Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby sylvancatharsis on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 4:37 am

I make no apologies for the volume of images in this post.

As good as this show was - and make no mistake, it was phenomenal - it was supposed to have been even better. The theme this year was "Helotown," and the star item would've been an Mi-24 from the Cold War Aviation Museum. Originally, we were getting a Hind and a Hoplite, then changed to two Hinds, then down to one, and on the day, none showed, apparently due to weather en route. I must be allergic to Hinds or something, because I have yet to bag one; I might need to plan a trip to Poland or the Czech Republic next year just to see one! I swear, the one aircraft I write about in my fiction... :confused:

Anyway, on to the photos.

1. There was supposed to be a MiG-23 at the show as well. It went tech about a month out. I'd say they did okay in sourcing a replacement:
Image
Sweepin' In by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

2. The above image was taken during the Hun's arrival. This is from his Saturday display, sadly after the light had already passed in front:
Image
Hun Profile by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

3. Taxiing in after displaying:
Image
Rare as Hen's Teeth by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

4. And here's one from Sunday. Dean Cutshall's display is pretty much topside after topside, with plenty of burner pops. I'm not complaining.
Image
F-100F Super Sabre by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

5. The Skyhawk was a last-minute addition! Saturday Legacy Flight, taken from the Photo Pit at the north end of the crowd line:
Image
Tailhook Legacy by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

6. And on Sunday, taken from near show center. The Skyhawk and Avenger look roughly the same size from this angle...
Image
Legacy Flight by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

7. ...but not so much from this one!
Image
Size Differential by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

8. The Scooter did a short solo display after the formation. The topside most of the crowd saw:
Image
Scooter by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

9. The topside those of us in the Photo Pit saw:
Image
Hotrod by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

10. And if a Skyhawk and a Super Sabre weren't enough to sate your Vietnam-era jet appetite, how 'bout a MiG-17PF?
Image
A Night Painting by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

11. When Randy Ball says he's doing a topside, he isn't kidding!
Image
Topside like you mean it by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

12. I wasn't going to post this one, as the light is spotty and it's not great, but where else can you see a MiG-17 flying over a DC-8 and two 727s?
Image
Classic Jets by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

13. And since you really can't have too much Fresco, how 'bout some burner flame?
Image
Setting things on fire by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

14. Here's one of the Skyhawk and Fresco together, on static display.
Image
Former Foes by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

15. Speaking of static displays, as usual, I opted for the Photo Tour pass, that gets one access to the static ramp at 7am, two hours before the General Public is allowed in, on the Saturday. Usually, this affords some excellent photo opportunities in glorious morning light. This year, not so much:
Image
In Times of Need by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

16. Anyway, back to the flying. It wasn't all classic jets; over the weekend, I was treated to a whopping FIVE Super Hornet displays (one on each of the show days, plus three on the rehearsal day - twice in the "F" model, presumably once by each of the demo crews, and one in the "E" for good measure). On Saturday, the demo was flown in the F/A-18F, with special marks in memory of Blue Angels pilot Jeff Kuss, who was killed earlier this year.
Image
F/A-18F Super Hornet by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

17.
Image
Rhino by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

18. Despite Saturday's blisteringly hot weather and high humidity, we didn't see much vapor.
Image
Superbug Topside by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

19. On the Sunday, the demo was flown in an F/A-18E. This weekend was the first I'd seen an "E" model in flight!
Image
Zoom! by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

20. Sunday's weather was absolutely gorgeous. Comfortable temps and low humidity, but just enough to get a bit of fluff on the wings!
Image
Fever Pitch by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

21. The Navy also brought some interesting static displays: an MH-53, a P-8 Poseidon, and this lovely old P-3C Orion. The aircraft was open for tours, as was the P-8. I went in both; as much as I love the mighty Orion, I think I know which one I'd rather have to spend 12 hours in the back of.
Image
Orion, the Hunter by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

22. Orion in the fog. This one is from VP-62, which I believe is the last East Coast squadron to fly them. Gonna miss the old girl...
Image
Morning Mist by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

23. And an artsy one:
Image
Broadarrow by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

24. I guess this would be a good time to mention that the Air Force also brought a fairly new plane to the show:
Image
F-22A Raptor by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

25. The show closed both days with the Heritage Flight. Bonus to being in the Photo Pit: you can't hear the PA system, so no cheesy music!
Image
Past and Present by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

26. The Breitling Jet Team gets slagged a lot on here, and I don't get that. I think they're great, especially for flying a leaf blower with wings.
Image
French Flair by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

27. Now, if they could only extend their good taste in music to Americans...
Image
Breitling Brilliance by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

28. And maybe non-jingoistic air show commentary, as well...
Image
Breitling Jet Team by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

29. Although Jacques Bothelin's "thanks for Normandy" comment was incredibly moving. A great counterpoint to the main commentator's over-the-top "rah rah USA" rambling.
Image
Breitling Jet Team by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

30. Got a little artsy here...
Image
Split by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

31. A nice surprise on the Saturday: an Eastern Bloc formation! The only downside was that, by the time they got everything set up, the sun had moved into a less-than-ideal position.
Image
Cold War Classics by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

32. The plan was to have a "Hollywood Battle" with the Hind and a gaggle of American helos. Alas, the Hind never arrived, so it was up to a Loach, two Hueys, and two Cobras to provide a decidedly lopsided support to the good guys on the ground.
Image
Strafing Run by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

33.
Image
Loach by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

34.
Image
Dustoff by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

35. Not crazy about the light on this one, but the Cobra just looks mean from this angle!
Image
Cobra Strike by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

36. As for the modern Army, the static display would have to suffice.
Image
Thunder Over Michigan 2016 by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

37. The Coast Guard MH-65 demo cancelled both days, but we did get a working helicopter display in the form of the Michigan State Police Bell 407. Their Bell 430 was in the static display.
Image
Michigan State Police by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

38. As for the "Helotown" main event, the penultimate item of the day, well, it fizzled. What was billed on the schedule as a "Salute to Civilian Helicopters" consisted of three slow, flat passes by a Robinson R44 (yawn), this Enstrom...
Image
Enstrom F28A by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

39. ...and the Batcopter! (This is the same one from the original TV series, apparently.)
Image
BATMAN!!! by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

40. Every year, about an hour before the show proper starts, there's a World War II ground battle. There are always a few aircraft providing support. This year saw three P-51 Mustangs and the Yankee Air Musem's B-25D. The Mitchell kept fairly distant, but the Mustangs came in nice and close.
Image
Wild Pony by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

41. There are several P-51s named "Old Crow" knocking about.
Image
Old Crow by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

42. Strange that the only WWII aircraft at Thunder Over Michigan, which built a reputation as a warbird show, would be flown outside the show proper.
Image
Gentleman Jim by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

43. And a few from the ground battle itself:
Image
Ze Germans! by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

44. Ah, the indefatigably reputable Sherman tank...
Image
Sherman Tank by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

45.
Image
Defend Your Turf by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

46. The Germans lost, by the way.
Image
Tank Destroyer by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

47. Caught a bullet casing!
Image
Battle Position by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

48. And how about one with the air support in the frame?
Image
Allied Air Support by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

49. Victory!
Image
Top Cover by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

50. And how about some arrivals, starting with the mighty Warthog! He entertained us with several low approaches.
Image
Hogging Up the Place by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

51. Not to be outdone by the locals, an F-16 from nearby Toledo, Ohio really beat up the field.
Image
Holy Toledo by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

52.
Image
Ohio ANG Viper by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

53. Wow, look at those squadron markings! :roll: (It's from VP-26, if you're curious.)
Image
God of the Sea by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

54. Not actually an air show arrival, but how often do you see active Boeing 727s these days? Willow Run Airport, where the show takes place, is a classic airliner enthusiast's paradise; you can see 727s, cigar-tube 737s, old DC-9s, and even Convairs and Electras (the latter no longer operational) all over the place.
Image
Boeing 727 by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

55. The F-100 put on a heck of an arrival show, too.
Image
Heralding the Hun by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

56. He eventually decided to land.
Image
Cutter by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

57. A second Avenger, that remained firmly in the static display:
Image
The Turkey by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

58. Raptor landing after rehearsal.
Image
Raptor to the Roost by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

59.
Image
MiG-17PF by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

60. As the sun moved to the western side of the runway, so too did the togs.
Image
T-6A Texan II by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

61.
Image
TA-4F Skyhawk by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

62.
Image
'Stang by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

63. Not the easiest aircraft to photograph, especially when the light goes limp.
Image
CT-155 Hawk by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

64. Mexican-registered MD-80 freighter taking off Runway 23R. Briefly, the fairly stiff breeze died down, and arrivals were switched from Runway 5L, where we were set up to shoot. The good news: only one air show participant landed away from the spotters. The bad news: it was the P-3, the one I wanted to catch. Whaaaa.
Image
Mad Dog by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

65. And, of course, I saved the best for last. So what if it doesn't say "Irish Air Corps" on the side? :biggrin:
Image
Working the Pattern by Auguries Imagery, on Flickr

Three days well spent. The only downsides I can think of are: 1) the price ($40 to get in on the day, plus $20 per car to park), which, considering the quality of the show and the fact that admission money goes to the Yankee Air Museum, is worth it, and 2) the fact that you face into the sun for around half of the show. Also, the commentary this year was especially irritating; anyone who's gone to a US show knows how over-the-top our air shows can get with their patriotism, but Rob Reider took it way too far this time, actually criticizing some spectators for not being patriotic enough! Where are we, Putin's Russia? Anyway, the good outweighed the bad by a factor of about a thousand, and the lousy weather forecast for the weekend held off; Saturday was hot but breezy, and Sunday was about perfect.
This user is not a U.S. secret agent attempting to infiltrate UKAR.
sylvancatharsis

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby I.Winfield on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 6:59 am

Fantastic photos! 1, 2 , 6, 10, 11 and 40 are my favs. Looks like I'll have to pop over to MI sometime soon and catch that show.

Thanks for sharing,

Ian
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/i_winfield/
Twitter: @IWinfield1
I.Winfield

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby Wes_Howes on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 8:00 am

What a show! That Super Sabre is just gorgeous :drool:
User avatar
Wes_Howes

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby DeanW on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 8:28 am

Top, top post. That F-100F is a beaut!
User avatar
DeanW

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby duxfordhawk on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 8:31 am

Great set of photos jealous of you seeing a Super Sabre and Skyhawk display too.
Martin
To see my Photos go to
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dxhawk/
duxfordhawk

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby Skyflash on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 8:37 am

Lovely stuff. American shows are spectacular when they get it right. :clap:
Posting comments on an aviation-related chatroom, are ya? Looks like it an' all...
User avatar
Skyflash
UKAR Staff

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby AlexC on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 9:34 am

Sierra Sue for me! Looks like one of those P-51D's that have been restored to stock condition, no passenger seat etc. That's not to say that the Super Sabre isn't a beaut as well! :drool:
Pte. Aubrey Gerald Harmer, R. Suss. R. (att. to the Sherwood Foresters) KIA 26/9/1917 Polygon Wood, aged 19, NKG. RIP
User avatar
AlexC

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby st24 on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 11:21 am

Tremendous stuff, even with the cancellations. 21 years since I saw that Hun for the first time and she still looks stunning... :love: Great set.
You caaan't trust the system... Maaan!
User avatar
st24

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby Airwolfhound on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 11:40 am

What an awesome show, thanks for sharing it :-) :clap: :clap:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/

Agile, mobile and hostile ;-)
Airwolfhound

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby theskunk on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 12:12 pm

WOW! :clap:
Canon EOS 6D
Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS
Canon EF 100-400mm L IS

http://www.flickr.com/photos/theskunk/
User avatar
theskunk

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby sovietjet on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 4:00 pm

Wow you sure do edit and post quick! Great set of photos and a good way to showcase everything we saw. I was at the show only on Friday and Saturday, both days in the photo pit. However I was a bit disappointed in the way things turned out so I didn’t stay for the Sunday show, even though I had planned on it. Here is my list of “good and bad”

BAD:
1) MiG-23 canceling last minute. This was touted as a headliner since January, and all of a sudden it cancels two weeks before the show. This was the main reason I went to the show, and bought all my photo pit tickets in advance. From what I heard around the pit, many other people were there for that as well. Some rumors I heard were more than simply the “plane going tech”…
2) Mi-24s went from two, to one, to none.
3) Mi-2 canceled. This, combined with the two cancellations above made me feel a little duped at best.
4) Photo pit was a great location but far from the helicopters when they did their show.
5) The B-17/B-25 and DC-3 giving rides all day and not doing even one pass. Especially in the morning, one pass from each of those would’ve been killer.
6) I guess the FAA told everyone they flew too close to the crowd on Friday. Saturday’s demos were noticeably farther away.

GOOD:
1) Decent replacement for the MiG-23 in the form of F-100, A-4 and MiG-17PF. They flew a little far, and the MiG demo was rather short but it was better than nothing. Personally, I’d take some extra passes from the MiG than the formation with Breitling.
2) Good photo pit amenities.
3) Still a decent lineup. More jets than a typical US airshow so I was happy to see that.

That being said, it was a decent show. Could’ve been so much more but it is what it is.
Ivan Voukadinov
sovietjet

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby sylvancatharsis on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 4:48 pm

Thanks all! Appreciate the comments.

sovietjet wrote:BAD:
1) MiG-23 canceling last minute. This was touted as a headliner since January, and all of a sudden it cancels two weeks before the show. This was the main reason I went to the show, and bought all my photo pit tickets in advance. From what I heard around the pit, many other people were there for that as well. Some rumors I heard were more than simply the “plane going tech”…
4) Photo pit was a great location but far from the helicopters when they did their show.


To be honest, I never expected the MiG-23 to turn up. I saw it once, ten years ago at its home base in Delaware; its routine consisted of three very high and distant flat passes, and as far as I know, it hasn't been to an air show since. Sometimes I wonder if these museums and organizations who buy these immensely complex, thirsty, maintenance-intensive jets aren't biting off more than they can chew. On the one hand, I commend Thunder for thinking out of the box and trying to get rare and unusual machines. On the other, there's a reason nobody else books them.

They could've done a much better job announcing the cancellations. Like, actually announcing them at all! I, too, encountered plenty of enthusiasts who came mostly for the Flogger; many of them were unaware that it had cancelled! There was no announcement on the show website; it simply disappeared from the list without any explanation. The Hind was even worse; there was a posting on the show's Facebook page on the morning of the show announcing that it'd be part of the battle scenario, when it had apparently never even left Texas!

As for the helos, that's why I opted to go as "Joe Public" on the Sunday, plus the ground battle. The Photo Pit is nice, and the hot lunch was fantastic, but being isolated way up on the north end like that, you do miss a few things. Did you do the Taxiway Photo shoot on Friday? I did that my first year there and thought it was a waste of money; too far from the active runway, very limited photo ops, and much more comfort and flexibility when you freeload :grin:
This user is not a U.S. secret agent attempting to infiltrate UKAR.
sylvancatharsis

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby sovietjet on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 6:04 pm

I did the Friday taxiway thing however I actually stayed at the photo pit. The taxiway was too far to get the planes arriving actually in the air. I preferred to see them in the air than taxiing. That being said the taxiway would've been the place to be for the P-3 and that silly runway change :smile: . After 4PM I left the photo pit and stayed outside right by the road. Got the Canadian Hawk and the T-6 coming in. I saw a few other people there on the road taking photos, I guess you were one of them. I was in a blue BMW. I guess we unknowingly ran into each other at some point :smile:
Ivan Voukadinov
sovietjet

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby sylvancatharsis on Mon 22 Aug 2016, 9:14 pm

Hehe, perhaps! I'm easy to spot. I was with the gaggle on the crumbling old road north of the main one, which I'm convinced is there just to cater to air show spotters :smile:
This user is not a U.S. secret agent attempting to infiltrate UKAR.
sylvancatharsis

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby ChrisShaw on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 6:19 am

Great post, some stunning shots in there thanks for sharing :smile:
Chris Shaw Aviation and Wildlife Art
http://www.shaw-arts.co.uk
User avatar
ChrisShaw

Re: Thunder Over Michigan - LOTS

Postby gralee on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 10:12 pm

Wow, the standard of some posts lately are astounding and this is one of them. Superb skills and a sheer pleasure to view. Such a variety and you've captured it fantastically well. Inspiring stuff :clap: :clap: :clap:
gralee


Return to Airshow Photos

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sunwing and 14 guests