Our Saturday West Texas activity was Midland AirSho 2011, at Midland International Airport. We volunteered to sell beer for the Flatlanders Ski Club. Unlike last year (hot) the day was chilly and breezy. In the morning a cold front came through and dropped a record-setting 1.2" of rain. But the show must go on...
Many of the planes in the show are WWII-era bombers. These are maintained and flown by the CAF - Commerative Air Force. A coworker tells me you can actually get checked out in these planes and fly them for airshows.
The bombers "drop" fake bombs. Always a highlight of the show. There were some awesome gigantic smoke rings. Cheech and Chong would be impressed.
The Flatlanders beer stall was way, way, way out east, and surrounded almost completely by a moat. A sanitation guy pulled up in a golf cart and told us several port-o-potties had tipped over the night before and spilled their contents into the moat, which he referred to as "the blue lagoon".
The Blue Lagoon kept away most thirsty patrons
Because of our isolated location, the moat, and the reek of spilled port-o-potties, we had very few customers. I switched on my aviation scanner and listened to ATC directing incoming commercial flights. I didn't hear the air show planes talking; they must've been on a different frequency. I left the beer-hawking to Debi and Mary, who is an excellent "coozie" saleswoman.
Mary wore ear covers for the noise
"Beer wench Debi"
The show ended just after 4 PM and our shift was over. We walked over to check out the planes parked on the ramp not far away.
Our first stop was a State Police helicopter. Mary got to sit in the pilot's seat. I didn't.
And she got to wear the pilot's helmet. I didn't.
Next was the always-impressive C-130 transport.
Next to the A-10 Warthogs.
The most impressive plane, both in the air on the ground, is the B-1 Lancer. Everything else is cool, but the B-1 shakes the ground as it passes with full afterburners, and then swoops up to 15,000 feet in less than a minute. It makes you think "Holy crap, we can build something like that? And fly it?". It also makes me think the US has a pretty kick-butt military. But this part of the military is really based 100% on science nerds, engineers and physicists. Then again, isn't most of the military really? Military superiority is scientific superiority.
Under the B1's bomb bay
B1 jet engine outlets
B1 front landing gear
B1 main landing gear. The rubber was all torn up, I guess from landing when the wheels aren't spinning and first touch the runway.
I think this is a B-17? Anyway, the stormy sky made a wonderful backdrop for all the shots at the airport. In the background to the right you can see Avion, the GA FBO at MAF, and a bit farther on you can see the main terminal building at MAF.
The WWII planes had a bunch of guns sticking out all over, which makes sense.
On the way out of the AirSho I spotted an area with Flightsource planes and personnel. This is the company that provides my flight training and rents me the Diamond 20. They recently took delivery of a Chinese-made Cessna 162 Skycatcher. This is a Light Sport aircraft that runs $112,000 new.
On the opposite side of the main hangar was a Cubcrafter Carbon Cub. This is a gorgeous plane, especially with the blue flames on the fuselage -- wow! This is sold as a homebuild kit for $66,000 not including engines or any avionics. So over $100,000. A very cool plane!