Photo Essay: the Quad City Air Show
The Iowa National Guard flew helicopters over the air show.
Its 194th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Surveillance) (Airborne) had soldiers parachute from its CH-47 Chinook/Improved Cargo Helicopter (CH-47F).
A KC-135 did a flyby. It was faster than I was able to take a clear picture of. The Air Force uses planes like this primarily for refueling.
In addition to watching planes in the air, you can get up close to them on the ground.
It's not just airplanes. Tanks and other military devices are on display as well.
Climbing on top of them was a lot of fun.
The 20th Century Tactical Studies Group was on hand to remind us how people in the previous century fought wars.
Some of them were more humorous than others. This guy, dressed in Soviet garb and surrounded by World War I and World War II weapons, was not amused when a screamed in mock panic "oh no the Russians are coming!" I reminded him what Red Dawn taught me and he drying responded "maybe you should try to learn something." Man am I glad we won the Cold War.
Landmines are safely on display. It is estimated that 45 to 50 landmines are currently in the ground in one-third of the World's nations. They maim or kill 15,000 to 20,000 people every year. You can adopt a landmine by visiting here.
Other mid-20th century devices are available to look and feel.
Like this mortar.
President George H.W. Bush, then a Lt. (J.G.) flew a TBF Avenger like this one on combat missions in World War II.
This is a H-60 Black Hawk helicopter, a familiar aircraft to people who do not follow these things due to the movie and book Black Hawk Down, which featured American soldiers shot down in Somalia.
Looking at the seats and the interior of the helicopter, it's not difficult to see why soldiers might be hit by crossfire while flying in it.
Here is a Bell AH-1 Super Cobra. If that is the case, these types of war machines have been used in conflicts ranging from Vietnam in the past to Iraq today.
Not every vehicle on display is a killing machine. This one moves dirt.
Here is a F/A-18F Super Hornet, designed to work from aircraft carriers in all kinds of weather. If you really like this plane you should check out this website.
While there were many vehicles and aircraft on display in a static fashion, it was an active show with visitors getting a chance to see many of them in action. One interesting display was one of the World's Fastest Trucks, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It goes 376 M.P.H. for very short time periods.
It needs a parachute to slow it down.
There are activities for all to participate in. Some things at the air show are more aero-dynamic than others.
Airplanes from various eras took flight.
Some of them flew at very low heights.
Air shows can be very patriotic affairs.
Some of the tricks are very impressive.
Red Bull pilot Kirby Chambliss impressed me with his sideways flying at low altitudes.
Nothing beats the famous Navy Blue Angels however. Since 1946, they have performed in front of more than 393 million fans.
The group flew in various formations, some close together and some far away.
As you can see, there is very little room for error when flying like this.
It is impossible to describe how fast these planes were going, other than saying it was faster than the speed of sound. If your eyes looked at where the sound burst told you to look, you would have missed them. It was very impressive.
One of the cooler moments of the show came after it officially ended. Some attendees stayed on and watched the pilots prepare their planes and fly away. Look, Iowa allows women pilots!
This CH-47 Chinook/Improved Cargo Helicopter (CH-47F) took quite some time to get ready to fly.
It is used to transport people and cargo where ever it's needed. Prior to it flying away, visitors were allowed to walk through the aircraft and sit in it. Let me assure you that it's not a comfortable flight. The seats are very hard and I'm sure the ride is pretty bumpy.
This seemingly lumbering vehicle hit the air so quickly that it was difficult for me to get a clear picture of it. About a football field away, you could still feel a massive amount of heat hit your face as it powered off and flew away. It was fascinating to watch.
The air show was a fabulous time. If you have one in your area, I suggest you check it out.
Photos of the Chicago Air Show in 2005