While the prop-driven aircraft are old favorites, new technology is always amazing. From trainers to refuellers, every craft has its niche. Visiting Tinker Air Force Base‘s first airshow in four years allowed me to relish in the thunder of jets. I can say definitively that it had been far too long.
One of the highlights was witnessing the low altitude refueling simulation with the C-17 and KC-135. Both are impressive aircraft for the jobs they perform. Seeing them line up and fly in tandem for the crowd was fun. I believe the announcer said the vertical wingtips on the C-17 are nine feet tall. That helps put the size of this behemoth into context.
Assorted and Sundry Jets
There were plenty of jets on static display, but it is hard to beat them in flight. The F-5 is a relatively familiar site, but the T-33 was an unexpected surprise. I suddenly had the urge to watch “The Bridges at Toko-Ri“. I know, I know. Not quite the same aircraft, but it brought the classic film immediately to mind.
The Blue Angels
Always a headliner, the Blue Angels certainly bring in the crowd. Somehow, I have managed to go many years of life without witnessing their show in person. The timing of their visits was always at odds with my availability. Seeing them first-hand is certainly worth the time and effort! The roar of the F/A-18 Super Hornet’s jets will certainly wake you up.
F-35A Lightning II for the Win
I was curious to see this particular aircraft in person. I may have joked that it looked like my favorite aircraft, the F-15, had spent too much time in the buffet line. It certainly looks bulky on the ground. Then, I watched in awe as the pilot, Major Kristin “Beo” Wolfe, ran it through its paces. The F-35A is definitely one of those jets that looks better in the sky. Some of the maneuvers demonstrated were simply flabbergasting. I will never lose my love for the F-15, but I will definitely be looking for another opportunity to watch the F-35A in action again!