Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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 Knoxville, TN   MCAS Cherry Point, NC   Saint Louis, MO   CFB Trenton, ONT   Thunder Over Michigan, Bellevue, MI   Marion, IN   Waukegan, IL   NAS Patuxent River, MD
MCAS Cherry Point Air Show Warbird Photo Review
Warbirds at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Havelock, NC - April 29-May 1, 2016  (Photos taken Saturday, April 30.)


An Airshow of "Firsts."

I am often questioned why I continue to visit airshows; and in some cases the same ones on a regular basis.  After all, there are limited airshow acts and warbirds, and they do the same thing from week to week and show to show.  This assumes that the aviation industry and airshows don't ever have anything new or different.  MCAS Cherry Point 2016 is a prime example of a show that had some aircraft that were new, and also where the presentation of some of the existing acts was new to me.  There were many "Firsts" at Cherry Point for me.

The show was also the show of gray on gray, with many gray camouflaged military aircraft, and low gray clouds for most of the day.  There is just not that much color in the photos of the show.


What does Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, have to do with the 2016 MCAS Cherry Point Airshow?  Three weeks before the show, I discovered that relics of the pirate's ship were located in the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, twenty miles down the road from Cherry Point.  Cherry Point had not been on my original list of shows to visit for 2016.  A quick look at the airshow lineup convinced me I now had more than one reason to visit the area and take in the show.  It had an outstanding line-up of acts.


This was a first for me.  The F-22 Demo team staged directly in front of where I was going to watch the show.  While I have seen the demo numerous times, I have never been in a position to watch and hear the start up.  Normally the F-22s are off on a remote ramp away from the crowd.  Cherry Point does it right!


Parked right next to the F-22s was the Canadian CF-18 Demo.  This is the also the first time I have been able to sit across from this aircraft at a show. 


 Two F-35B were on the ramp to my right.  This is the first time I have seen the B-version, and the first time I have seen more than on F-35 in one place at one time.  It was the listing of the F-35s in flying section of the Cherry Point Airshow listing that convinced me to attend this event.


Right behind my sitting position at the show was this Iomax Arch Angel on static display.  This was a first for everyone at the show, as this was the first time the Arch Angel has been placed on display at an airshow.


The Arch Angel is a two-seat version of the Thrush S2R-600, normally used as a crop duster.  Iomax has modified the aircraft for long range intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and standoff precision strike missions.  This particular aircraft is number ten of twenty-five being sold to the U.A.E.


The pilot's cockpit.  When the aircraft arrived at Iomax, it had basic flight instruments, a control stick and throttle.  Iomax has rebuilt the cockpit to this advanced configuration.


The fuselage as been modified by the addition of a rear cockpit for a weapons system operator.  It also has a control stick and throttle.


This OV-1D is operated by Mohawk Air Shows; and is the only OV-1 that performs aerobatic maneuvers.  MCAS Cherry Point was the first time I would see if fly aerobatically.  The paint job was also new since I saw it last. 


The pilot has had the names of MIAs painted on the fuselage since I last saw it. 


After a weather delay of about an hour, the flying portion of the show started.  Low ceilings cancelled the B-2 fly-by and all of the jump acts for the day.  Mike Wiskus opened the show, as there was finally enough ceiling for the small aerobatic aircraft to perform.


The CF-18 did his low show, but gave the crowd several vapor passes. 


The Canadians had the most colorful of the modern aircraft on the field.


The OV-1D had vapor trails off the tips of the props as it started its take-off roll.


This was the first time I ever saw a Mohawk do a roll.


On this aileron roll coming back in the opposite direction, it was pushing the limits of the low ceiling.


Each year the CF-18 gets a different paint job to celebrate some event in Canadian history.  For 2016 the event is the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan from WWII.


Matt Younkin with the F-35Bs in the foreground.


Randy Ball likes to fly the Mig-17 fast, down low, and with the afterburner on.


Time for the F-22 Demo, as the pilot gets into the cockpit.  The green of the HUD adds a little color to the gray of the aircraft and the sky.  Note that sunglasses are part of the uniform, whether the sun is out or not.


This was a surprise!  I was not expecting any smoke on start-up.


Pre-flight checks of the flight controls allowed the spectators to see the different configurations as the pilot went through his check list.


I assume there are some gauges or indicator lights that are being checked out.


The arms were always to the side of the body, even when moving under the lowest part of the fuselage.


As soon as the Raptor took off, the pilot determined he did not have the ceiling for his demonstration.  But he had 9,500 pounds of fuel to burn off in order to land within regulations.  The best way to do this was give the crowd multiple high-speed passes in afterburner.


Some time later the engines had to be inspected.


All that can be seen of the crew chief is his left leg and shoe.  This photo also gives a close-up of the open weapons bay and the ejection rack.


This was the first time I had ever seen any F-35 taxi.  In this case it was the B model operated by Marine Aviation at Cherry Point.  While all demo aircraft bring a second aircraft as a spare in case of mechanical difficulty, the Marines do not seem to yet have full confidence in their new F-35Bs.  Both aircraft pictured here were started about an hour before flight time.  The second aircraft did not shut down until after the demo aircraft was airborne.


It was the first time I have seen an F-35 take off and do a demo!  Most likely, this is the first time the F-35B has performed a demo, as the aircraft just became operational with the Marines in 2015.  This was a first for everybody at the show.


Unlike the AV-8B Harrier, the F-35B has an afterburner.


After several high speed afterburner passes, the F-35B did the routine of stopping in front of the crowd and rotating about a point.  The sequence of events by the F-35B was very similar to what the Harrier Demo has done over the years. 


On my trip to the Cherry Point show, one of my stops along the way was at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  The power plant of the F-35B is on display, along with the prototype aircraft.  The lift fan at the right is built by Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, IN.


The skies somewhat cleared up somewhat for the Blue Angels at the end of the day, but they still had to fly their low show, finishing up six hours of flying.  The USMC Cherry Point Airshow, in my estimation, is the premier military airshow east of the Mississippi River.  For brevity, I have only shown a small sample of the flying during the course of the day.  There were many more acts including the Trojan Horsemen, The Skytypers, AV-8B Harrier Demo, and the Marine Combined Forces Attack Scenario and a wall of fire.  I have used just a handful of the record 1,600 plus photos I took for the day.  

The biannual airshow is a big deal for the town of Havelock, NC, and the surrounding area, where Cherry Point is located.  Most of the spectators come in from locations outside of Havelock.  At the late date when I booked my hotel room, I had very limited and somewhat expensive choices from which to chose.  At the show I was parked on runway 5R, of which about 6,000 feet of the 200 foot wide space was used for parking.  It was completely full and took me three hours to exit.  It took another half hour to go a normal five minute drive back to the hotel.  This was one of two runway parking lots on runways for the show.  Three and a half hours after the show, US-70 was still backed up with traffic trying to get out of town.  There were a lot of people there! 

Side trips on the way to the show.
My shortest route to the show was 860 miles.  To drive all that distance and back for a one day airshow does not make a lot of sense.  This year I added a few miles and a day to the trip, traveling via the Baltimore-Washington, DC area, to visit several museums outside of DC.   This was in addition to the day along the North Carolina coast.

North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC


As noted above, the Queen Anne's Revenge display in Beaufort, NC was instrumental in bringing me to the area for the airshow.  Blackbeard welcomes us into the display with a mug of rum.


This is a model of the Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.  The frigate was built in 1710 for the Royal Navy and captured by the French in 1711.  Used as a slave ship by the French, Blackbeard captured her in 1717, and then used it as the flagship of his fleet.  He ran it aground 1.25 miles off of the location of Fort Macon, just across the bay from the museum.  The stones in the photo were used for ballast in the ship.


Here are two of the cannons that were reclaimed from the wreckage site.  In 1996 the wreckage was found by a salvage company.  As of 2012, thirteen cannons had been raised from the wreckage.  Another ten had been identified in the wreckage.  The items that look like weight lifting dumbbells were fired from the cannon into the rigging of target ships to bring down not only the rigging, but the sails and spars as they tumbled through the air. 


 The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort is located on the map where the "B" in Beaufort is.

Fort Macon State Park, NC -
In the first four days of the trip, the only sunshine and blue skies I saw was at the fort.


From Fort Macon, Shacklefort Banks are across the Beaufort inlet.  To the far right of the photo is the area where the Queen Anne's Revenge was found. 


Fort Macon was captured by the Confederate Forces of North Carolina before the Civil War began.  On April 25, 1862 Union forces began shelling the fort from the west were Atlantic Beach is now located.  Note the stone stairs on the right side of the photo.


During the bombardment, a mortar shell hit the stairs.


This is the casement directly under the stairway.  There is a repaired crack in the wall and one in the ceiling.  Union Parrot Rifles started to destroy the fortifications and the integrity in this section of the fort.  The fort's powder magazine is directly to the right in this photo.  When the fort commander was shown the damage, he surrendered rather than have the powder magazine hit and the entire fort destroyed.  He has previously refused two offers of surrender before the bombardment.   


This is the unrepaired crack in the ceiling of the casement.

Fort Frederick, Big Pool, MD.


This was actually my first stop of the trip.  This fort is of all stone construction.  Most of the fort today is the original construction from 1754. It was built during the French and Indian War to protect the western frontier of Maryland.  It became a National Historic Landmark 1974.


This is one of two barracks open during the summer months, but not in April.  It was raining during my visit.  I need to return on another trip when the weather is more hospitable and the barracks open.  The Fort is only a mile off of I-68, making it very easy to get to.

The National Cryptologic Museum, Fort Meade, MD
This Museum is part of the NSA complex in the south-west corner of Fort Meade, MD.  I spent a considerable amount of time in the museum looking at all of the code machines, especially the German Enigmas from WWII, of which the museum has a complete collection.  This museum is like no other, having codes, cipher sending machines, and cipher de-coding equipment for its subject matter.  For those interested in this subject, this museum is a must.  This is a one-of-kind museum, and is not well known, like many of those in downtown Washington, DC.  In my opinion, it is a "hidden gem."


This machine is only survivor of 121 code breaking machines built for the US Navy during WWII by the NCR Corporation in Dayton, OH.  Called a "bombe", it and the others were used by the Navy to break the German Navy Enigma codes, the most difficult of the German Enigma codes to break.  The German Air Force and Army Enigma codes were, for the most part, being read on a daily basis by the British, and later the Americans, during WWII.  This machine was the main reason for me to visit the museum. 


One of the many interesting and unexpected displays.  This is part of Colossus, the first digital computer that was built to break the German Lorenz SZ40/42 cipher machine used by the German high command.  It was the world's first digital computer, used by the British at Bletchley Park in England. 


While much of the information is available on the breaking German ciphers and codes, the work by the US Army and Navy to break Japanese codes has been forgotten.  The Museum has a whole area dedicated to this subject, which like the work to break German codes, started long before WWII.  This 1944 analog is based on the earlier 1940 version to read the Japanese Purple diplomatic codes.


The engineer in me always takes me around to the back of the machine to see the working part. 


 Next to the Museum is Surveillance Park, where this RU-8D, a C-130 and an EA-3B are displayed.  This photo was taken in the rain.  I need to return on a sunny day for better photos, and to spend more time absorbing all of the information in the Cryptologic Museum.

 Knoxville, TN   MCAS Cherry Point, NC   Saint Louis, MO   CFB Trenton, ONT   Thunder Over Michigan, Bellevue, MI   Marion, IN   Waukegan, IL   NAS Patuxent River, MD

 


 
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    2017 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


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