Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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Spirit of St. Louis Airshow Warbird Photo Review
Warbirds at Spirit of St. Louis Airport, Chesterfield, MO - May 14-15, 2016 - Photos taken Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14. 

The View from the cheap seats!

This review of the warbirds at St. Louis is not what I had originally planned.  On Thursday before before the show, I realized that all of the advance sales tickets had been sold out.  A call to the airshow confirmed all tickets for Saturday, my planned day to be at the show, were sold out, and there were no gate sale tickets available.  This was all due to limited parking space at the airport for the show.  There were no more places to park.

This was the first time in the many years I have been going to airshows that I had run into this situation.  In most cases, I don't purchase advance sale tickets, in case for some reason at the end, I can not go.  Several times I have had to cancel out for various reasons.  In the case of St. Louis, next time I will know to purchase the tickets in advance if I plan to go.

In any other case I would have cancelled my hotel reservations and stayed home.  However, this time my wife was coming along, and she was coming because on Sunday we were going to Warm Springs Ranch in central Missouri to visit the Budweiser Clydesdales.  For that, we had reservations since February.  So we modified our Saturday plans and proceeded with our trip. 

At any airshow, there are always the persons who park on the fringes of the airport to watch the show for free.  Saturday afternoon I was one of those persons.  It gave me a chance to see what you get for free, which is not much in my opinion.  You get what you pay for, or in this case, not pay for.  For me, this is something I only want to experience one time.  I'd rather be on the inside watching the show.

As can be seen below, even though I could not get on the airshow grounds, I was still able to view some aircraft flying.  In the case of the Blue Angels, I noticed several different things as noted below.

These photos were taken Friday Afternoon from the hotel parking lot, which was behind the show and in the Blue Angel maneuver area.


Well, this is interesting!  Blue Angel #2 is flying the #7 aircraft, and Blue Angel #4 is flying the #2 aircraft.


Blue Anger #4 aircraft is being flown by one of the solo pilots and it is a two seater.


This photo is from two weeks before at MCAS Cherry Point.   The #4 aircraft was a single seater at that show.


Coming right over the hotel parking lot with gear and hook down, Blue Angel #4 in aircraft #2 is on the downwind for an unscheduled landing in the middle of the practice.


With the number 7 aircraft already in the lineup, Blue Angel #4 did not return, as The Blues had run out of aircraft.  For the rest of the practice show the team flew with a three ship diamond.


While sitting in the parking lot waiting to see what showed up after the practice show, I was rewarded by this F-4 Phantom in the landing pattern.  Because the show was sponsored by Boeing, and the St. Louis Boeing facility is the former McDonnell-Douglas, it was able to pull in this now rare aircraft for static display.

Below is the message that was on the airshow website Saturday morning.

Spirit of St. Louis Air Show

presented by Boeing

May 14-15, 2016

Saturday tickets are SOLD OUT. Sorry, but we cannot take walk-up ticket sales on Saturday. If you donít already have a ticket for Saturday, you will not be able to get in at the gate. Sunday tickets are still available.

Sunday tickets weren't going to do me any good, as I was going to be 100 miles to the west at Warm Springs Ranch.  On Sunday's webpage, it did finally say that walk-ins were allowed.  You just had to park your car somewhere else.  A good place would have been the outlet mall and the Gander Mtn. store across the street from the airport where many persons watched the show.

Saturday Photos.  It was mid afternoon when we arrived at this location.


The store parking lot was taken over by persons watching the show.  Inside the store there were only a half a dozen or so customers. 


Here are more outside-the-show spectators parked along the entrance road to the outlet mall.  This location was behind airshow center.  I arrived during the F-22 demo after visiting Grant's farm and the Grant historical center in the morning.


The F-22 came fight over my location in setting up for a behind the crowd fly-by.


The Heritage Flight also came over my head during its pass from behind the crowd.


From the cheap seats at the outlet mall, this is how the B-2 looked during its first pass down the show line.


Here is another photo of the Gander Mtn. parking lot crowd waiting for the Blue Angel show to start.



After Fat Albert flew, I moved back to the hotel parking lot for the main Blue Angel show.


On Saturday the pilots were all in their proper aircraft, with #4 being the two seater.


More mechanical issues.  Blue Angel # 4 had to drop out again during the show, this time in his own aircraft.


But # 7 aircraft was available, and #4 returned to finish the show.



The show after the show. 
After going back into the hotel for a few minutes after the show, I returned to my seat in the parking lot to do some reading before dinner.  As I sat there, I heard a sound I had not heard since the 2015 airshow season coming from behind me below the tree line.  It was the sound of a high pitched turbine and the distinctive rotor slap of a Huey!  I could hear it coming, but could not seen it!


Then it broke out of the trees. 


The Sky Soldiers were giving Huey rides and their approach was just to the west of the parking lot.


For the next hour and a half I was treated to not only two Hueys coming back in over me at the end of their rides, but two Huey Cobras as well.  The Cobras flew their approach to the east of the hotel.  I got a lot of fly-overs until they stopped flying at 6 PM.  

Side Trips.

The Lewis and Clark State (Illinois) State Historic Site  -  Camp River Dubois
Friday, May 13.


On the Illinois side of the Mississippi River north of I-270 is a very nice visitor center at the location of where the Lewis and Clark expedition stayed during the winter of 1803-1804.  This was called Camp River Dubois.  Inside the visitor center is this recreation of the keel boat used by Lewis and Clark.


The opposite side of the keel boat is shows the interior.


This photo shows how all of the supplies were stored below deck.


This recreation of River Camp Dubois is in need of obvious repairs.  However, with the wall having fallen down, it allows one to see both the exterior and interior of the fort at the same time.  The forty plus enlisted men in the expedition lived in the four corner huts, while Lewis and Clark stayed the large center hut by themselves.  Actually. during most of the winter only Clark was at the site, while Lewis stayed at Cahokia working on getting the necessary supplies for the trip.


I have now been to both ends of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  In May of 2012 I visited the recreation of Fort Clatsop in Oregon, the western end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  

Warm Springs Ranch, Boonesville, MO - Home of the Budweiser Clydesdales
Sunday, May 15


Warm Springs Ranch is where the Budweiser Clydesdales are born and raised.  One can only get in by purchasing a ticket in advance.  The tickets sell out months in advance.  I purchased ours in February.  Soon after I did the day was sold out.


Not too shabby of a place!  Only the best for the Clydesdales.


This was my first photo inside the facility, and it was taken at 10:06.  The new male was born at 5:15 in the morning.  He has not yet learned to stand up.


There are three different Budweiser Clydesdale Teams that tour the US.  Each one does three hundred events a year.  It takes six hours to get the horses ready for an event.


In order to pull a Budweiser wagon, the Clydesdale has to have the white stripe down the forehead, and the while hair below the knees.  They also need to be this particular body color, which is called "bay".  The horses on a team get larger from front to back.  The two in the front, called the lead horses, are smaller and more agile to initiate turns.  They also need to have a calm disposition because they see all that is ahead of the team.  The two largest are called the wheel horses, and have to be strong enough to start the wagon moving from a dead stop by themselves. 


The colts are not named for several weeks after birth.


At 10:53 AM the newborn stood for the first time.


Standing up for the first time is hard work!  One needs some nourishment to regain his strength.


The tours takes about an hour.  Afterwards the visitors can spend more time looking around, getting their photo taken with a Clydesdale, or being able to drink two free Budweiser beers.

 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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