Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

    Home   Indiana Museums   Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows   2015 Airshows   2016 Airshows
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center
 

 

 

 2015 Airshows
Titusville (Tico), FL   Virginia Beach, VA   Seymour Johnson AFB, NC   Halls, TN   Warsaw, IN   B-29 Air Power Tour Fort Wayne, IN   Thunder over Michigan, Bellevue MI

Warbirds over the Beach Warbird Photo Review
Warbirds at Military Aviation Museum Airshow 2015, Virginia Beach, VA - May 15-17 - Photos taken Friday and Saturday, May 15-16, 2015. 
 

Up close and personal is the best way to describe the Warbirds over the Beach Airshow produced each May by the Military Aviation Museum.  This is particularly true when it comes to the take-offs and landings, due to the layout of the airport.  The main grass runway is oriented east-west (Runways 11-29) and is squeezed in between the museum hangars on the north side and a grove of trees that mark the property line to the south.  The crowd line aligns with the south side of the hangars, making for one of the best if not the best venues I have attended for being close for take-offs and landings.  This is an all warbird show!  With the exception of several aircraft, all of the warbirds are owned and operated by the Military Aviation Museum.  No civilian aerobatics, no jet trucks or cars; just warbirds.  As it should be.

Friday:  I arrived about noon time and spent the rest of the day looking at displays in the Museum, watching warbirds take off and land, and venturing down to the west hangars. The contain WWI aircraft, the Mosquito, and an original WWII German hangar purchased by the Museum and then rebuilt on the premises.

On Friday there was a stiff wind out of the east which allowed for some great take-offs from the west.



Not long after lunch the Museum's PBY took off.  Starting way back to the right of the house, in the right edge of the photo, I noted that the trees on the south side of field act like an amphitheater and bounce the engine sounds right back at us on the north side.  Once the warbirds went to takeoff power there was no doubt they were on the takeoff roll, even though they were initially blocked from view.


I was set up just to the west of the Museum's hangar complex, which gave me an excellent location to watch the warbirds on takeoff and start to rotate.


And I had an unobstructed location as they got airborne.


Heading towards the Atlantic Ocean the PBY has just flown by the Hurricane, P-51, Wildcat, Corsair, Skyraider and P-40.



Following right behind the PBY was the Museum's Ju-52, formally operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF).  I think this is the first time I have seen the aircraft since it was at the Indianapolis Airshow several years ago.  It is good to see that it is in good hands and flying.


It did not nearly need the runway the PBY did to get airborne.


P-51 "Old Red Nose", the first aircraft purchased by the CAF in the 1950a that started the warbird movement, took off next with a passenger.  Here the Mustang has rotated back down the runway and is passing over four the the seven T-6s that came in to help out with the show.

There was a lull in the flying so I wandered down to the hangars that face west.  One hangar was dedicated to WWI replica and restored aircraft, one was the German WWII hangar, and one was where the Spitfire was being worked on and the Mosquito was getting washed.

The Spitfire had some sort of engine problem that did not get repaired in time for it to fly in the show.  The cowlings were put back on the aircraft, and it was towed out to the fighter ramp and put on static display.


The Mosquito was getting a bath in anticipation of flying during the weekend.


Also seen was this V-1 ramjet engine that is set up to be run.  I was hoping it would be moved out to the ramp in front of the hangar and run.  No such luck.


Later in the afternoon the Museum's Skyraider came roaring down the grass runway on its way out.


 Being close to the fighter ramp allowed me to watch the fighters start.  In this case it was the Hurricane.


The CAF's SBD had just arrived and taxid in front of the Hurricane.





Saturday:
  Saturday was another perfect flying day and I arrived as the gates opened.  Shown below are a few highlights of the day.  There was just too many warbirds (Actually one can never have too many warbirds!) participating to show them all in a flying mode.  All of the bombers, fighters and cargo aircraft at the show have been included either in Friday's section, or Saturdays. 


As I was driving out to the airport I could see the C-46 "Tinker Belle", another former CAF aircraft, flying around the area after coming up from Monroe, NC.  I was able to take this shot of her on the landing rollout from my location in the parking lot.  Shown here are several of the WWII tents and vehicles in the re-enactor display, which is the second largest of its kind I have seen.


Show time!  WWII re-enactor airborne troops load up into the C-46 for a static line drop which was the first time I had seen this aircraft do this.  Note the smaller passenger doors within the larger cargo door.  It is a long way up the ladder.


On the takeoff roll.


 There are only three flyable Polikarpov Po-2s (U-2) flying in the US and this one is owned by the Military Aviation Museum.  This was another first for me as this was the first time I have seen one fly.  Designed in 1928 as a trainer around 40,000 U-2s and Po-2s were built up until 1953.


The Po-2 is the post WWII version of the aircraft, which was originally designated the U-2, of which 33,000 were built.


A nice touch with the female gunner in the aircraft.  The Po-2/ U-2 is most well known among WWII historians as the aircraft used by the all female Russian 588th Bomber Regiment and commonly known as the 'Night Witches", because of their night harassment raids behind German lines on the Eastern Front.  Some of the pilots had 1,000 missions by the time the war ended.


After the Po-2 taxied by I moved all the way down to the west end of the field.  I had become obvious that I was out of position to be able to be close to the fly-bys that were flying a modified pattern over the cross-wind runway.  This allowed for better photos of the flying aircraft.


 And I was in position to be able see most of the aircraft rotate on the takeoff.




The Grumman Wildcat with the flaps down virtually jumps into the air and was climbing fast by the time it got to my position.


There were several "loose" formation passes by the Navy aircraft.


B-25 "Wild Cargo" became airborne right in front of me.


As did the P-40.


One of the more anticipated aircraft at the show was the Me-262 seen here starting its fly-by.  According to what I was told it is not allowed by the FAA to operate on grass, although this was what the aircraft operated from during WWII.  So it flew in from a remote base.








But the most anticipated aircraft of the weekend was the DeHavilland Mosquito, seen here on the take-off roll.  The weapon in the left of the photo is the famous or infamous German 88, which was firing blanks at many of the warbirds as they flew during the weekend.


The dry grass runway and its dust helped in showing the movement of many aircraft at the show during the weekend.




The Mosquito used up quite a bit of runway and did not lift off until beyond me.


The Mosquito did not fly the same pattern as the rest of the warbirds but flew in formation with the Hurricane at altitude over he crowd.  This was a disappointment as all one could see was the underside of the aircraft.  Actually the best part of the Mosquito flight had already taken place, which was the takeoff a few minutes before.  


From what the narrator said, this may be an insurance issue.  He specially thanked the insurance company for allowing the aircraft to fly and it may be that to fly the Mosquito can not do any low airshow passes to get the insurance needed to fly the show. 

For the warbird enthusiast, Warbirds over the Beach is well worth the trip to visit.  This was my first visit after two previous aborted trips and I do plan to return in the future.  Again the strong point of this show is the closeness of the runway and the ability to be able to watch many of the warbirds rotate and takeoff in front of you, if in the proper position.

Side trips
It is a long way between Indiana and Virginia Beach, and along the way I continued my practice of making stops of places of interest.

Marietta, OH


Marietta, OH was the location of the first permanent settlement of Europeans in Ohio in 1788.  This display, which has us looking north, in the Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, shows the Ohio River at the bottom and the Muskingum River flowing into it.  Two forts can be seen at the confluence of the rivers.  At far end of the display one can see some geometric figures, which were built by an ancient culture that populated the area many years ago.


I was fascinated by this display and spent most of my time in the museum looking and it and taking photos from all different angles.  This photo is now looking east from the northwest corner of the display.  To the right is Campus Martius, a fort along the Muskingum River which is now the location of the Museum.  This photo also shows the Indian Earthworks as they originally looked when the Europeans arrived.  It is unknown how many Indian Earthworks and Mounds were originally in Ohio, but it is estimated in the thousands.  Just a handful still exist today.

The structure above is assumed to be some sort of ceremonial mound complex with the two long parallel walls going down to the banks of the Muskingum River.  Today if we were to build something like this we would use laser surveying equipment, backhoes, bulldozers and dump trucks.  The ancients are to have presumed have moved the earth in small bags carried on the backs of laborers.  Not a trivial task.


One mound that does still exists in Marietta is the Great Mound or Conus Mound located in the original cemetery in the area.  This mound is considered to have been built by the Hopewell culture while the Earthworks also show signs of the Adena culture.   

Parkersburg, WV


This is the former location of Fort Boreman, a Union Civil War fort that was constructed on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River.  The fort was built to deny Confederate ships from coming up the river, which never happened.  Today it is a very nice park that overlooks Parkersburg, WV and one can spend an hour or so walking the area, reading the placards that have been set up to learn more about this little know Civil War fort.

Newport News, VA


This 240mm T1 gun is the only one of its type built and can be seen at the Virginia War Museum.  Work on this cannon was started by the Watervleit Arsenal, NY in 1950 and lead to the development of a later 280mm version which then became the Atomic Cannon.  This is one of many displays, inside and outside of the museum, that go all the way back to the Revolutionary War.

Titusville (Tico), FL   Virginia Beach, VA   Seymour Johnson AFB, NC   Halls, TN   Warsaw, IN   B-29 Air Power Tour Fort Wayne, IN   Thunder over Michigan, Bellevue MI
 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows  
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


E-mail us at: 
Webmaster