The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star or “T-Bird” (introduced into service in 1948) was developed as a two-seat jet trainer from one of Americas earliest jet fighters, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star (introduced into service in 1945). The T-33 went on to become one of the most successful jet trainers for pilots transitioning to larger combat aircraft… Read More Lockheed T-33 – The Ace Maker
During the Vietnam War the helicopter totally changed infantry combat. Helicopters could be used to insert and extract troops, including medical evacuations. Helicopter gunships could also be used to attack the enemy at close quarters to friendly troops and provide fire support. They were the angels of the sky to their own soldiers and demons to… Read More Vietnam Helos – Angels and Demons from the Sky
“Death Angel” is a USAF Lockheed AC-130H “Spectre” gunship (a modified Lockheed C-130 Hercules) used for close air support, interdiction, recon and base protection duties. The original AC-130A model was introduced in 1968 and developed to take over from its Vietnam era predecessor the Douglas AC-47 “Spooky” gunship. The various models of the “Spectre” have been used in missions over Vietnam,… Read More Don’t mess with the Spectre!
At the Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012 in July among the many air displays was a USAF Heritage Flight consisting of a North American TP-51D Mustang “Little Witch“(a two seater) and a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon from Hill AFB in Utah. Both aircraft did impressive solo displays. The display included some nice low passes by both… Read More USAF Heritage Flight – Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012
The Patriots are a civilian jet demonstration team flying six Cold War era Czech built Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainers in a striking black paint scheme. The pilots are qualified aerobatic pilots and most are ex-members of military display teams (USAF Thunderbirds, US Navy Blue Angels and Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds). I recently saw The Patriots fly at the 2012 Joint Base… Read More The Patriots Jet Team
Since 1953 the USAF Thunderbirds have been world renown as being one of the best aerial demonstration teams. Today they fly the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. At the recent Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012 (July) I got to see them again for the first time since 2009. As always they put on a great… Read More Thunderbirds Are Go!
July 21st, 2012 The backbone of the United States Air Force is long-range strategic bombers. Today this duty falls to the Rockwell B-1 Lancer,the venerable Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and the Northrop-Grumman B-2 Spirit. The Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012 displayed the “Big 3” strategic bombers in flight (saturday only). There is always something special about seeing these… Read More The “Big 3” bombers of the USAF
July 21st, 2012 Following on from my previous post on the US Army Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter, I just had to post these photos of what is the ultimate “Beast” version of the Chinook, the MH-47G! I saw this MH-47G at the Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012. It is operated by the US Army 4-160th Special Operations Aviation… Read More Boeing MH-47G “Beast” Chinook!