No Crying At Air Shows

Nov 25, 2011 Leave a Comment

I have a boyfriend who likes airplanes.  He knows how to fly them.  He knows how to build them.  He knows about pretty much every airline and airport in the world.  He can tell you the history of every fighter aircraft since World War II.  Sometimes... it drives me crazy.  But other times, it's pretty darn cool.

Even though it's not my first choice for a hobby, it's been interesting getting to see and learn about all the different kinds of planes out there.  And recently, we got the opportunity to see a bunch of them in action at an air show hosted by Albuquerque's very own Kirtland Airforce Base.

When we arrived, the first thing I noticed were all the attractive military men in uniform.  What girl doesn't like that?  They were very efficient, directing us which way to go to get on the bus, giving us the rules and return procedures, etc.  Before getting in, they had to wave metal detector wands over us (which I didn't mind one bit... hot uniformed guys, remember?) and there were also law enforcement dogs at the entrance.  We were admiring one of them when they told us that there would be a demonstration with the dogs in a few minutes.

Let me tell you, these dogs are talented.  It was pretty impressive, the things they could do.  One thing I was not impressed with was my camera's video feature.  For some reason, it can't handle bright lights very well and everything ends up washed out, but I did manage to get this one of a super awesome dog jumping into a truck.

After the dogs, the air show activities began with a demonstration by the 58th Special Operations Wing.  First, the Osprey came out.  And I have no idea why I don't have a picture of it, because it is awesome.  It's like this weird combination of an airplane and a helicopter.  One time, I saw one flying over the Gila, and I was like WTF is that???   Anyway, back to the air show.  The next thing that happened was these guys

dropped out of this plane, the C-130.

Then, there was a Black Hawk that came and picked the guys up when they were done with their "mission," or whatever.  I don't really remember all the details.  We went to this kind of a while ago.  Here's the Black Hawk.

The next event of the show was a fly-by of a pretty darn cool plane called the B-1.  For all of these planes, it was really hard to take a picture because the sun was blaring in my face and these guys were going by suuuuper fast.  Here's the closest one I could get.

But, honestly, what is the B-1 without the incredible, spaceship-esque B-2?  Again, the picture really does not do it justice.

There were also a variety of static ground displays.  This is the giant C-17.

And if you don't believe me when I say how big it is, this is what it looks like on the inside.

I also took a picture of this B-52, mainly because I like butterflies.

The grand finale, and probably one of the coolest parts of the show, featured these guys.

The Thunderbirds.  The pilots of these planes are incredibly talented.  It takes a lot of training and skill just to make a plane take off, fly in a straight line, and land.  Which makes the stunts that these planes can do pretty amazing.

P.S. I got the title for this post while we were walking around looking at the static displays.  A man said it to his kid.  I thought that was pretty awesome.

P.P.S. And this whole event -- totally free.  Yep.


  • PJ said:  

    That's so neat! While I was in Japan at the Naval Air Station they were celebrating 100 years of Naval Aviation and they had an air show. It was so cool to see.

  • Off-Black said:  

    Cool post!

    "I also took a picture of this B-52, mainly because I like butterflies"

    Love it :)

    Useless trivia: that particular B-52 is over 50 years old.

    Matt is lucky to have as cool as you about this for a partner. My family is Air Force, but non-males going to airshows is a decades old running gag amongst my mother and sisters, and my wife has a standing rule about only going to one show a season (although I have always insisted she only go if she wants to :) ).

    I drool a bit at the hardware you can see there. Nothing like it in NZ (we don't even have fighter aircraft anymore, and there are probably more aircraft based at Kirtland than in the entire RNZAF). I came *this* close to seeing the Thunderbirds once, at an airshow that was planned in Australia for late September 2001. You can look at the date and figure out why that didn't happen.

  • carma said:  

    totally free - now we're talkin ;-) I'm not much into planes either but it was incredibly amazing seeing the stealth bomber fly overhead before the nascar race in may. That's about all the planes I can handle :D

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