Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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  2017 Airshows
Brunswick, GA   B-25s at Urbana, OH   B-25 Fly-Over the National Museum of the USAF   SC National Guard Air and Ground Expo   Dayton, OH   Goshen, IN   Tarkio, MO   Westfield, MA   Wings over Waukegan, IL


Westfield International Airshow Warbird Photo Review
Warbirds at the Barnes Air National Guard Base/ Westfield, MA Airport  - August 12-13, 2017 - Photos taken Sunday, August 13, 2017.

The last time there was an airshow at Westfield, MA was in 2010.  Hopefully it will not be another seven years before the next one, as this was a very good show with an excellent line-up of both warbirds and current military aircraft.  The interesting and different aspects of this event was that it took place on both the property of the Westfield Airport and Barnes Air National Guard Base.  The Air Guard Base itself does not have nearly enough frontage along the runway to have a flying show. 

The airport is in a valley with hills on either side, which along with the blue sky filled with white clouds, made for an excellent photo backdrop.  I took my normal 900 plus photos for the day.  For brevity I have selected only a few, to give a flavor of the event.  The civilian aerobatic acts and an F-18 demo are not included, in order to focus more on the 104th Fighter Wings F-15s and the warbirds.  For many of the photos, I opened the telephoto lens to give a larger view of the flying and pyro. 


This photo is looking south from the Barnes Air National Guard Ramp.  The fence that divides the base from the airport is just beyond the hangars.  The tents are located on airport property.  To the left is the north end of runway 2-20 which is 9,000 feet in length.  All of the static aircraft photos featured on this webpage were taken on the Guard facility. 

In the center of the photo is a military tent which is the location of photo pit #2.  The fenced in grass area was for photographers in the photo pit which was right in front of the Thunderbirds.  With the exception of the F-15s and the C-17, all of the aircraft moved on to the active runway from the taxiway in the foreground.  The crowd line extended from behind photo pit #2 all the way to the control tower in the background, which was where I was set up.

One improvement the organizers could make for future events is extending the speaker line.  There were no speakers beyond all of the tents, so about two-thirds of the crowd line was without sound.  For myself, this was not an issue as I knew what was going on.  However, for the more casual visitor, this was an problem.  They did not know who was performing, nor what was going to happen next.

On the other hand the 104th Fighter Wing security forces need to be complimented on its actions at the main gate security location.  The gates to the parking lot opened at 7am and I arrived shortly afterwards.  The information on the website indicated that the gates to the show would open at 8am so I expected to spend an hour in line before I got through the security checkpoint.  Surprisingly at about 7:20 am the military started checking those of us in line through the checkpoint, and then holding us in an area inside the fence.  We were told that we would be kept there until 8am.  However, at about 7:30 they let us go and enter the show site.  This is the first time I have ever been allowed in earlier than the published time.


 The welcome banner is on the fence gate that separates the guard base and airport.

 
The 104th Fighter Wing flies the F-15C.  Among many of its other duties, it provides Aerospace Control Alert for the Northeast portion of the United States.  Two of its aircraft are always on armed alert, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  The show celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Air National Guard at the Westfield airport.


I traveled 900 miles and four days to arrive at the show.  Two of the first aircraft I saw on the active ramp were A-10s from the Fort Wayne Air Guard Base, 70 miles north of where I live in Indiana.  My house is underneath the flight path for these aircraft as they fly from Fort Wayne to the air-to-ground ranges at Camp Atterbury and Jefferson Proving Grounds in southern Indiana.  Both aircraft have no doubt flown over my house.


In this Guard hangar were four of the warbirds at the show.  The Corsair, Warhawk, and Mustang all participated in fly-bys.  The Wildcat did not fly in the show but did depart for home during the afternoon.  Other warbirds on display were a TBM, C-47, Skyraider, and B-25.  All would fly in the show with the exception of the TBM.


More of the aircraft on display on the Guard base.


These two F-18s from the Canadian Forces allowed the show to rightly claim it was an International Airshow.


Show time!!!  The US Army Black Daggers from Fort Bragg, NC bring down the US flag.


 After the flag jump the 104th Fighter Wing opened the flying portion of the show.  I had forgotten how quickly the F-15 can get airborne.  It was in the air before it became visible to me.  Note the sign denoting 2,000 foot remaining along the runway. 


Westfield is an excellent location for spectators to watch the show as the runway is relatively close to the crowd line.


Immediately after the F-15s took off to the north the Fort Wayne Air Guard A-10s took off to the south.


The crowd was treated to this rare F-15/A-10 formation fly-by.


Then it was time for a tactical demonstration and some pyro.  In the background are the smoke puffs from a simulated strafing run.  The persons inside the snow fence have purchased a photo pass ticket.  If I have an opportunity to return to a future show at Westfield, I will make sure to purchase a ticket to the photo pit.


We were treated to several simulated strafing and bombing runs by the Fort Wayne, IN A-10s.  At my location to the south of airshow center, the A-10s made their turns to go around again.


Next it was time for the F-15s of the Massachusetts Air National Guard to show the airshow spectators what they could do. 


The F-15s also did several bombing and strafing runs.


The really fun part came next as the crowd was treated to at least a half a dozen missed approach go-arounds by the F-15s.  This was great!


The second F-15 followed in right after the lead aircraft.  One of the photographers in the pit is still photographing the lead aircraft after he made his turn away from the crowd.


All good things come to an end.


I heard the sound of the C-47 coming down the runway but was not able to see it until it broke out of the smoke from the previous aerobatic act.


The National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, NY provided the jump plane for the Liberty Jump Team.


The C-17 was parked for the show on runway 15-33 which was closed for the show.  Here it has just turned on to the main runway


It didn't take much runway to get airborne.


The C-17 did several passes for the crowd.  The large aircraft kept in sight of the crowd by turning tight around the airport. 


P-40 "The Jacky C" has been very prominent at east coast airshows in 2017.  This is the third time I have seen this excellent restoration from the American Airpower Museum on Long Island, NY.  Not only did it do warbird fly-bys, but it performed its normal aerobatic routine. 


The F4U-5NL Corsair was from the Collings Foundation in nearby Stow, MA.


Due to the wind conditions, the Liberty Jump Team came out right over my position.


The F-15Cs of the 104th Fighter Wing were positioned across the field during the show.


Scott Youk in the P-51 "Quick Silver" gave the crew in the photo pit some excellent photo opportunities.  He flew the lowest of all of the warbirds.


The second stick of jumpers comes out of the C-47.  One is just coming out of the door.  The static lines of the previous jumpers can be seen running from the door to underneath the horizontal stabilizer. 


The B-25 "Hap" is also from the  American Airpower Museum on Long Island, NY.  I have seen it several times in Ohio for Doolittle Fly-overs at the National Museum of the United States, but I think this was the first time I have seen it do warbird fly-bys.  The F4U can be seen turning base leg for another bombing run.


The T-33 "Acemaker" showed off the capabilities of the aircraft.


Something I don't think I have seen at a show before is both the Geico Skytypers and the Trojan Horsemen.  The Trojan Horsemen flew later in the show.


The Collings Foundation FM-2 gave the crowd the opportunity to see it take off.  It then turned north and headed for home.


At one time, the Skyraider  was in a museum in the state of Washington.  Then it moved to Oklahoma.  Now it is part of the Collings Foundation in Massachusetts. 


The Trojan Horsemen were the last act I witnessed before making my exit.  There was one civilian aerobatic routine yet before the Thunderbirds.  It was time to leave and avoid the traffic backups as everyone tries to leave all at once at the end of the show.  

This was the first time I had seen F-15s fly since I visited Seymour Johnson AFB in 2015.  I am not sure when I last saw a C-17 demo, as it has been rather rare the past several years.  With the excellent warbird lineup, this show was well worth the trip.

 

 


 
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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