Saturday, July 19, 2008 – Dayton, OH
The Academy interns attended the Vectren Dayton Air Show at the Dayton International Airport in Dayton, Ohio. The show was great! We arrived at about 11:00 am, just in time to enjoy the wonderful singing of the National Anthem and see the flag drop. There were so many aircraft, all of different types, from commercial to military. After the opening ceremonies, the Wright B Flyer was flown. Air show announcer, Hall of Famer, Danny Clisham, got the crowd going with his vibrant voice, expressing so much excitement and displaying so much enthusiasm. If you weren’t excited about seeing the numerous aircraft, you were sure to get excited after hearing Clisham’s exuberant voice.
There were many demonstrations, including the US Army AH-64D Apache Attack Helicopter demonstration, the US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon demonstration, the US Navy F-18 Super Hornet demonstration, the F-104 Starfighters Jet demonstration, and more. The roaring sound of the fighters’ engines was deafening and the maneuvers were breath-taken.
The AeroShell Aerobatic Team performed ‘crazy’ stunts, from upside-down maneuvers to loops and rolls. But the most exciting aerobatic pilot to watch was Sean D. Tucker. In his Oracle Challenger II biplane, he performed twists, loops, twirls, and tumbles. The most fascinating maneuver of them all was the torque roll. The torque roll maneuver is a stunt where the plane "hovers" vertically in place, rotating around its roll axis. This maneuver is such a spectacular sight to see. No wonder why this guy was named a Living Legend of Flight by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
The carrier demonstrations included the Ohio Air National Guard C-130H Hercules and the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III demonstrations. These two huge aircraft took to the sky just as fast as a fighter, although it did not look like that way, since these aircrafts have a gross weight around 175,000 lbs. We were able to see the reverse thrust capabilities of the Globemaster as it landed on the runway.
Despite the many great demonstrations that were performed, nothing says “air show” like the US Air Force F-22 Raptor. This aircraft was surely the showstopper. Described as “the most capable fighter in the world,” the Raptor has incomparable capabilities and is in a class of its own.