2017 Melbourne Air and Space Show

Michael Wales

The last time I had attended an airshow I was just a little guy with my dad, brother, and grandpa. Decided after hearing these guys shake buildings all week practicing that I had to go out and give it a look. The French squadron had a bunch of Mirages that they flew, really cool to watch. They also had different color trails, so they made both French and American flags in the sky. Really cool. Apparently, the French hadn't done an airshow in the United States for 30 years. And get this, after digging around on Wikipeida, I found out that the Patrouille de France is actually the oldest running precision aerobatic demonstration team, going back all the way to 1931. 2nd oldest is the Navy Blue Angels formed in 1946, and the USAF Thunderbirds created in 1953. The GEICO Sky Typers showed not only could they write text in the sky like a really slow dot-matrix printer, but their WWII T6's could do tricks too. There was a F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) Lightning II flying with a P-51 Mustang, showing off the difference between old and new. I would take the new one in todays war if you are asking me. I'm also not sure if I'm buying this kool-air that they were selling where the F-35 > F-22 Raptor... An F-18 Super Hornet took to the skies as well. And the most noticable thing about it had to be the increased volume. That thing was loud. And there was only 1. Intense. And then the stars of the show were the USAF Thunderbirds. Their F-16s were awesome to watch, and felt like they were coming at you from all sides. They would turn PA system over to the Thunderbirds radio channel occasionally, and you could tell they were having a good as time up there as we were down on the ground watching. Got some great pictures of the calypso pass too.

--- Article last updated: April 1, 2017 ---