Classic Planes (Part 2)

This is the second half of my Jamestown Air Spectacular photo set.  I’ve broken the set into two posts to keep page load speeds reasonable for viewers with slower Internet connections.  If you’ve just arrived here, maybe go back to Part 1 first by clicking on this link.

But if you’ve just come from Part 1, well, let’s get on with it.<!–more–>

I’ll resume with another aerobatic aircraft.  This time, the Pitts Special ‘Super Stinker’ of Chris Sperou.  Chris is a South Aussie local and an aerobatics legend in Australia.  I have seen him a number of times over the years, and I thought the display he put on at Jamestown was as good, if not better, than any I have seen.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular

Accelerating down the runway, about to get airborne. For Chris, that means going near vertical within moments of the wheels clearing the tarmac.  What I hadn’t previously noticed until posting this photo was the amount of bracing used on the tail-fin and horizontal stabilisers.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular-034

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular

Hanging on the prop, just. The Super Stinker used by Chris packs a 315hp motor, and can just about hold itself on the prop. Here, Chris is just starting to fall back down tail first and shortly would let the nose fall to one side in order to regain control.

At the end of the day when aircraft were departing for home:

  • Chris took off,
  • rose to about 30 feet,
  • inverted the plane,
  • dropped back down to maybe 10-15 feet off the runway,
  • and flew the length of the runway upside down at not inconsiderable speed,
  • and then, still inverted, pulled hard up for a high negative G climb out.

I was suffering from too much of a what the … moment to even think about putting the camera to my eye.  So sorry, no photo of this.

Oh, and Chris is 71 years old.  Still doing the kind of stuff that would make most people’s eyes pop.  Quite amazing.

Next up, we have some jet action.

Three identical SIA Marchetti S-211 jet trainers.  Only 60 of these were ever built, so seeing one is unusual and three together is pretty unique.  I believe the three are ex-Singapore Air Force.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular SIA_Marchetti_S-211

At the start of the runway, building up power for takeoff.  The S-211 jets took off in quick procession, one after the other, to commence their display.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular SIA_Marchetti_S-211

Same aircraft on final approach after completing its flying display with its two siblings.

Next, a Czech-built L-39 Albatross.  This particular example was imported into Australia from the US in 2011.  The L-39 was a popular jet trainer in Eastern Block countries and some 2800 are still airworthy.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular-027

Taxiing back to the hard standing after its display flight. In the background was the plane-park for the many attendees who flew themselves to the airshow.

When the L-39 was ready to commence it’s pre-flight engine start, the airshow organisers had a small problem, or more specifically, a lot of small problems.  A swarm of bees had flown through the public catering area during the lunch period and then decided to settle and form a ball on the L-39’s nose wheel.  As the tail of the plane was pointing right at the spectator area, the announcers spent some time advising any spectators sensitive to bees to get well out of the way before the jet wash pushed a whole load of upset bees in their general direction.  Being a little unsure of how I react to bee stings these days, I keep well out of the way upwind.

A quick collection of some more of the classic aircraft at Jamestown:

Click on any of the images above to open a gallery viewer.

The RAAF Roulettes attended and performed quite a long show.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular-015

The Roulette’s seven Pilatus PC/9A aircraft. Six were used for the flying display and one held in reserve.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular-052

The Roulettes in close formation. I struggled to get good, well exposed, and in-focus shots of the Roulettes. I was happy to find this image turned out well.

And to finish the post, a magnificent sight of the Hudson with a close fighter escort performing a mock bombing run along the boundary of the airfield.

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular-046

The Hudson with its fighter escort

Jamestown_Air_Spectacular-047

The Hudson flanked by a P40F Warhawk

Well that’s it.  I hope you have enjoyed these classic wings.

To Learn More

The Jamestown Air Spectacular is held every three years, so pencil in 2015 if you are thinking of attending.  The Jamestown Flying Group website can be found here.

WordPress blogger Pickled Wings has a post on the T-6/Harvard trainers here.  Pickled Wings has a whole lot of aircraft information on his blog.

And where is Jamestown, you ask?

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