Pacific Air Show

What is an air show? Well you see, when two aerospace defense contractors love each other very much. They sometimes come together to create a multirole fighter aircraft that can do flips and make sonic booms. And there is no place better to see said plane flipping in action than the annual Pacific Air Show at Huntington beach!

The event had been canceled the last two years due to covid, and possibly some weird oil spill. But the Planes are finally back! They came roaring out to strut their stuff, flying extra low so weirdos like me with super long lenses could take pictures of them. The FedEx 757 flew nice and slow over the pier and let me snap this beautiful picture of her.

Then these cool Army guys from the Golden Knights jumped out of their matching plane.

There were a few small zoom’y planes soaring through the air. I love the cool smoke trails they leave and the way it catches the light. I wish the life guard had been looking at it in this photo but to be fair to her, she probably was forced to look at planes all weekend.

Not all Aircraft are fixed wing, and not to be outdone, the Red Bull Helicopter performed some flips for us. I believe this is the only helicopter that is capable of flying upside down safely.

Some real Burbank pride in these photos. It’s very possibly these T-33 Shooting Stars were made at the Burbank Lockheed factory 80 years ago. Here they are dancing together with their 40’s era jet engines, like some sort of old couple at the moose lodge on a Sunday night.

It’s not always about the pointy planes. Sometimes you just gotta appreciate a Big-Honkin-Hauler. I love this C-17 doing a little refueling demonstration with a KC-135 Stratotanker.

We then were then visited by Skyhawk, and some one who had strapped together two Yak-55’s into something he called a Yak-110.

And then the Thunderbirds arrived.

The Airforce Thunderbirds Dazzled us with their very patriotic zooming and booming. Their formations just 18 inches apart from each other created these crazy images where it appears that they are all stacked on top of each other. I had never seen anything like it.

4 of them flew in a diamond formation, and while I was intensely focusing on trying to take a picture of that, one flew up behind us and belched an afterburner jet so loud it caused me to jump a few feet in the air, in addition to setting off all the car alarms around us.

Here is said Diamond Formation. Also I managed to get some vertical cell footage as well.

Coming in from the Right!
Flying directly at eachother
Arriving from behind!

Seeing the Thunderbirds in person was just not an experience I was expecting. It totally blew me away. you feel that general dynamics engine in your chest and it’s just such a stunning display of maneuverability.

The F-16 truly is such an amazing aircraft. It’s one of those things kids talk about in middle school. Fantasizing about swarms of F-16’s all bristling with ordinance about to do something SUPER COOL, and they can’t wait to show you their scribblings of it on notebook paper. I understand that it is now an ageing multirole fighter, being phased out by the newer F-35. I hear you can even buy one these days from the Israeli government if you want to set up a little business pretending to be aggressor aircraft.

Sadly I did not manage to get terribly amazing pictures of one of my other most favorite aircrafts. But an FA-18 Super Hornet made an appearance along with some of his other Navy sky friends. A T2- Buckeye trainer and a brand spankin new F-35.

After the Plane show it was time to visit the great Park in Irvine, where they have an adorable hot air balloon that you can ride! Now appropriately themed for Halloween

And there was also a SNJ-5 hanging out there as well! I hear these are real fun to fly, and perhaps will be my next Microsoft flight simulator purchase.