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Brantford Community Charity Airshow 2019

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A few seasons ago, I learned about the airshow in Brantford, Ontario from my Canadian Airshow friends but was never in the area during the August timeframe. The subject of those discussions always contained the Avro Lancaster Bomber. The Lancaster is the flagship of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and is also the only flying model in North America. A National Treasure of Canada. With some exceptions, she seldom travels far from her home in Hamilton.

I have had opportunities in the past, but weather and the early days of my photography did not produce any keepers. As I researched the possibility of attending the show, something motivated me greatly. The opportunity to photograph a night run of the Lancaster. Weather would not be a factor and it did turn out to be a dreary, rainy day. Once I decided the $99 dinner was worth it, I bought a flight and rental car for a brief, 32 hour stay in Canada.

The Brantford Community Charity Airshow benefits two charities. The Rotary Club of Brantford and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. It is held on a Wednesday at no cost to attendees except for a $20 fee to park. The 2019 version occurred on August 28th. Brantford Municipal Airport has three runways in triangular arrangement but the longest and airshow runway is a 05/23 at 5,036 feet. The sun starts behind and to the right, moving left and frontal in the afternoon.

On the Tuesday, prior to the airshow, the dinner at the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum and the Lancaster night run took place. After arriving in Buffalo, New York and driving to Hamilton, Ontario, I spent some time at the museum before dinner, which was in the hangar. One individual from the performers was seated at each table and the buffet dinner was spectacular. After some dining, music, speakers, ceremonies and a silent auction, it was time to go on the ramp for the night run of the Lancaster. For an enthusiast like me, it was worth the money for this opportunity. The run lasted 15 minutes, or so, going from idle to high power. The sounds, the feel and the blue-flamed exhaust were so gratifying.

The following day, the location shifts to Brantford Municipal Airport on a very nice, sunny day. This weather would bring the biggest crowd in the recent memory of the hosts. Most of the performers park in front of the crowd and included, the B-25 “Hot Gen”, a white PBY Canso (Catalina), the CF-18 Demo Team, two T-28 Trojans, the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds and the Lancaster.

Before the official start of the show, the Snowbirds were flying around in a light practice and the Lancaster was giving rides.

The performances got started with a Royal Canadian Air Force C-47 in nice markings from World War II. The Hamilton Sport Parachute Club was onboard and performed the opening ceremonies flag jump. The PBY Canso also launched and took turns flying in front of the crowd. The all white Canso had a surprising camouflage top on the wing.

That was followed by the Pitts Special II team in red paint performing formation aerobatics.

Two T-28 Trojans performed a formation routine with one in blue Navy colors and another in white Army colors. The B-25, “Hot Gen” performed an aggressive solo routine.

Visiting from their home base at Waterloo Airport, the Waterloo Warbirds provided a red and gray DeHavilland Vampire and a blue Lockheed T-33 first in formation and then in solo passes.

Next, the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team flew their formation routine and then it was time for the beloved star of the show, the Avro Lancaster. After a solo routine, the show finished up with the CF-18 Demonstration Team and the Snowbirds, although I left the grounds at 3pm to ensure a trouble free egress and a flight home out of Buffalo.

I certainly enjoyed this all-Canada show and the images I was able to take home. Leading up to the event, I had questions and I wish to thank Al Mickeloff of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for his time and helpfulness.

This annual airshow benefits great causes bringing performers and the community together and I was happy to take part in it.

WARBIRDS: A Look at the Other Vintage Propeller Powered Warbirds of AirVenture 2019

 

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Warbirds and the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) have walked hand in hand since the early days, long before the name was changed to AirVenture. Warbirds play a vital role in the continued success of AirVenture and never fails to bring together an impressive batch of warbirds from all eras including World War II, Korea and Vietnam. This year AirVenture celebrated the 70th birthday of both the North American T-28 Trojan and the Beechcraft T-34 Mentor. The North American P-51 Mustang was also featured this year as reported on in a previous article.

AirVenture celebrated the 70th birthday of the single engine Beechcraft T-34 Mentor this year. The T-34 was designed as a primary military trainer aircraft and is derived from the civilian Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza. The T-34 first flew in 1948 and entered service in 1953 with the United States Air Force, and the United States Navy in 1955. The T-34 was originally powered by a single piston engine that being the A&B model, which was eventually succeeded by the turboprop powered C model or Turbo mentor. All branches of the United States military, including the United States Coast Guard, used the T-34 until it was replaced by the Raytheon T-6 Texan II. Today the T-34 is extremely popular with civilian owners and aerobatic performers alike such as Julie Clarke who just retired from the air show circuit this year.

Also celebrating a 70th birthday this year is the North American T-28 Trojan. The T-28 was designed and built as a piston engine primary trainer, that was also adapted to perform as a counter insurgency, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and FAC (Forward Air Controller) aircraft during the Vietnam War. The T-28 first flew in 1949 and was produced from 1950 until 1957 with approximately 2000 aircraft built. The T-28 was as used by the United States Air Force, United States Navy, United States Army as well as several foreign countries well into the 1980’s. The T-28 is very popular with civilian warbird owners and aerobatic performers today due to its low operating costs and maneuverability.

Several other notable warbirds were on hand and included N30, a 1955 built Aero Commander UL-26B, serial number 554638. This aircraft has the distinction of being one of 6 originally and specially built to carry the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States and other government officers on short trips. This particular aircraft has the distinction of being the smallest aircraft to ever carry the Air Force One call sign when President Eisenhower used it to travel between Washington D.C. and his farm near Gettysburg PA. After being sold as surplus in 1960 the aircraft was relegated to flight training and freight hauling duties. The aircraft was bought by a private individual in 1997 and meticulously restored to its original condition. The Commemorative Air Force acquired it in 2019 and will display at airshows around the country for many years to come.

One cannot overlook one of the stars of AirVenture 2019 that being Tom Riley’s beautifully restored North American XP-82 twin Mustang. This extremely rare aircraft, with only 5 left in existence. This Twin Mustang with, serial number 4483887, and is the only one flyable left in the world. The XP-82 is powered by a pair of Packard built Rolls-Royce V-1650-23-25 counterrotating Merlin engines, which give the aircraft a top speed of 486 miles per hour and a range of 1,390 miles. Tom Riley started his restoration work in 2008 and after many years, the newly restored aircraft took flight on December 31st 2018, for the first time since December 14th 1949. This aircraft won the AirVenture post-World War II Warbirds Grand Champion Award for 2019 and 2 Golden Wrench Awards.

As usual several Douglas C-47’s descended upon AirVenture 2019 including the January 1944 built C-47, aircraft serial number 12253. This C-47 was built for the Royal Air Force and assigned Royal Air Force serial number F668 and assigned to 271 Squadron. On June 5th 1944, this C-47 would fly into the history books by participating in “Operation Overlord” better known as D-Day. This C-47 would go on to fly many missions through the end of World War II. Like many other surplus C-47’s after the war ,went into service as airliners converted to DC-3’s. This aircraft would fly for Trans Canada Airways from 1947 to 1957, after it was transferred to Canada’s Department of Transport where it adopted its current registration of C-FDTD. Fast forward to 2019 when Mikey McBryan, the General Manager, of Buffalo Airways based in Red Deer Alberta Canada found this historic aircraft for sale. With the backing of his father, “Buffalo” Joe McBryan, among others restored C-FDTD to flying status. On June 6th 2019 and after months of restoration C-FDTD made its first flight in 30 years and 75 years to the day the aircraft participated in the greatest invasion of all time. This historic C-47 now proudly wearing D-Day invasion Stripes and a Buffalo Airways colors rudder was on display at AirVenture all week.

Many other historic warbirds were also on display or flew through the week including, “Doc” one of only 2 flyable Boeing B-29 Superfortress’s left in the world. Numerous North American P-51 Mustangs, as well as many other trainers, fighters, and bombers were also present. AirVenture is and will continue to be a hotbed of activity for Warbird Enthusiasts each and every year. We will speed things back up in our next article highlighting the jet warbirds of AirVenture 2019, until next time “Blue Skies to All!”

Reno, 2019

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Once a year, Stead Airport erupts with the sound of the fastest motorsport on Earth.

The Reno Air Races are one of the most iconic aviation events of the year. After finally attending my first air races last year, I made my way back up to Reno again this past September for this spectacular event. While the Unlimiteds were the initial thing that got me interested in air racing as a kid, make no mistake, the sport has so much more to offer now. Rounding the 50 foot pylons along with the mighty Unlimiteds are the very competitive Sport, Biplane, Formula One, T-6, and Jet classes.

The Unlimited class is made up of mainly World War II era Warbirds, some of which have been highly modified. Along with the Jets and Sport Gold classes, the Unlimiteds run a 7.9107 mile course at speeds over 500mph.

The other classes race on smaller courses ranging from 3.1193 miles to 6.7757 miles. This past year introduced a new style of racing as well, the Short Take Off/Landing (STOL) drag races. The STOL races took place in front of the grandstands in the dirt median between the taxiway and runway. Two aircraft launch from a starting point, get airborne, but almost immediately must perform a short landing. Then they make a u-turn on the ground and launch in the opposite direction they came from. When they hit the finish line, they must land in the shortest distance possible. This was wild and highly entertaining, and the crowd ate it up!

In between over a dozen races each day, there were aerobatic routines, a demonstration by the Honda Jet, military flybys, and a performance by the USAF Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Team.

However, the focus is definitely on the races throughout the week.

There’s just something about watching and listening to aircraft screaming past you at over 450mph while only 50 feet off the ground that you can’t get anywhere else. I travel to many shows throughout the air show season and am fortunate to experience a lot of unique things, but there’s nothing quite like the Reno experience.

 

 

 

About Our Tales That We’ve Published, and Future Stories Yet to be Told

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The pages of Photorecon.net, ClassicWarbirds.net, and CivilAviationWorld.com are filled with aviation-related stories which offer an archive of facts, figures, photos and first-hand accounts. We’ve published around one thousand articles and features between our three titles, and all of our content is still available for use… we never delete our stories. Photorecon.net is our flagship publication, and is celebrating ten years of bringing aviation information to the world.

We are a talented group of authors and photographers, who’ve shared some of our experiences through these pages; some twenty-nine storytellers who choose to use our three digital aviation magazines in which to tell their tales.

All three of our digital aviation magazines are updated at least weekly with new content. We attended some fantastic current events in 2019, including air shows, trade shows, and special commemorative events too. We published a series of “looking back” articles too, from air show reviews to Air National Guard unit histories. Photo scrapbooks with photos of now-defunct airlines and airliners were added to some current spotting trips to share the broad landscape of business and commercial aircraft.

We’ve got a large following; please accept our thanks for being part of this big picture:

In 2019, Photorecon.net published 103 articles, and entertained 77,290 unique visitors who made 174,455 site visits, reading 1,614,449 pages, and contributed to a total of 6,412,489 hits on our web site.

In 2019, ClassicWarbirds.net published 52 stories, and entertained 71,993 unique visitors who made 158,986 site visits, reading 803,815 pages, and contributed to a total of 2,092,584 hits on our web site.

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In 2019, CivilAviationWorld.com also published 52 stories and entertained 28,426 unique visitors who made 54,853 site visits, reading 459,677 pages, and contributed to a total of 600,781 hits on our web site.

What’s ahead for our magazines in 2020? Well, here are a few thoughts and ideas form some of our contributors:

“In 2020, I plan on attending Sentry Eagle in mid-July, at Klamath Falls Oregon. It will be my first Sentry Eagle exercise.” – Ken Middleton

“I for one am really looking forward to another Arsenal of Democracy flyby over the mall. There was nothing better than being perched on the Lincoln Memorial and photographing the warbirds as they came over top. I will never forget that event and am looking forward to this years’ version.” – Howard German

“I am looking forward to another busy season and getting it started early in March, out west in Arizona. I am also going somewhere I have never been before, Edwards Air Force Base. I look forward to renewing friendships with all of my big-lensed photogs and in the spirit of an Irish blessing, “May the sun be at your back and the aircraft of your desire in front of your lens.” – Shawn Byers

“I’m going to try and get to the west coast this year. The return of the Edwards AFB show is on my bucket list. I would like to cover Atlantic City, McGuire and Cherry Point as well.” – Mike Colaner

“Alice and I would once again like to attend the 2020 Sentry Eagle exercise at Kingsley Field / Klamath Falls OR for the 4th time since 2007, a great part of the country for aviation photography and sightseeing with Crater Lake National Park nearby.” – Scott Zeno

“Although Belgium and the Netherlands won’t hold a large Airshow this year (Belgium in favour for their 75th Air Force anniversary in 2021) there is plenty to look forward to. Next, to promising air shows in the UK (RIAT), Germany (Laage with 15 years of Eurofighter in service), Danmark (Karup with lots of new equipment to show) and Rumania (Bucarest) to name a few, there are plenty of exercises to look forward to. Just started is Defender Europe 20, the largest exercise in Europe since the end of the Cold War, in April is Frisian Flag, including the first time for European F-35s, in May is the Tiger Meet in Portugal which should include more sun than the last years one in France, and in September should be two exercises in the UK, one including US Marines F-35s, another one which could see Israeli F-15s like last year. I hope to get enough spare time and holidays for all these interesting events.” – Best regards – Uli Seibicke

“Looking forward to the 2020 airshow season as we celebrate 50 years of the Canadian Snowbirds, the Blue Angels retirement of the Legacy Hornet, and the commemoration of the end of World War II.” – Scott Jankowski

“Looking forward to some unique air shows at bases that have been quiet for many years” – Jeff Serpa

“I have seen Photorecon grow for the last decade, and it’s such a great feeling to be able to share my passion for aviation with the rest of our family. I look forward to continuing to watch us grow this decade and share the aviation experiences we are so fortunate to get. To Joe, Dave, Ken, and the rest of our Photorecon family, THANK YOU for all you do here. Whether it’s promoting airshows, sharing experiences, and telling the warfighters story, YOU are what makes Photorecon what it is today.

In this upcoming year I look forward to continuing to tell the warfighter’s story in as many ways as possible. Whether it’s the history of, current training events preparing them for what’s next, or a behind the scenes look at the unsung heroes, getting their story out is very important to me. I feel we owe so much of what we are able to do to the sacrifices that have been made in the past, this sacrifices being made right now, and those that will continue to be made in the future.” – Steve Lewis

“2020 is the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, with some interesting events planned. Also, this will be the last year the Blue Angels fly their Legacy Hornets… can’t wait to see how these two occasions are marked.” – Ken Kula

“May 1970, the USAF issued a request for proposals for the A-10A. 2005 began the A-10C upgrade program. The entire fleet of 356 A-10 and OA-10 aircraft began receiving Precision Engagement upgrades; including an improved fire control system (FCS), electronic countermeasures (ECM), and smart bomb targeting. The F-15 reached initial operational capability for the Air Force in September 1975. 2005 was the U.S. Air Force’s F/A-22 Raptor operational debut. The F/A-22’s development, testing, and IOC declaration at Langley AFB, Virginia, in December 2005 closely paralleled the same as the F-15A’s 30 years prior. The F/A-22 will eventually replace the F-15C Eagle. 2020 will be (unofficially) the last year for the Blue Angels flying the F/A-18A/B/C Hornet. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe and Japan, officially ending WWII. 2020 is the 30th Annual Mid-Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend in Reading, Pa. I’m looking forward to another great aviation year.” – Dan Myers

“It’s not often in life you find your calling,  I believe that all of us have a very deep passion for Aviation and  preserving aviation history through photos and articles. I just want to thank everyone on our team who are as passionate as I am about this subject. I am truly honored to know and work with all of you.  I am truly in awe of the quality legacy we are building and the online presence we now enjoy. All of you have helped me find my calling and live my dreams. The future looks bright, let’s keep up the good work and again a sincere thank you to everyone who helped make us who we are.” – Joe Kates, Owner and Publisher of Photorecon.net, ClassicWarbirds.net, CivilAviationWorld.com