Sunday, November 13, 2016

2016-11-12 Nellis Aviation Nation - Bettina Pt 1

Well, yesterday, Bettina, Michelle, and myself attended the Aviation Nation Air Show at Nellis AFB. The show was fun but in some ways disappointing - not so much because of the show but because of camera problems. Just a couple of days prior to the show Bettina's Nikon Coolpix L840 crapped out. When you turn it on the telephoto lens extends all the way and it doesn't retract to the 'home' position, and it won't take photos when the shutter is clicked. So I thought , "Okay, I have a back-up camera at work". The three of us drove first to my work and I picked up the camera, an older Nikon Coolpix L22. We got to the air show and guess what? - the L22 didn't work at all!! I put in new batteries but it was dead as a doorknob. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! Two Nikon's crapping out within a few days of each other. I do believe there's not gonna be another Nikon in our future!! JUNK

Well, that left us with my Nikon Coolpix L340 which I let Bettina use (still working but cross your fingers), Michelle's Canon, and I have a small Sony Cybershot pocket sized camera that I carry with me all the time. Here's what sucks - the Nikon's are the best camera I've found for taking macro shots which of course I use extensively for my blog photos but they apparently aren't made for the long haul! My Minolta XD-11, which was purchased new in the 1970's when it first came out still works, why can't today's camera maker's produce equipment that's just as reliable and long-lived???? I'm tired of replacing these things because I'm no longer making the income I used to and have more mouths to feed


Enough venting - I said what I said and I'll let it be - for the moment.

Okay, in spite of these problems, between the three of us we managed to take nearly 1200 photos! Not wanting to combine all of them into one folder and sort through them (that would would be an all week affair) I decided to just post the photos based on who took them. The first two installments will be Bettina's pics, followed by mine, then by Michelle's. The photos appear here in the order in which they were taken. There's a lot that goes on at air shows, displays to the right, displays to the left, aerial displays overhead. All of this assailing the senses at once. You take a pic of something cool here, turn around and take another pic, and then decide you've missed something back where you just were - arrrrgh. We ended up getting a lot of pictures of empty sky because the planes are understandably pretty fast and it's very hard to see what's happening on those viewscreens AND they're not bright enough to compete with natural daylight making it harder to follow the action. An integral old fashioned viewfinder makes it far easier to follow the action - but that's a feature which is becoming harder to find on low-end cameras.

The air show takes up about half of Nellis' flightline but even at that it's a l-o-n-g walk! In years past we would walk the length of the show and then walk back. Not any more. Now we walk from one end to the other and take the tram back :-) We were there just over four hours from 0930-1345 and were we ever POOPED! We didn't stay long enough to see the last flyby's and watch the Thunderbirds and we're okay with that because we see the T-Birds all the time, after all, Nellis is their home base and they practice here in their off season.. 

One small disappointment was not seeing the P-38 Lightning fly. Normally, the show is kicked off with a heritage flight of vintage and newer aircraft but they didn't do that this time. By getting there at 0930 we were an hour early before the official start of the show and there was no heritage flight. Also, we never got to see the Spitfire fly.

There were some notable changes to this show compared to those past. There were more vintage vehicles which I greatly enjoyed! There were some new aircraft, like the PB4Y Privateer, a different Spitfire that I haven't seen here before, and a P-63 Kingcobra (the last time a Kingcobra was here was quite a few years ago and we didn't get to see that one fly). Missing this year was the B-52 bomber and C-47's (normally a staple of these shows), and the North Korean airplanes. But overall I rate the show as a success and we did manage to get some nice shots. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

For all you fans of fire apparatus

F4-U Corsair in front, P-38 Lightning in back

B-1 Lancer Bomber

C-17 Globemaster II

One of the Thunderbird F-16's being towed into position on the flightline

The West Coast Ravens doing their thing

Still haven't found out if this is one of the 'Tora, Tora, Tora' modified Texans or the real thing, but I'm guessing it's one of the movie birds because we've had them here before

One of the off-road vehicles on display (there will be more photos to come)

T6 Texan

P-63 Kingcobra

B-25 Mitchell

PB4Y Privateer

P-40 Warhawk

Home of The Thunderbirds

Blowin' smoke - part of the pyrotechnic display for the bomb and strafing runs

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