Monday, August 2, 2010

Arctic Thunder

Every two years the Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson Army Base put on the greatest air show in Alaska: Arctic Thunder. Participants fly in from all over North America to take part. We got to climb on the planes, chat to the pilots and ogle at the missiles. There was even a World War II Veteran who flew up in his plane wearing his original uniform.

In between all the bush planes with pimped up engines doing barrel rolls through the sky, was a wing walker. This crazy lady climbed out onto the wings of her biplane and did all sorts of acrobatic movements, including standing on top of the plane...

There was a really cool fly-by by a B-52 Bomber which simulated dropping bombs onto the airfield, and the pyrotechnics team set off a huge explosion just off the runway to show the effects of the bomb. There were fighter jets breaking the sound barrier or hovering 200 feet in the air, and F-22 Raptors, the best combat plane in the world protecting the freedom of the American people.

The Canadian Snowbirds flew up north to show off their skills. The crazy pilots entertained us to a few nailbiting fly-bys at break-neck speed, and some great formation flying.

Just before the grand finale, a combat team demonstrated a mock airfield seizure. Troops were dropped off by a Chinook helicopter, amid swirling flares, before they saved the day. The finale was the Blue Angels, who flew in formations with their wingtips just 4 feet apart! What an awesome day!

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