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Aviation Nation 2007 Part One – With Pictures!!!

OK, so I’ve finally gotten around to writing up my piece on Aviation Nation 2007 :P To sum up the entire airshow is very difficult, but I think it’s best said that it was one of the best airshows if not THE BEST I’ve been to in many years, possibly the best ever 8)

Such a great group of guys and gals I hang out with (that

One of the big reasons I go to an airshow is to see airplanes (preferably in the air) that I normally wouldn’t. Miramar seemed to have gotten somewhat stale the last few years I was there. With Miramar you could just about bet that the same static display aircraft and the same flying aircraft will be there from one year to the next.

Not so with Aviation Nation at Nellis AFB :D ! You really never know what will show up at Nellis from one year to the next, but you know it will be good.

Hover your mouse cursor over the pictures to read the captions and click on them for the full size image in a new window :wink: . I hope you enjoy the pics 8) !

Aviation Nation is the only airshow in the continental U.S. (CONUS) where you’ll see the famous Predator UAV

Above you see a very rare sight indeed – the Predator UAV in flight :D ! You see, Predator pilots can’t “see and avoid” other aircraft like manned aircraft can, so they can’t share the airspace with the manned aircraft. Out here in Nevada, the airspace around Nellis is already closed, so no concerns there and the only base for the UAVs in CONUS is Creech (formerly Indian Springs) AFB, just a few miles away :wink: . SO we got treated to a flyby from the Predator and…

Oh yes - FEAR THE REAPER!!!  The MQ-9 Reaper with its 3000+ pounds of precision weapons carrying capacty!

… the MQ-9 Reaper :twisted: ! Yep, the Predator might carry two Hellfire missiles, but the Reaper carries over 3,000 pounds of precision ordinance!

Going back in time a bit, the civilian warbirds were out in force at Aviation Nation :) . From WWI through Korea and Vietnam, aircraft were on hand to memorialize those campaigns.

A Ryan mailplane and a Sopwith Pup taxi out for their demo flight

A gorgeous PT-22 trainer warming up for its demo flight

After the WWI flight came the WWII demo flight with some really rare birds along with some old favorites 8) .

The mighty B-24 Liberator - very few of these aircraft remain

A truly rare sight indeed - Here, a Japanese Zero is diving in on an attack run with a Supermarine Spitfire coming in on his tail!

The mighty B-17 Flying Fortress makes a pass in front of the crowd

Representing the Brits and Aussies, here comes the Hawker Sea Fury!

After WWII, the Korean era aircraft came out to play :)

A truly rare aircraft, the Fairey Firefly comes by the crowd on a high-speed pass

The sinister communist MiG-15 surprised the U.N. forces over Korea with its speed and maneuverability

The MiG-15 was a good jet, but the F-86 Sabre reigned supreme over Korea!

And here comes a pair of A-1 Skyraiders - AKA “Spad” “Sandy” and a few others, too

Providing liason and light transport for many years, the Navion has classic lines

Another classic Korean War era jet in the skies over Nellis was the T-33.  Officially known as the Shooting Star, the more common name is T-Bird.  This was the first aircraft flown by the Thunderbirds in 1953.

Following the Korean War era was the Vietnam demo!

The AC-47 was known as the Spectre and as Puff the Magic Dragon.  Protruding from the far side of the fuselage are two six-barrel, 7.62mm gatling guns with LOTS of ammo!  Spooky would circle a target and rain death on a small target for quite a while.

Coming in fast with engines smoking, the B-52 Stratofortress or BUFF is ready to put the hurt to the bad guys!

Bomb doors open and ordinance away!

A-1 Skyraiders AKA Sandys in hot on an attack run during a rescue combat air patrol or RESCAP

A T-37 done up as an A-37 Dragonfly rolls in on an attack pass as part of the RESCAP

UH-1 Huey choppers inbound - Bandit (a gunship) leads Dustoff (the medevac) in to pick up the downed pilot

This post is getting to be just too long, so I’m cutting it off here and will continue in a second post in the near future :) .

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Did I Mention That I Love Las Vegas?

Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while, but life gets in the way sometimes :wink: .

I’ve realized lately that I really do love living in Las Vegas for a whole bunch of reasons :) . It’s not just having a Margaritaville a short distance away, even though that is definitely a big plus.

I had the occasion a few days ago to visit the Silverton a couple of times – first to go buy some Christmas gifts, and later just for fun. I met up with my roommate just inside the Silverton after walking through Bass Pro Shop to get there. We sat down at Top Gun the slot machine, had a nice drink, played a bit and went on to find something else to play. About that time, we noticed something unusual in the aquarium :P
Continue reading Did I Mention That I Love Las Vegas?

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Margaritaville Rewards Card

My roommate and I have so many slot club cards now it’s almost getting rediculous. We don’t really gamble much, but they give you some pretty good free stuff just to get you back into the casino, so it makes sense.

We don’t go down to the Strip all that often, but being at the Flamingo for dinner at Margaritaville last night, we just had to join up when we saw the design for the limited edition players club card :D !

My Margariville Rewards card - I won’t leave home without it!

Yep, we’ve got some pretty unique souvenirs now :) Of course, I’m going to have to go back on payday and pick up one of the $5 and one of the $20 commemorative gaming chips from the casino cage 8) !

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Thanksgiving 2007

I hope you and yours all had a wonderful Thanksgiving :D !

My Thanksgiving was wonderful, but this post is a little long, so hit the jump for all the details and even some pictures :wink: .
Continue reading Thanksgiving 2007

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Posting Delays Explained

OK, I’ve been a bit slow in posting – and I apologize to the loyal readers I’m sure are out there :oops: ! Aviation Nation took a whole lot out of me and I’ve been working on getting the images from the digital camera tweaked just right (rotate to level, crop to make it not slanted on the edges, etc) and I’ve scanned the pics from the Polariod that I decided to keep – I gave most away again this year :) .

I was going to take Monday to just relax and get stuff worked out and posted, but my roommate had other plans for me – and who am I to complain when I get taken to a great barbecue place for free food :lol: ?

Anyhow, work’s been busy and I think I’ve regained a somwhat normal sleep cycle so I’ve been getting to sleep much earlier due to exhaustion brought on by copious amounts of exercise.

The digital pics and Polaroids I mentioned before are currently up on the gallery – click here to see the Aviation Nation 2007 section, just keep in mind that I’m still working on finding the time to label and caption them all :wink: .

Now that payday’s finally here, I can start to get the 35mm film developed – all 20 rolls I took during the airshow :shock: ! Those will be added to the gallery in time (same link as above) as they get developed and as I have time. I’ll probably do 10 rolls this paycheck and 10 more on the next one, but that’s still lots of pics :) !

Thanks for the patience :D !

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“Sonic Bomb” Alarm Clock – Wake The Dead, The Neighbors, Maybe Me?

ThinkGeek :: Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker

Sonic Bomb alarm clock - click on this image to see it on its original page in a new window

The Sonic Bomb Clock has an adjustable volume alarm with a maximum loudness of 113 decibels (just for reference, a jackhammer is about 100 decibels!) And the bed shaker does just that. Slip it under your mattress and your ears will bleed and your bed will shake, and there is no way you will oversleep.

My roommate still swears it takes a crow bar and a crate of dynamite to get me out of bed some mornings and that I could sleep through a nuclear detonation at close proximity. She might be right, but I don’t think I’m really all that bad :wink: . I have slept through one of those alarm clocks with the bells on top which really worried me – what would do the trick reliably?

I think the Sonic Bomb would probably wake me up any day, but the problem is that I live in an apartment and it would likely wake the neighbors, my roommate, and the dead as well :lol: ! They say the volume is adjustable, so I might just have to get one of these 8)

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Veterans’ Day – THANK YOU!!!

I’m off to go back to the air show up at Nellis, but first I just have to write and say a big THANK YOU to all those who have served and who continue to serve :D !

Happy Veterans’ Day, y’all 8) !!!

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Nellis – Day 2

Well, I wasn’t feeling too good this morning, so I was running a bit late – showed up in the parking lot around 0930. Boarded the bus at about 1030. Arrived at chalets at around 1100. At least there were a couple of cool planes flying over – the WWII bombers :)

I spent most of the day burning through film like a BUFF burns JP-8, also took some polaroids for the pilots of some of the airplanes in the flying demos 8) I do love that Polariod :D !

Finally, flying completed at around 1700 hours (5:00 PM) and thus began the exodus. Yes, there was a line to get out that was nearly a mile long :shock:

I finally got into my car at 1930 (7:30 PM) and my feet are still killing me.

But even with the pain, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Off to sleep so as to wake up early for tomorrow’s adventure. At least I’ve got more film!

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Aviation Nation 2007 – Day 1

Well, I finally got a ride to the flight line – with airshow narrator Gordon Boman Jones :)

Lots of working with bicycle fence, also lots of cool stuff in the air and on the ground. I’m only posting a few pictures right now as I’m in a hurry, but there will be more later.

Gotta get going – I was planning on being in the parking lot by now :wink: .

Thunderbirds Hangar Emblem

Gotta get a pic of the Thunderbirds’ emblem on their hangar 8)

Thunderbirds Line

Thunderbirds jets – all in a row

Thunderbirds Then and Now

The Thunderbirds flew T-38 Talons for quite a few years. This T-38 is owned by Ross Perot Jr. and based in Alliance, TX. I just loved seeing that on the same tarmac as the modern Thunderbirds F-16s :D

A Real Japanese ZERO!!!

OK, here’s one non Thunderbirds pic for today – an authentic Japanese Zero with its original engine. They flew this one over from Chino :D

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Nellis – Waiting On A Ride…

Well, I arrived at the welcome center for the volunteers, got my credentials, and was promptly left behind while I was in disposed when the last bus left.

Thankfully, I’ve got good access to a computer here and was able to find the proper phone numbers :wink: .

Now I’m just waiting on a ride – it’ll be here soon.

More later tonight 8)

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