Page 8 of 9 FirstFirst ... 6789 LastLast
Results 71 to 80 of 83

Thread: Why I'm against bringing the Thunderbirds

  1. #71

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Close to OSH, but not close enough!
    Posts
    178
    I'm a survivor of the multiple Sunday apocalyptic deluges. I waited out the first one on the IAC porch, the second in the EAA Welcome Center, and the third in the Aviator's Bookshelf tent, where I bought nine more books and picked up the two display cases I bought when I heard that this was their last year (wah!). I'd be interested to know (although I know it's impossible) how many locals stayed home Sunday because of the weather...which makes the "gate up 20% on Sunday" figure even more impressive. I also wonder how many planes left Sunday morning to beat the weather, who might have waited until after the airshow had the forecast been better.

  2. #72
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
    Posts
    2,474
    At least at T-birds show center (which was way down in Vintage), All vehicles were move to the other wise useless and pointless perimeter road. Nothing on Wittman from the Showplane registration booth down to Ultralights.

    Frankly, the crowd (at least form the Vintage red barn down, worked well during Saturday's airshow. People held back to the white line just fine. It was busy, but manageable.

    One thing I noted is a higher prevelence of CHILDREN in the crowd for the airshow than I've seen in the past for just the WARBIRD EXTRAVAGANZA teamed with Sean D Tucker.

    I'm going to call it a success.

    The dozen or so kids taking their induction oath into the AF prior to Saturday's show was a bonus.

  3. #73

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    8
    I've been going to Oshkosh (and I'll probably never call it Airventure) since 1978 - haven't missed a year. Over that time, it has changed a lot, and it's not the Thunderbirds fault - and the Thunderbirds' appearance isn't a symptom of the underlying reason for the changes.

    I didn't look back to see what exact years they were there, but the Blue Angels have been there at least twice, the Canadian Snowbirds at least twice (excellent shows, by the way), and even the Italian Freece Tricolori team was there one year. So, military jet teams are nothing new in the airshow at Oshkosh. The thing I could never figure out was why the Thunderbirds never showed up - seemed like they preferred to do smaller shows in places like Davenport IA. (The Army Golden Knights parachute team has even been at Oshkosh a time or two.)

    I liked Oshkosh the way it was in the early '80s - back when it was more like what the OP was wishing for. It was always exciting to see the new designs (like Chris Heintz' CH601 - the real one week wonder, not from a CNC pre-punched kit, and they actually flew it before the end of the show), alternative engines, pipe dreams, and a fly market that took hours to go through, with at least three waterless cooker vendors and the original Billy Bob teeth.

    To paraphrase the Statler Brothers, "whatever happened to Oshkosh has happened to the best of me." The earliest symptom was the introduction of the Christen Eagle kit in 1977. Frank Christensen was the first person to realize just how much money homebuilt aviation could attract. Old timers were amazed that anybody would pay that kind of money for airplane parts. Burt Rutan, aeronautical genius that he is, failed to appreciate (or refused to) that the Eagle was just the tip of the iceberg and sold plans/materials for the Ezs instead of pre-molded parts. Stoddard-Hamilton and Dick VanGrunsven did not, and the rest is history. Turns out that for every EAA member who wanted to scratch-build a Pietenpol or T-18, there were 15 or 20 who would rather spend cash than time. Engines are even more that way - I'd guess that a small fraction of the Sonexes are VW (or Corvair) powered. People just don't seem to even flinch at paying $20k for an engine. And don't even get me started on glass cockpits (and I retired from a major supplier of glass cockpits to the airlines and corporate jets.)

    I think EAA leadership over the years has responded to the membership - it's just that I, (and a lot of other people) aren't the ones they have responded to. If they had ignored the demographic trends and tried to remain solely focused on old-time homebuilding, EAA very well might have ceased to exist. For a comparison, look at the Antique Aircraft Association, which started in 1953. They are an example of staying very focused on their niche of aviation and not changing with the times.

    Paul Poberezny even wished for the old days, and started an organization maybe 15 years ago to try to cater to others that thought EAA had strayed from it's roots (Sport Aviation Association, I think? - but before Light Sport was a thing). It didn't last long.

    Bottom line - nothing's perfect, but EAA and Oshkosh are the best we've got. Enjoy the parts you like, go hang out in the shade with others who think like you do when the Thunderbirds (or whatever) are on, and think about what you'd be doing if there was no "Airventure".

    (And write Jack Pelton thanking him for working for us when he certainly didn't need to, and also for the attempts EAA is making to support the low end of homebuilding. Remember the $10K aircraft displays last year or the year before, and the attempts to promote scratch building this year? They really are trying.)

    Warren

  4. #74

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    116
    I agree with a good deal of what you say, but have attended every year since 1973, missing 2005, 2006, and 2007 due to my father's health. The Snowbirds and Italians are vivid memories. The Blues made a couple passes I guess in 2006, but neither U.S. Precision team ever did a performance there, which is what made this year a big deal. I never thought they would work out the box space to get the high performance jets in there, they proved me wrong. I enjoyed the show, but have to admit I found the Snowbirds and Frecce Tricolori shows more enjoyable. The lower performance jets allow for some better formation displays it seems.

  5. #75
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
    Posts
    2,474
    The recent Blue Angel appearance was limited to Blue 7 making a few passes. Amusingly, I was on the warbird approach to 36 when Blue 7 did an overhead break in front of me...quite neat to watch.

  6. #76
    yes apart from single jets, Blue Angles have never been at least since 1984 when I started coming. I missed 86 with the Frecce Tricolori, not sure when the snowbirds were, either 90 which I also missed or before 84.
    Well interesting to see that the numbers are up, I would have expected that anyway after such a good year last year and the word getting out that EAA was going away from the big chalets, giant loudspeakers and more back to grassroots. I think that is why there were so many aircraft there early in the week, with more vintage and homebuilts than ever. It would seem that the Thunderbirds caused an increase in the weekend crowd and I guess part of the reason would be that any vaguely interested local would now chose to come at the weekend, when perhaps previously they may have chosen a weekday. Of course a 20% increase on Sunday isn't much there was always hardly anyone there!
    I wonder how they count the numbers as there certainly weren't people counting on every gate every day. If its from sales do they assume those with a weekly pass stay all week. OF course many don't and left on Thursday and Friday.
    To be honest I wouldn't care if they had the Thunderbirds or another team on the final weekend if it could be done without restrictions on other days, perhaps all the novelty acts and some of the aerobatics could also be moved to a bigger airshow on the final weekend, leaving the weekdays for a shorter airshow with more fly-bys of interesting EAA types like Vintage, ultralights, homebuilts, Seaplanes and warbirds flown by ordinary members not airshow professionals that we have all seen a hundred times.

  7. #77
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
    Posts
    2,474
    There were much more people on Sundays than in the past. I was about to call it a bust after the storms came in at the beginning of the airshow, but people must have just taken cover and waited it out as by the time the planes started flying again the crowds were making their way to the flight line.
    Not as busy as Saturday though.

  8. #78
    Larry Lyons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Stockton, IL.
    Posts
    49
    Having replied earlier and stating I was against the pull back of the flight line, I am here to give you our experience. We moved out of our camp site at 1:28pm Friday. No problem, we had earlier moved our pop up shade and several coolers to the new line. Everything went fine for about 15 mins. Then a wall cloud came through, we, due to losing more than one to wind over the years, took our shade down. Shortly after that it began to rain on us off and on for the next 2 hours or more, the temps dropped 10 degrees, and there we sat, cold, wet, and bored! So, I'm sorry but no we’re not happy campers. Some of us were eating when the rain came in and could not go to our tent to finish. Also, is it just us or did Friday's airshow suck? A lot of downtime and then watching RC guys for 20 mins. on top of it! Anyway most of us, 4 planes and about 9 people, left Fri. morning not wanting a repeat of Thurs.

    L


    No matter how far you push the envelope; its still stationary!

  9. #79
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia
    Posts
    771
    Larry,

    You know the weather you were justifiably complaining about? It affected the air show too. Lots of participants elected not to fly in thunderstorms and hail. The Air Boss made the same decision for others. So, yes, it sucked -- or soaked.

    Chris Mayer
    N424AF

  10. #80
    Byron J. Covey
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by scuba72 View Post
    While the T-38 and the F-5 were developed at the same time and I believe the same basic airframe, the F-5 is bigger. 1 foot longer, 16 sq ft more wing area and about 1 foot taller. While the airplanes look similar and do share a lot of the same components, they are totally different machines. I'm pretty sure it would be near impossible to convert a T-38 into an F-5.

    I personally think the T-38 and the F-5 are two of the nicest looking airplanes ever built. Sleek, fast and maneuverable. When the T-Birds flew them I think they put on better shows. I have seen them perform with the F-100 (Okay I'm showing my age), the F-4, the T-38 and the F-16. I think the T-38 years were their best.
    The Navy aggressor squadron at NAS Key West has to buy surplus F-5's from foreign nations.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •