Monday, October 6, 2008
On Sunday, The Boy and I went to the Miramar Airshow in San Diego. We got there pretty early and had no problem with traffic or getting on the Marine base. Rather than wait in line for a shuttle bus to drive us the mile and a half to the tarmac, we got a pedi cab. Brody thought riding on the back of that three wheeled bike was one if the most fun things he's ever done. (Funny, we were just at Disney last week)
Once on the tarmac, there were tons of things to do and see. There were also plenty of ways to spend your money. We spent some time exploring the static displays. We saw lots of aircraft. We got to walk all the way through a C-5 Galaxy. We checked out the helicopters, UAV's and many many aircraft.
We made our way over to the fence protecting the runway from hoards of crowding fans and set up our chairs. The first act we saw was a bi plane doing stunts that would have made me pass out. They had some stunt parachute guys and a tactical assault by the Marines on a completely unsuspecting patch of grass along the runway.
The Marines showed off the impressive maneuverability of the F-18 Super Hornets. They did multiple low altitude, high speed pass by's. They seemed to be only 100 feet off the ground and on the verge of breaking through the sound barrier. As they passes you could see a cylinder of condensation forming around the center of the aircraft. It was impressive and it was loud. The F-18 also displayed the ability to maintain control at speeds below 100 miles per hour.
My favorite part of the event had to be the F-22 raptor. This is the newest addition to the United State's arsenal of military aircraft. The first thing I noticed about the F-22 was it's size. This is a big jet! It's noticeably larger than the F-18 and Much larger than the F-16. The next thing I noticed was how loud it was. This thing puts out some serious noise. The vectored thrust allows the F-22 to be as nimble as a ballerina. This ballerina just happens to have stealth technology and be armed to the teeth.
The Boy's favorite was the Blue Angels. They put on a spectacular show, as usual. It's amazing to see 6 F-18's flying at high speed and have only 18 inches of clearance between their cockpits and wing tips. The Boy kept screaming, "Awesome!" the entire time.
The end of the Blue Angels marked the end of the Airshow. By this time the San Diego sun had been beating down on us for several hours and we were tired. We joined the thousands of people in the march back to the parking areas. As we were walking, the pedi cab driver passed us with no fare and a flat tire. The lack of a repair kit had to have cost him a couple hundred dollars. The lines for the shuttles was out of control, so we walked the 1.5 miles back to the car.
It took The Boy about 2.7 seconds to fall asleep once we were in the comfort of the air conditioned car. I had to stay awake the 45 minutes back home. The Airshow in San Diego is fantastic. The Boy is already talking about plans for next year. I got a bunch of pictures printed to make a display in The Boy's room.
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