DSCF1443a

AirVenture 2011

corsair-150x150

At the end of July every year, one of the greatest shows in aviation starts in Oshkosh, Wisconsin – EAA’s AirVenture.  This year I was hoping to have my dad along in tow, but that just didn’t work out.  Instead, I went up by myself for “Warbird Friday.”  The weather had been somewhat cloudy and rainy during the week, but Friday was a gloriously beautiful day with very few clouds in the sky, bright sunshine and unlimited visibility.  A great day to head to an airshow.

Since I was going on Warbird Friday, you can assume that I’m there primarily for the classic military aviation planes.  You’d be right, and my favorites are the WWII aircraft.  It is always a treat to see the B-25s, P-51 Mustangs, and all the other aircraft, but the excitement is seeing them fly.  As part of this year’s show, the only flying B-29 in the world would be at this year AirVenture.  FiFi (which I had seen the previous week at DuPage Airport would be flying in the Friday afternoon airshow.  That was something I wanted to see, but little did I know I would have further surprises in store for me.

P-39 Lightning>In addition to the old warbirds, there are plenty of other aircraft to take a look at – commercial, current military, homebuilt, experimental, and other aircraft types.  This year another star attraction besides FiFi was Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

I spent the day looking around at the aricraft, admiring the detail that the planes carries, many of them looking like they just fly a WWII sortie.  I was awestruck by the attention that is given to these aircraft – not from a maintenance perspective because that’s a given – but from a reverence to pay homage to the machine and the men who flew them in combat.  The further surprise came later in the day when I got to witness not only FiFi fly, but also an F4 Corsair and a P-38 Lightning.  These planes had been at other AirVentures I have been to, but I never got to see either of these aircraft types fly before.  It was an additional treat for the day.

Overall, I had a great day, as evidenced by the pictures below.  If you have a chance to visit EAA’s AirVenture in the future, I would highly recommend it.  Even if you don’t fly or have no interest in flying yourself, but have interest as an “aviation enthusiast” you will have a great day (or days as AirVenture is a week long event).

Enjoy the images below.

DSCN1257

Flying History

Toward the end of July, the world’s only flying B-29 flew into DuPage County Airport (DPA).  FiFi – the B-29 – was making stops on its way to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.  I was planning to go to AirVenture and hoped to see FiFi but I also know that the annual EAA event is a jam packed affair.  Due to this, I headed south to DuPage County to see FiFi.

The day started with some storms that moved through in the morning, but the weather started to clear by late morning.  When I got to the airport, FiFi was sitting on the tarmac in all her glory.  FiFi is owned and maintained by the Commemorative Air Force.  Recently, the B-29 was grounded, but she’s now flying again.  The CAF also offers rides in the WWII bomber, but they are a little rich for me – specially since I flew in Witchcraft last year.

Accompanying FiFi was the P-51 Mustang, Gunfighter.  The CAF also offers rides in the Mustang – and that’s a pretty price tag as well, but man would that be fun!  I spent the morning and early afternoon up close and personal with FiFi and Gunfighter.  I enjoyed getting the pictures you see here and seeing them fly.  It was a great precursor to my trip to EAA.  Have fun with the pictures below and be sure to check out the videos of FiFi I’ve posted on YouTube!

Monaco Panorama

Here's another panorama image I just cobbled together.  This is a view of Monaco and the harbor as viewed from Monaco-ville.  I took these images on my last day in town before heading to Nice and then home.  Unfortunately, most of the days I was there were cooler and rainy – not warm and sunny as pictured here.  Off to the left you see some of the old fortifications of Monaco-ville, moving to the expanse of the city-state of Monaco (the most densely populated country in the world) and then the bright waters of the Mediterranean.

MonacoPanoramaSmall

El Morro Panorama

Over the walls of the 16th century Spanish fortress of El Morro looking toward Old San Juan.  I was playing with some images and a new photo stitching program and decided to give the panorama view a shot.  The image didn't turn out too bad, I only see one real error in it, but it's still a pretty cool image.  This was the view that Spanish defenders inside El Morro saw if they were facing an attack from land.

ElMorroPanoramaSmall