Wilkes-Barre Airshow 2000

This show had one of the more interesting static displays I've seen, with an interesting assortment of aircraft.   The warbirds included a B25 Mitchell bomber, a pair of British Hawker Hunters jets, which unfortunately I've never seen flying.   Two post-war Soviet light transport planes were present, an Antonov AN2 Colt and a rare Yak 12.   Finally, there was a good line-up of military support aircraft, including a Vietnam War era C123 Provider, a P3 Orion like the one which was involved in a collision with a Chinese fighter in 2001, an EC130E electronic operations Hercules, a KC136 aerial refuelling tanker and America's largest transport plane, a giant C5 Galaxy, whose interior I toured, including the cockpit - the open ditching hatch on top of the fuselage even allowed me to photograph from above the plane!   Modern American military aircraft like an A10 Warthog, F14 Tomcat and an F18 Hornet rounded out the collection.

This was the first time I was able to see the F117 Stealth Fighter in action, though I'd previously seen it on static display.   Unfortunately, it's very difficult to get decent photographs because of its dark underside.

This was my second opportunity to see the navy Blue Angels display team in action, but conditions here were a lot better than the first time, at the 1998 Andrews Air Force Base airshow.   For one thing, the air seemed a little less hazy, but more importantly the sun wasn't shining directly towards me and my camera!   They did their usual impeccable routine, from the hokey synchonized marching and saluting of the pilots on their way to their aircraft (I guess the kids like that part), to the group takeoff and individual takeoff routines, and then onto solo plane displays, two plane displays, four plane displays and the full six plane display.   The Blue Angels C130 Hercules support plane, which is called Fat Albert, also joins the act by doing a rocket-assisted takeoff (RATO) display.