A bit off topic for the blog but not by too much. Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Airshow London 2018 located in London, Ontario, Canada (not that other London). This was my third year in a row that I’ve visited the show and I wanted to share a few of the photos I took while I was at the show.
Grey skies but an awesome show
Last year, show watchers were faced with extreme heat conditions with temperatures in the low 30 degree Celsius range (86 Fahrenheit and above for those on the other scale) and a humidity level that made it feel closer to 40 degrees (just over 100F). This year was the opposite with an early taste of fall with brisk winds, cooler temperatures (hovering around 15c) and a cloud deck at 20,000 feet that turned the sky white.
The show had a mix of static and active performers and both were pretty spectacular. On the ground we had a C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster, several C-130 variants (including a EC-130J with some antennas that I’ve never seen before), KC-135, KC-10, a Hawk, a pair of A-10s, several F/A-18E and CF-18s, F-16s, a Hawk, CH-136, and three F-35s (two A models and a single C model). And I’m leaving several off the list.
Performing in the show was a mostly jet line-up with the CF-18 demo team, Snowbirds, and F-16 Viper demo team’s being some of the high performance jet highlights. We also had a pretty cool performance by Pete McLeod and his Red Bull racer and Mike Tryggvason in his aerobatic aircraft.
There were also a pair of beautiful heritage passes with the London Jet Museum’s newly restored CT-133 Silver Star trainer (Canadian designation for the T-33 Shooting Star) and with the USAF heritage pass featuring the F-16C (the Viper Demo) and the TF-51D ‘Bum Steer.’
Of course the highlight of any show that I’ve seen them at, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds aerobatic team are among the best airshow performers in the world. Their tight formations sometimes featuring up to 9 aircraft performing all manners of loops rolls, bursts, and close passes never fail to amaze me.
The final performance of the day was by a F-22 Raptor from the 43rd FS located at Tyndall AFB. The crew were apparently having some technical difficulties with the jet but were able to get it working for the final display. That is a jet that flies like nothing else that I’ve ever seen. It’s really impressive to say the least.
Comparisons between flight sim and real thing
This year it was fun to see the RCAF CF-18 demo team perform because I now have plenty of stick time in the virtual recreation by Eagle Dynamics with their DCS: F/A-18C module. Watching the real thing perform and seeing what it looks like versus what the DCS version performs like is fascinating and its interesting to see just how good it is in the sim.
Of course sitting in my chair doesn’t subject me to the G forces and so the whole experience thing has its limits when it comes to a flight sim – still its fun to know and understand a lot of what is happening with the jet during startup, takeoff, and during the performance.
Seeing the magnificent display by a pair of A-10s from Selfridge Air National Guard Base also made me want to pick the DCS: A-10C. And although I don’t really need another aircraft to fly and learn right now, seeing their performance definitely contributed to my want for that module. It may happen if a good sale comes up.
Wrap-up and photos
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my post about this airshow. I don’t get to go to many shows but I’m pretty lucky to have seen the aircraft this year that I did. Here are a few more photos to share down below. It was a challenging day photography-wise for my older DSLR to handle but I managed to get some decent shots nonetheless.