targets in December 2016 (please see my earlier post for more on saying Pharewell to the Phantom).

A USAF McDonnell Douglas QF-4 Phantom II soars into the sky following take-off Aviation Nation 2016
A USAF McDonnell Douglas QF-4 Phantom II soars into the sky following take-off
McDonnell Douglas QF-4 Phantom II Aviation Nation 2016
McDonnell Douglas QF-4 Phantom II

There was also a spirited solo flying display featuring the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star jet trainer known as “Ace Maker II” (many a fighter pilot earned their wings flying the T-33). The T-33 then joined in on a jet vs jetcar race against the impressive Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar powered by a Westinghouse J34-48 jet engine that was originally used in a North American Buckeye T-2A trainer. From what I could tell it was a 1 all draw over the 2 days of races.

Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar Aviation Nation 2016
Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar
Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar Aviation Nation 2016
Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar – letting the jet engine roar!
A smoky low pass by T-33 "Ace Maker" Aviation Nation 2016
A smoky low pass by T-33 “Ace Maker II”
T-33 Acemaker racing Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar Aviation Nation 2016
And they’re racing!
Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star "Ace Maker" vs. the Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar at Aviation Nation 2016 Nellis AFB
BOOM! Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star “Ace Maker II” vs. the Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar at Aviation Nation 2016
Aviaiton Nation 2016 T-33 racing jetcar
Smoke-N-Thunder is gaining on the T-33
Smoke-N-Thunder Jetcar Aviation Nation 2016
The race was so much closer than you would think!

The military side of things was also complemented by some spirited civilian flying including aerobatic flying by Vickie Benzing in her 1940 Boeing Stearman and Chuck Coleman in his Extra 300. There was also an impressive “bit” of mass formation flying by the West Coast Ravens with up to 24 custom-built RV aircraft!

Vicky Benzing - Boeing Stearman (1940) Aviation Nation 2016
Vicky Benzing – Boeing Stearman (1940)
Chuck Coleman - Extra 300 Aviation Nation 2016
Chuck Coleman – Extra 300
West Coast Ravens assembly and take-off Aviation Nation 2016
West Coast Ravens assembly and take-off
The West Coast Ravens mass formation of 24 RV Aircraft Aviation Nation 2016
The West Coast Ravens mass formation of 24 RV Aircraft
The West Coast Ravens mass formation of 24 RV Aircraft Aviation Nation 2016
The West Coast Ravens mass formation of 24 RV Aircraft
Aviaiton Nation 2016 8 ship pass by the West Coast Ravens
A much smaller 8 ship pass by the West Coast Ravens

This was my second time at Aviation Nation. I cannot wait to attend another as it is action packed with fast jets, along with warbirds and other interesting aircraft and weaponry displays. People from around the world come to this show and it’s not hard to see why (some 300,000 people attended the event over the 2 days!). It is just one of those great aviation events that should not be missed!

CAF SOCAL Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV Aviation Nation 2016
Commemorative Air Force SOCAL Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV depart Nellis AFB
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5 thoughts on “Aviation Nation 2016: 75 Years of Airpower – Part IV

  1. What a plethora of great photos! I especially am tickled with the P-63 and the Privateer. The mass formation shots…never seen anything like it myself…thanks again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those mass formations resemble the mass formations of heavy bombers in the Second World War (ok on a different scale). A great collection of photos, I’ve really enjoyed seeing these posts, it certainly looked like a show to remember! Thank you so much for sharing them!

    Liked by 1 person

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