Aug 25, 2008

Kansas City Air Show

It's been many, many years since I attended an air show, and I was certainly impressed with this 2008 display of planes and aerial acrobatics at the Downtown Airport. The show started at 10:00 am and we didn't leave until after 4 pm.

I told one of our sons that the plane I was most impressed with was the jet-powered sailplane owned by Bob Carlton, a rocket scientist in Albuquerque, NM. The sailplane's two small jet engines were designed for smaller radio-controlled airplanes, but Bob mounted the engines in a retractable pod on top an Italian Alisport glider. The engines are powered up whenever the plane takes off or performs aerobatics near the ground.

The grandkids were most impressed by the NOISE of the military jets, including a U.S. Navy F-18 that dived and soared with thunderous blasts to bend, if not break, your eardrums. Yes, we used earplugs, but it's hard keeping them in young grandkids.

The best aerobatics had to be Sean Tucker in his Oracle Challenger II. I've never seen anything like the movements his plane performs in the sky. The bright red plane was doing stunts that are very difficult to do because the plane is designed to be quite stable and it resists being put into certain flight configurations, such as tail-down falls or slow forward movements with the nose up (continuous stall?) to make the plane appear to act much like a helicopter.

1 comment:

Cory said...

Overall, the show was good - but there weren't as many performers as I was used to seeing.

The glider was good though, and I agree with you about Sean.