2007/09/29 The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends at Rickenbacker Airport, Columbus, OH,


I visited "The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends" air show held at Rickenbacker airport located outside Columbus, OH.  As the name tells, the theme of the air show was P-51s.  P-51s were flying almost all day.

According to the air-show web site, legendary Chuck Yeager was there.  However, I couldn't find where he was.

P-51 was flying all day. Two P-51s.  (One behind) Two P-51 formation.

Unfortunately, the sun was behind an airplane almost all day.  So, I could only get silhouette type of pictures.

Unfortunately, the sun was behind an airplane almost all day.

One thing I was looking forward to was F-22 aerobatics.  I was supposed to see F-22 at Dayton and Miramar last year, but both times F-22 participation was cancelled.  I was starting to suspect if F-22 really existed (was F-22 just an urban legend?).  But, this time I confirmed the existence of an F-22 :-)

F-22 Raptor, finally! Front view. Supplemental Air Intake (?) is open.
Close-up look of the nose Close-up look of the tail. Taking off.
Fly-by with the weapon bay open Dedication pass.  I wish the sun was behind me, not behind the airplane. High-speed pass.  Small shock-cone is visible.
Heritage formation of a F-22 and three P-51s Vector nozzle.

F-22 boasted its post-stall maneuvers.  Such an heavy airplane with relaxed static stability did not have any chance of recovery from a tail slide at low altitude.  It was not the case for an F-22.  With its vector nozzle, it did all the strange maneuvers that used to be performed  only by Su-27 (and prop airplanes).

I was thinking that F-22's nozzles only move up and down, and it was not capable of yawing rotation in post-stall condition.  But, I was wrong.  The width of the each nozzle can be controlled independently, and it makes the difference of the thrust between two engines instantaneously.  So, F-22 can control yawing rotation at any air speed.  So it also demonstrated zero-bank turn (looked like a flat spin.)

By the way, soon after F-22 took off, I saw something like a piece of metal falling off from the F-22.  I still don't know what it was.

Usually, an air show is concluded by Thunderbirds or Blue Angels.  However, this air show was different.  Thunderbirds took off at around 1pm.  I felt strange because I was expecting them to take off like 3pm or 4pm.

Thunderbirds taking off. #4 came a little too early this time. I could capture only three airplane in one frame again.

Apparently, this air show's theme was P-51 and the show needed to be concluded by P-51s.  As soon as Thunderbirds landed, next batch of P-51s taxied out and the show continued.

In the afternoon, a B-2 flew by.

B-2 Spirit

Then came fly-byes of WWII airplane.

P-39 Aircobra

P-38 Lightning
P-47 Thunderbolt P-47 Thunderbolt P-47 Thunderbolt
B-17 Flying Fortress Lancaster

During the fly-byes, pyro techniques added some visual effect of explosions.  After a bomber passes in front of the audience, a gasoline (?) explosion gave a visual effect of bombing.  However, the pyro was too much.  The wind was blowing from the runway to the ramp area, and it blew the smoke of the explosion toward the audience.  The smoke ended up with hanging between audience and airplanes.  The pyro technique is in this case a supporting actor, and it shouldn't obscure the main actors - airplanes.  Aren't they, as professional pyro technicians, supposed to adjust the intensity of explosions, or increase the interval of the explosions to give clear look of the airplanes?  I was not there to see explosions.  I was there to see airplanes.  I was a bit disappointed by the too-much pyro.

Oh, come on!  Too much smoke!

I left the air show scene around 3pm.  I saw a C-130 taking off, and at least 16 P-51s were forming a formation with the C-130.  It was really a unique air show and I enjoyed a lot.

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