Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Look! Up in the sky! Is a bird? Is it a plane? Um, yeh it's a plane

Lots and lots of planes

It's the CNE Air Show

Lots and lots of jets in this year's show. Private jet teams have become more and more popular and this year the Breitling team came over from France. They bill themselves as the world's largest private performing jet teams, flying Czech built L-39C Albatros training jets. That's not unusual in the private jet team universe, teams flying planes made in the former Soviet bloc

More than just jets of course. One of my favorite returning performers to the show is acrobatic pilot Mike Wiskus. He flies a custom made Pitts biplane and the things that he does with it, well, those old WW I pilots would be half envious and half "what the fuck did he just do"

Another stunt pilot was was Dave Mathieson, who flies a monowing MX2. If you watch the TV series Air Show you will better know him as Super Dave. He also showed up another series, Dangerous Flights, about the guys who ferry planes around the world

More jets of course, including the the F/A 28C Hornet from the US Navy. They were going to fly the Canadian navy's hottest plane, but the damn rubber band snapped

Every year the Air Show features what it calls the Heritage Flight, where they combine a contemporary military plane with a vintage one. This year it was an F-16 flying alongside one of my favorite WW II planes, the P-51 Mustang. I'm always impressed how planes so dissimilar, a modern jet and a classic prop plane, can match speeds and fly so effortlessly together

This was not the show's only combination of jet and propeller propulsion. John Klatt brought another biplane to the show, a very special one that he calls the Screamin Sasquatch Jet Waco. The basis of it is a barnstorming style Taperwing biplane but he added a little something something .. that being a jet engine. Along side the propeller engine. Yeh, kind of a schizo aircraft

The usual suspects were there, from the Cadet gliding demonstration (the pulse pounding spectacle of a glider being towed by a plane, I know I know, almost too much to bear) but the way more fun Sea King helicopter doing a demo with a rescue diver

And of course, it can't be the Air Show without the Snowbirds. I've seen the Snowbirds well over a dozen times, both at the CNE and in other places. Really, their act has not changed that much over time and I keep thinking I will tire of it. But when you see that precision flying, the perfect symmetry of their flying patterns, well it's always impressive

All of the photo's above are, of course, Collette's. The video below is mine .. with more of her photo's. I ain't no dummy

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