Aviation nation, Nellis

Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Sid-104 on Thu 08 Oct 2009, 8:30 pm

Hoping any visitors to the Nellis air show in the past might be able to help me out with some info on the show. Is the entry to the base only possible by using the buses running from the parking at the motor speedway or is there pedestrian entry? I was hoping there would be transport running from the strip hotels but the base website only refers to arriving by car and parking at the speedway track. This will be my first U.S. show so I was wondering what to expect in the way of security checks, is it similar to RIAT?

Sid.
Sid-104

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Harlequin67 on Thu 08 Oct 2009, 8:58 pm

I did visit Nellis in 2004 for the airshow.

Vegas, like many American cities seems to be devoid of any meaningful public transport that a UK or European resident would normally expect in a big city for a large event. That maybe an over-zealous generalisation. The US is car orientated country and Las Vegas even more so.

I suggest taking a car.

Security can be quite strict, normally, for a US military show, they don't allow backpacks. I can't remember about taking drinks on base, but again you can't take drinks on-base at some of the shows in the US.

The get there early and leave late is a must. Also, remember that you are in a Northern Hemisphere country in Mid- November, it gets dark by about 5pm or earlier. The year I went, T-shirt weather then near instant darkness!
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Brummiekid on Thu 08 Oct 2009, 9:24 pm

Have a look in the "Questions section"

http://www.nellis.af.mil/aviationnation2009/index.asp (Google is a great friend!)

Lots of info on this forum's previous incarnation.

I went in 2007, parked in the speedway car park (it's huge) and got bused into the base as everyone does. Monster queues to get out in the cold dark November night! (after getting sunburned in the day!)

Try here...http://oldforums.airshows.co.uk/cgi-bin/ukarboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=07169e53f0cfd0eb6e474748c277c945;act=ST;f=28;t=52308;hl=nellis

or here for more local info...http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=17158927#post17158927

If you need any specific info - just ask!

Have a great time!

Mark
Regan - "We're the Sweeney son and we haven't had any dinner"
http://www.totterdowncamping.co.uk
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Brummiekid

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby AlexC on Fri 09 Oct 2009, 9:21 am

Harlequin67 wrote:I did visit Nellis in 2004 for the airshow.



Was it really five years ago! Doesn't seem possible. That was one of my memories also, how fast it gets dark. I went to the 2002 show as well as the 2004 one. In 2002 the show was held about a month earlier in October. That one month earlier made a tremendous difference in daylight and heat (quite chilly in 2004 I thought). I think that November is really too late in the year, and I personally wouldn't go again, sorry to say that.
Pte. Aubrey Gerald Harmer, R. Suss. R. (att. to the Sherwood Foresters) KIA 26/9/1917 Polygon Wood, aged 19, NKG. RIP
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AlexC

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby canard67 on Fri 09 Oct 2009, 9:25 am

I did notice a few pedestrians entering where the bus from the speedway entered the base,they were being searched
and the sent on the same route as the bus.The only drawback with the bus is the wait to get one at the end of the show or miss the Thunderbirds which most Americans want to see.
canard67

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Sid-104 on Sun 11 Oct 2009, 3:46 pm

Thanks for the tips guys, some useful stuff there. I had intended to get a cab to the base and walk in and at the end get picked up from the nearby hotel to avoid the rush for car park buses but maybe a hire car and leave just before the Thunderbirds come on sounds a better bet. I'm mainly going for the static as I'm hoping to see several aggressor colour schemes but the heritage flight and F-22 will get plenty of lens time too. The wife's agreed to come with me so I'm trying to find ways to make the day as painless as possible for her.

Cheers. Sid.
Sid-104

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby D90Man on Sun 11 Oct 2009, 4:50 pm

Hi Sid

Just a note that they tend not to put many of the based aircraft into the static - I think they feel an F16 is an F16 and so different schemes don't mean much to your average Joe....

The based stuff (when I was there in 2007) was down past the hot ramp and pretty inaccesible - but it was a good show.

I parked myself towards the left hand end of the display line - I found that most of the displays taxied past there - they were taking off towards Vegas....

Hope this helps - enjoy the show

Leon
"Sharpness is in the eye of the holder"
More at http://www.planephotos.org.uk
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Sid-104 on Mon 12 Oct 2009, 5:31 pm

Thanks Leon. I do like to get the landing shots so I'll pitch up where you suggested. Shame about not showing many of the aggressors but I'm there for six days so I may get chance to do some spotting on an operational day. Lots of tasty items on the menu so far (even an F-104 down for static) so I'll be like a kid in a sweet shop. The wife doesn't know what she's let herself in for!!!

Sid :smile:
Sid-104

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby docman on Tue 13 Oct 2009, 9:42 am

The entrance to the Speedway is good for Photography on the practice days;particulary if landing is from the North. There are large numbered signs on the left for the parking and you can happily stand there. Its easier if you have a hire car but you could arrange for a cab to take you for a few hours and pick you up. It would be worth carrying water with you. The locals say crossing the road to photograph is not acceptable to the based Police.
As previously posts say public transport is difficult. It takes ages to get from the strip on the bus. I've always found it a good show and the last half hour of light is spectacular. Hope you have a good time!
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Mossie on Tue 13 Oct 2009, 4:30 pm

Hi Sid,

When I went in 2007 the Military Police wouldn't let anyone leave the Airbase on foot.

I drove to the show and parked in the Park & Ride at the Speedway. When it was time to leave after the show the queues for the buses back to the Speedway were absolutely ridiculous, snaking back from the bus pickups at the far Northern end of the base right back to beyond the centre of the flightline & show area. As it was only a mile or so back to the Speedway I thought 'sod this' and decided to walk back. On the way back out I checked with a local State Trooper/Police Officer that there wasn't a problem doing this. As I was talking to him a couple of other guys also came up wanting to do the same. He told us all that it would be fine and said that he'd radio through to the relevant people that it was OK. We therefore all made our way towards the base exit which was the same gate as the buses were using. When we finally reached the gate the Military guards/police on duty there stopped us all and said that they were under instructions not to let anyone leave the base on foot. Despite us saying that we'd already received permission and, following several conversations on the radio, we were still told that the only way to leave the base was by bus. A couple of the guys with me had even entered the base on foot by the same gate in the morning as they were staying within walking distance of the base, but this still didn't make any difference. They were informed that they would need to get the bus to the Speedway (in the opposite direction to they wanted to go) and have to find their way back from there. Eventually we made our way back to the bus queues to make our way off the base. This took nearly 3 hours and disillusioned me so much that I didn't even bother to come back to the show on the Sunday as I had originally planned.

So, whether you'll be able to get both on and off the base by foot is, based on my experience at least, open to doubt :sad:

Geoff
Mossie

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Sid-104 on Tue 13 Oct 2009, 6:40 pm

It had crossed my mind to walk back to the car park so thanks for sharing your experience Geoff. Also, cheers Docman for the advice on viewing from outside the base. Unfortunately we don't arrive until the Saturday of show weekend so will only get there on Sunday but may get chance to spot in the days after. I did some spotting at Nellis way back in 1990. Seem to recall turning right just before the base and viewing from a dusty track at the Vegas end threshold. Obviously things have changed security-wise since then but it seems like there are still spotting opportunities if you go about it in the right way. Perhaps gleaning some info from the locals would be wise.

Sid.
Sid-104

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Brummiekid on Tue 13 Oct 2009, 7:34 pm

Hi again Sid!

Just something that occurred to me after reading Mosssie's post (we were there at the same time it seems!)

We were one of the last ones off the base and by then it was very dark but more importantly - cold! We had left our hotel at about 8am in warm glorious sunshine and stupidly I had not packed a hat - so that was my first job in the base - find a hat. (A souvenir I still cherish today!).
Image
Because of the expected Las Vegas heat, we went with tee shirts but were VERY surprised how cold and dark it went so quickly. I wished I had taken a fleece/pullover for the early evening.

During the afternoon it became very hot and people were desperatly trying to find shade. I noticed a stall selling cold beers and joined the end of a long & thirsty queue. I happened to notice that there was no queue at the next stall selling tins of Bud (with something added) so I thought what the heck - give it a try. I bought a large can of this....
Image
This was the foulest thing I could imagine - beer with clam juice & tomato! No wonder there was no queue!

Have a good trip!

Mark
Regan - "We're the Sweeney son and we haven't had any dinner"
http://www.totterdowncamping.co.uk
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Brummiekid

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby AlexC on Tue 13 Oct 2009, 7:37 pm

Must say I'm amazed at the three hour wait for the buses. There were no such problems in 2004 as I recall, if fact there were not really that many people at the show, I could walk away from the barrier mid-afternoon for half an hour or so and then go back without any problem at all. I assumed that most of the locals had seen it all before and were therefore not that fussed, and that the visitors to Vegas were more interested in losing their money in the slots!

There was also that year, 2005 or 2006 it must have been when it was exceptionally cold, and folks were trying to buy coats at the airshow to warm up.
Pte. Aubrey Gerald Harmer, R. Suss. R. (att. to the Sherwood Foresters) KIA 26/9/1917 Polygon Wood, aged 19, NKG. RIP
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AlexC

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby docman on Wed 14 Oct 2009, 9:50 am

Sid, I think the "dusty track" you remember is Cheyenne. The locals seem to hang out there when Take-off or Landings are at the south end. I have found morning photography difficult from this end as its almost "into sun". The afternoon is OK but the Speedway is preferable. Hope this helps.

Richard
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Mr T on Wed 14 Oct 2009, 1:20 pm

Sid,

I did both 2004 and 2007 (seems to be the most popular years!!) 2007 Saturday was unbelievably bad for the buses back to the Speedway, but the Sunday was much, much better as was 2004. I'll be there again this year, but only arriving in Vegas Sat AM so will be looking for an outside vantage point!!

Another point about 2007 is that the flying went on until about 5:30 if I remember rightly - there was certainly some good stuff flying after the Thunderbirds, whereas this year it's all over by 4pm according to the flying schedule.

Martin
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Sid-104 on Wed 14 Oct 2009, 9:55 pm

Hi Guys.
Just one more question from Sid. Some of the flying display items seem to have quite short slots. I'm guessing it's best to get a couple of shots "in the bank" on the first pass just in case it's the only one you get. Would I be right in thinking the U.S. military fly role demos rather than the displays the European nations tend to fly? It will be interesting to see how the U.S. audience view the Klu F-16 display with its knife-edge,high alpha and multi roll passes.

Cheers. Sid.
Sid-104

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby expat1 on Tue 20 Oct 2009, 3:42 pm

I always like the Nellis shows, they have, for me become the traditional end to my season. If you can accept that the static aircraft will have no barriers so will therefore be surrounded by people and each aircraft has it's own totally over the top announcer you will have a great time. Both of these points are not specific to Nellis but as discussed many times before is generally the way things are done this side of the pond.
Also, be prepared for some non desert weather. In 2003 Saturday was miserable and Sunday didn't start well either. 2006 also was grey and cold on Saturday but Sunday was glorious. I guess in November you have to take your chances with the weather, even in Las Vegas.
Haven't looked at the line up yet but it will definately have the Thunderbirds - Nellis is their homebase, Fast Jet demos (USAF & Navy - F22 is a cert), Warbirds, Heritage Flight and probably a couple of UAVs passing through as Creech AFB is just up the street!! The Static usually has examples of most of the USAF inventory together with a few visiting west coast Navy/Marine aircraft.
All in all, in my experience not a bad way to spend a weekend in November.

P.S. Sid-104. In the past, the fast jets have carried out full displays not role demos, whereas the bombers normally fly in, do a couple of flaypasts and then disappear.

P.P.S. I met my wife while attending the 2003 show and is consequently the reason why I'm now 'Expat1' - I am walking proof that not everything that take place in Vegas - Stays in Vegas! - HAVE FUN :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:
You don't take a photograph you make it - Ansel Adams.
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Fumbles on Wed 21 Oct 2009, 6:01 am

This will be our first Aviation Nation as well this year. The mrs. and I are booked up and counting down the days till the last show for us in 2009. Geez Brummiekid thanks for the heads up on the Bud and clam juice and tomato. If we see a line thats empty. We will know why. Thats just wrong!

From the site it's self. For the display Schedule. http://www.nellis.af.mil/aviationnation2009/index.asp Looks like it will be a good show. I have read elsewhere about the bus problem on other sites. I do hope they have the problem fixed for this years show. It looks like an early day if you want to be on a first bus by the looks of the schedule.

7:30 a.m. Parking Lots Open at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
8:15 a.m. Security Checkpoints Open
8:30 a.m. Buses from the Speedway to Nellis AFB begin running
8:45 a.m. Nellis Air Force Base Gates Open to the Public
9 a.m. MQ-1 Predator/MQ-9 Reaper Flyby
9:15 a.m. Craig "Brute" Teft Demonstration (Pitts S-2C)
9:35 a.m. Commanders Arrival via HH-60 Pavehawk
9:45 a.m. Opening Ceremonies
10 a.m. National Anthem w/USAFA Wings of Blue and
Nellis Flyby (F-15, F-16, F-22)
10:05 a.m. B-25 Doolittle Raiders Reenactment
10:20 a.m. The Horsemen P-51 Demonstration Team
10:40 a.m. Korean War Reenactment (F-86, MiG-15, A-1s, T-6)
11 a.m. Trainer Parade (T-33s, T-34s, T-28s, T-6s)
11:15 a.m. Bill Reesman MiG-17 Demonstration
11:25 a.m. Air Force Reserve Jet Car
11:35 a.m. Patriots Jet Demonstration Team (L-39s)
11:55 a.m. U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Demonstration
12:10 p.m. U.S. Navy Legacy Flight (F/A-18F and F-4F)
12:20 p.m. U.S. Air Force C-17 Demonstration
12:35 p.m. RNLAF F-16 Demonstration
12:55 p.m. U.S. Air Force A-10 Demonstration
1:10 p.m. U.S. Air Force F-22 Demonstration
1:30 p.m. ACC Heritage Flight (P-51, F-86, A-10, F-22)
1:40 p.m. USAFA Wings of Blue Parachute Demonstration
2 p.m. U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Ground Show
2:30 p.m. U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Show
3:15-3:45 p.m. U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Post Show/Autographs
4 p.m. Show Ends/Exhibits & Gates Close
5 p.m. Parking Lots Close at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Tangoringo on Wed 21 Oct 2009, 8:39 am

Fumbles wrote:2 p.m. U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Ground Show


You've got to just love the septics eh.....half an hour of 'ground show' for an air demonstration team.. :wink:
Tangoringo

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby AlexC on Wed 21 Oct 2009, 11:20 am

That's a good list, but don't forget that the sun is going to be in your eyes until mid-afternoon at best. OK I suppose unless you intend taking photos, and who doesn't?
Pte. Aubrey Gerald Harmer, R. Suss. R. (att. to the Sherwood Foresters) KIA 26/9/1917 Polygon Wood, aged 19, NKG. RIP
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby expat1 on Wed 21 Oct 2009, 8:53 pm

Tangoringo wrote:You've got to just love the septics eh.....half an hour of 'ground show' for an air demonstration team..



And it truly is as tedious as it sounds. - Good opportunity to join the rest of the Brits, who like me, don't get that stuff.
We'll be crowded around the burger stand :grin: :grin:
You don't take a photograph you make it - Ansel Adams.
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Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Brummiekid on Wed 21 Oct 2009, 9:08 pm

AlexC wrote:That's a good list, but don't forget that the sun is going to be in your eyes until mid-afternoon at best. OK I suppose unless you intend taking photos, and who doesn't?


I went and I didn't! :cool:
Regan - "We're the Sweeney son and we haven't had any dinner"
http://www.totterdowncamping.co.uk
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Brummiekid

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Mike on Thu 22 Oct 2009, 11:49 pm

Personally I'm not bothering with Nellis this year. It's a good show but, as others have mentioned, the sun is in your face for most of the day. There used to be a lovely 'golden hour' between the Thunderturkeys and sunset, when they flew some of the jet demos and the Heritage Flight in perfect light, but now flying finishes with the T-birds.

Frankly, the queuing for the buses in the freezing cold darkness after the show just isn't worth it as far as I'm concerned. After they did away with the media day in 2007, I decided I wouldn't go back.

Don't let this put you off though, I'm sure you'll have a great time. It's the only place you can see things like the Predator & Reaper flypasts, and the Raptor demo seems to get better and better each time I see it. Oh, and enjoy Vegas - there's nowhere else quite like it (thank goodness - it starts to do my head in after a couple of days there!). :smile:

Just remember to take a fleece for the bus queue - you'll certainly need it no matter how hot the day is.
Mike

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby AlexC on Fri 23 Oct 2009, 2:17 pm

Mike wrote:After they did away with the media day in 2007, I decided I wouldn't go back.



Everybody go ahhhh! :tongue:
Pte. Aubrey Gerald Harmer, R. Suss. R. (att. to the Sherwood Foresters) KIA 26/9/1917 Polygon Wood, aged 19, NKG. RIP
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AlexC

Re: Aviation nation, Nellis

Postby Mr T on Wed 28 Oct 2009, 9:35 pm

According to the ACC schedule just updated the Raptor is heading to Dubai and has been pulled from Nellis. :sad: Hopefully they will keep the flyby with the F-16 and F-15 in the morning.

Good news though is that it looks like a HF Phantom has been added instead :yahoo:

Martin
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