After a breakfast of bagels, cream cheese, whitefish, and lox, we piled into the car and drove up to Rhode Island via the Merritt Parkway. It’s a bit longer a dirve, but it allows us to avoid I95 through the Southwestern part of CT which is, generally speaking, hellish. And the Merritt is a beautiful road. Every bridge is done in a completely different style. There’s an art-deco bridge, a white marble-looking one, an elegant granite one, and so forth.
As we drove up through Rhode Island we saw signs for the Quonset Air Show. We’d gone last summer and I had such an amazing time and was lamenting the fact that we’d likely missed this year’s (last year it was on Father’s Day and we assumed that’s when it was each year). So, after arriving at Ann’s folks house and depositing a happy Jack with a happy grandmother we took quick showers and Ann headed off to a friend’s daughter’s birthday party with Jack while my father-in-law and I headed to the air show.
Interesting fact #1: going late on Sunday (around 3PM) means that you can get up front parking as many people have already left.
Interesting fact #2: my father-in-law’s heart is just fine. As we started getting out of the car, a jet went *right over* us. We never saw it, but we sure heard it. Scared the willies out of us.
Interesting fact #3: security was supposed to be very tight at the air show. As we walked in, an MP asked me if I had a cell phone. I did and said so. He made me take it out, turn it off and back on and then waved us in. Well, if I were a terrorist with a bomb/cell phone, I would have said “no” when he asked me and gotten waved in anyway. Some tight security.
Interesting fact #4: people are largely unaware of sunscreen. We saw more sunburnt people today than I have ever seen in one place before. We’d worn sunscreen and hats to be safe.
Anyway, our first stop was the C-5 Galaxy. This is a cargo plane which is big. It’s very big. Notice how the nose of the plane opens up over the cockpit.
Notice how many people fit under the wing.
Note also how big the wheel is in comparison with my father-in-law.
We wandered around and took a look at the various planes. Of special interest was this one which is, I think, an F-16. These are the engines.
And this is the nose. Note that the very front of the plane is a phillips-head screw. I hope I didn’t just leak some critical information of national security importance.
We wandered by other plans and found a good place to stand so we could watch the Thunderbirds. These air force pilots fly F-16’s with such skill and precision that we were just blown away. This is their signature diamond formation.
The announcer kept telling us to look to our left or our right to see who was incoming and about to perform some stunt or other. The slow roll was one of the best as I know, from futzing with flight simulators, how difficult they can be. At one point while we were all looking to the right and behind us, a plane shot over from our left and scared everyone in the crowd. The announcer talked about their ability to surprise the enemy and we all laughed in that “ha ha, you bastards” kind of way.
And this is a delta formation (they have a 5 plane and a six plane version of this)
The six plane delta makes a loop.
I took this one near the car. I just happened to look up and see one of the plans going right over.
We only stayed there about an hour, hour and a half or so but we had an amazing time.