Frederick Airshow 2000

The 2000 airshow held in the city of Frederick, in the American state of Maryland, was one of my all-time favorites, mostly because of the range and quality of aircraft which were on display, both static and flying.   These included world war two naval aircraft like the F4F Wildcat, F4U Corsair, Douglas Dauntless dive bomber and an Avenger torpedo bomber, as well as air force types like the P-47 Thunderbolt "Jackie's Revenge", a P-51 Mustang, C-46 Commando (static only), the B-17 "Sentimental Journey", a pair of B-25 Mitchell bombers and a Russian Yak-9 fighter.

There were a number of good demonstrations by the world war two aircraft, as well as post-war planes like the A-1 Skyraider "Naked Fanny".   Fans of modern types weren't disappointed either, with excellent Apache and Dolphin helicopter demos, as well as an A-10 Thunderbolt II and a very unusual C-130 anti-contamination rapid response display.   There was also an excellent static display including an F-14 Tomcat and a Vietnam era C-123 Provider transport plane.

The show certainly kicked off with a bang, even if it was an extremely quiet one!    Arguably the most extraordinary military aircraft flying today, a B-2 "Spirit" stealth bomber did a couple of flypasts which allowed some good closeup shots.   The thing which people commented on most was how whisper quiet it was, even though it passed very close over the crowd.    As if one stealth plane weren't enough, there was also a flypast by an F-117 "Nighthawk" stealth fighter (which, despite its designation, is clearly a ground attack aircraft).

The other thing which lifted this show well above the run of the mill was the presence of significant numbers of aircraft from the world war two Axis nations Germany and Japan.   In the case of the Luftwaffe aircraft, there were two original aircraft, a Heinkel He-111 bomber belonging to a group of American air enthusiasts called the Confederate Air Force, and a Junkers Ju-52 transport plane.  In addition there were replicas of the Japanese Kate and Val bombers used during the Pearl Harbor attack.