Thursday, September 30, 2010
Another month gone. I have no idea where this month went.
Yesterday was kind of a do nothing day for us and I didn’t have anything to blog about.
Today was laundry day, the first time in awhile and I had to the “hotel” here on base to do it. I’m not complaining, it was free and I got to sit on a very comfortable sofa and watch TV while our clothes spun around first in one machine and then the other.
When I got back I took some pictures of the horses across the street.
Too bad the chain link fence was in the way. This one would lean her head up against the fence inviting me to scratch. I happily obliged.
This one was really skittish and when I snapped the pic he ran away.
Curiosity got the best of him because he came back. At one point I tried to scratch but he wanted no parts of that.
I wish the fence hadn’t been separating us and I wish I’d had a bag of carrots of apples with me.
Later on in the day I was in the house and heard Bob talking to someone outside and then I heard my name being called and it wasn’t Bob’s voice. Hmmm,,,we have company!
Imagine my surprise when I go outside and see Quail Run friends Bill and Pat! They are passing through and being retired military take advantage of FamCamps too. We had a great time catching up with them. They’ll be leaving in the morning as they are traveling to go see family before they make a connection for a Space Available flight to Europe. (I would love to make a Space A trip to a foreign land. Note to self: WORK ON THAT!) These two will fly to Europe for around $25.00 a piece. Not a bad deal at all!
We’re leaving here tomorrow. Time to head further west.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I spent most of the day working on the post from the Air Show. Yesterday I lost about a third of it and had to start over today.
I worked on it pretty steady today while Bob puttered around outside. I was determined to get it done because quite frankly I was tired of looking at pictures of planes
I was halfway done, at least what I thought was the halfway point, and Bob comes in at a standstill with his tasks and suggested we go to the Commissary. I was glad for the break and saved what I had done.
Off we go to the grocery store on base and we debated on whether to do a really big shopping or not. We decided against it because we’ll be on another base before we get to Arizona that has an even bigger Commissary than McConnell has. This will also give me a chance to make a list of what I want to stock up on too.
So we got about a weeks worth of groceries and returned home. I put everything away and since it was too early to start dinner I got back to the blog post. Don’t ya just have a feeling I’m building up to something here?
I was down to the last few pictures and all of sudden my screen went blank. I furiously clicked this and that trying to find my blog post. It was gone. All the pictures I placed, all the writing, all the TIME I had put into it,,,,GONE! I was so,,,,so,,,, (fill in the blank)!
Thankfully I had saved what I had done earlier in the day but had come to find out that it was nowhere near the halfway point like I thought. Still, it was all I had. So, I started working on it again.
I hate the Air Show post! I wish we never went to the dumb Air Show by now. Actually, that isn’t true, I really enjoyed it, but you get my drift.
You can bet that the rest of the time it took me to write the post and place the pictures that after each addition I hit that SAVE button! Lesson learned for sure!
Monday, September 27, 2010
I guess its been awhile since we’ve been out in the sun all day and walked or stood the whole time like we did yesterday at the Air Show.
I spent my day blogging about the Air Show. I got 1/3 through it and lost the whole thing. Damn it! I gave up.
We went to the Commissary today, it was closed. Batting a thousand aren’t we?
Speaking of batting a thousand, our phantastic Phillies had a phabulous season and ended this phall as the Division Champs! We are very much looking forward to a Red October! Let’s go Phils!
I took a walk around the grounds near the site and found this in just behind our place.
Being in Kansas we are in tornado country. In reading the paperwork we received at check-in they have it marked as mostly April through August and mainly between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.. I feel better now knowing we aren’t here in the “season” but we’re still on the shoulders of it.
Bob looked in the storm shelter and he said it would about 8 adults. Hmmmm….10 ten sites, usually 2 people per site, yep, glad we’re here out of season.
That’s about it for today.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
And I don’t mean cars made by Ford!
There was a lot more before we even got to see them so I’ll start from the beginning.
The show started at eleven and we didn’t get there until a half hour or so later. We had one of those mornings that we just couldn’t get started. Lucky for us we are already on base so didn’t have to deal with the hordes of people who had to be bussed in. (I heard some horror stories when I was standing in line later in the day)
The first thing we saw when we entered the air field was the Boeing Dream Lifter airplane. This plane is a modified 747. It is equal to a plane that carries 400 passengers but has been modified to haul cargo today. It carries more cargo than any plane in the world.
Its primary duty right now is to deliver parts for Boeing’s Dreamliner 787 to the assembly factory in Everett, Washington. It picks up parts from around the world cutting down on deliver times from a not unusual 30 days to just one.
To say this plane is big is just plain and simple an understatement. It’s 235 feet long and 70 feet high. Yeah, big.
You can see that we start the day under very cloudy skies.
Planes were taking off and landing all day long. I don’t have a clue what this one is.
Don’t be surprised that I don’t know what this one is either. I just know its big!
Some vintage planes were on display such as this one from WWII. B-52 comes to mind but I don’t think that’s right.
I did like the pilots “call sign” that was painted on the side.
Remember watching old war pictures hearing about the tail gunner? This was his space on these planes.
We watched a dog fight in the skies and this was the Japanese fighter plane.
Here “our” plane gets a strike against the Japanese plane.
I don’t have a clue what this plane is but I can’t tell you how many model airplanes of this type I helped put together when I was a kid. The boys in my neighborhood went a through a model airplane stage one winter and since I was the only girl their age they were the ones I played with. You know, now that I think about it, I don’t ever remember them playing Barbie’s with me!
Another plane passing overhead. Take note the bluest of skies hiding behind those clouds!
Soon it was announced one of the programs that I was anxiously awaiting!
Here they come!
The Marine Silent Drill Team! Oh what a treat it was to see this precision drill team. I like to see men of all the branches of service in their dress uniforms, but there’s nothing like a Marine in his!
This team was in perfect sync without one verbal command given. I can’t even imagine how many hours of practice this must take.
What a thrill to watch and “listen” to the drill team. Oh yes, your sense of hearing plays a big part in enjoying the team. To hear the SLAP of those leather gloved hands on the rifles or the side of their legs as they go through the movements. To hear the stomp when they come to a halt and those last footfalls hit the cement simultaneously. Simply put, music to the ear of those watching.
I forget what the individuals actually did to have the honor of being introduced but it was a position of responsibility within the platoon that garnered them the recognition.
Bob and I were surprised to hear that one of the team members was from Newark, Delaware.
We watched an inspection of the ranks take place during the show.
The inspector would walk to a Marine,,,,
….stand in front of the one to be inspected
….the Marine would then toss his weapon
….the rifle would be inspected
After the inspection the rifle is tossed back.
We watched this inspection go on several more times and when it got to the last one to be done when the weapon was tossed back the Marine missed it and it clanked to the ground. There was a collective GASP from the crowd but the Marine or the ones around him did not even flinch!
We watched a few more minutes of routines and they ended the show like this and the crowd went wild!
After they were done they stayed on the tarmac to answer questions from the crowd. We found the fellow from our hometown. Turns out that Lance Corporal Nick Meekins didn’t live too far from us back in Newark.
We noticed there was lots of loop de loops going on in the sky.Take note of the bluest skies behind those clouds!
On the grounds are displays of planes from older models…..
to the sleekest of the most modern.
Our attention was drawn to the airstrip by all this smoke!
It was caused by this. I know this isn’t a very good picture but this is a school bus that is racing down the air strip.
Have you ever seen a school bus with after burn???
This bus ran down the airstrip at 321 miles per hour! Yep, you read that right, 321 MPH!
A kid mover with a jet engine!
Now this is plane I know! The C-130.
We’ve done our fair share of loading into this plane when we were in the Guard. The part-time pilots in the National Guard need to get flight time in and the way i understood it was that so many hours had to be over water. When I first enlisted in the Guard my girlfriends and I would fly down to Cocoa Beach, Florida for weekends, sometimes driving up to Orlando to spend the weekends in Disney World. Oh those were the days! When Bob and I got married we flew down several times to Florida and once to the Caribbean. We have fond memories for the C-130.
The announcer once again diverted our attention to the skies.
This plane was doing some serious loop de loops!
What’s so special you ask?
How about the wing walker!
Oh there’s no way!
There was a commercial Fed-Ex plane on display and i went through the cockpit area to see what it was like. I kept hearing someone call Wilson…..WILSON!
A view from the cockpit of a jumbo jet. That cockpit is one cramped space! Not for claustrophobics so I passed on the opportunity to sit in the seat.
View from the platform outside the jet.
The next one I went through (Bob was staying in one place) was the C-5. This is one huge plane!
Here are some facts about the of the C-5.
The exterior and interior paint weighs in at 2,600 pounds!
The distance of the Wright Brothers first flight is the length of a C-5.
More than 100 miles of wiring are needed to operate all C-5 aircraft systems
The C-5 can carry 2,419,588 golf balls
The C-5 can carry 3,222,857 tortillas
The C-5 can carry 25,844,726 ping pong balls
The C-5 can carry 328.301,674 aspirin tablets! The next time someone asks you that, you’ll know!
The fuel capacity of the C-5 is 49,000 gallons, that’s about 6 1/2 rail tank cars worth!
The C-5 carries enough fuel for the average car to make 31 trips around the world
The cargo compartment can hold 100 Volkswagon Beetles, 105 Vegas or 6 standard Greyhound buses. I heard more than one youngster ask, “What’s a Vega?” In fact, I even heard a couple of 20 something’s ask what a Vega was!
Now for the IMPORTANT STUFF! The C-5 can carry 76,216 fifths of California wine and (drum roll please) 277,236 cans of BEER!
The big announcement came next, everyone was told that the Thunderbirds were next.
It was time to watch the acrobatic THUNDERBIRDS!
There was a welcoming ceremony, recognition of exemplary service for some McConnell Air Force Base personnel, introduction of pilots and crew and then it was time for them to take to the skies.
It was really something to watch them get ready for takeoff. Each plane has a pilot and two crewmembers. Each task the crewmember does, he does in sync with the other crewmembers at their each individual planes. After each task, such as buckling a belt for the pilot is done, they snap back to attention and its all perfectly choreographed.
Before we knew it, they were off. Four went first.
These F-16 fighter jets are flying at the speed of 1200 miles per hour. When they are in formation the space between their wingtips measures a scant 24 inches. I can’t even imagine!
(LaVon, do you see a letter?)
The fifth plane took to the sky and this was our introduction to that plane! Yes, upside down!
Just a few minutes later the sixth plane took to the skies and this is how we saw that plane for the first time! It looked like a head on crash was going to occur and it seemed they just missed each other by mere inches! You should have heard the gasps and then cheers!
A little while later these two daredevils were back! Twenty four inches, two feet, between tails!
A larger view….
There were lots of planned near misses!
Turned out we had a beautiful afternoon.
This plane that just minutes before was traveling at 1200 MPH is now demonstrating how slow it can go. Now granted its not going 20 miles an hour or even 50, but for such a huge fighter jet, it took its time moving from one side of the air strip to the other.
Five go up together and one split off.
One flew by nice and low.
All six together.
These six flew off and then all of sudden out of nowhere comes four from different directions and they all met in the middle! The crowd went absolutely nuts after this stunt. After our heart rates got back to normal that is.
What a day this was! I’m so glad we were able to be here for this. I had not ever seen one before and I would definitely want to see one again! Bob and I thoroughly enjoyed this day!
Note: I took 252 pictures today. I narrowed it down to 174 during uploading to my computer. I then further narrowed it down to 132 and ended up using 64 here. I don’t care if I see a picture of a plane for a long time.