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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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the RCAF Snowbirds

Yesterday the Snowbirds flight demonstration team was here in Kelowna flying a show. The Snowbirds are Canada's answer to the USAF Thunderbirds, among others, and do a much MORE accessible show for the general public, as the lower speeds keep the aircraft (CL-41 Tutor jet-trainers) in view for pretty much the whole display.

Out the front door of my house, after a 100 yard walk, is an overlook w/ a great view of the Kelowna Internat'l Airport, so I invited several friends to come over at 4:30 to catch the formation departure, after which we'd reverse course to my home, grab a cold beer (well - actually, for the WOMEN - chilled wine cocktails...!) and out to the patio-deck to catch as much of the show as we could, but W/OUT having to drive downtown, look for parking, etc, etc.

We were in place at 4:30, chatted till the Snowbirds taxied out, taking position in three three-plane "vic" formations, then commenced their take-off. I'm including a pic of taxiing out, in place, then the last vic airborne (IF you wonder how CLOSE they fly - look at the shadows below the three to see ).

We got to see a LOT of the air-work, w/ the lowest part blanked by the mountains. I have no pics of that part as I was too busy explaining what was going on, to my guests (the Tutor was my 'initial' jet trainer, and I logged 130 hours in it), but I'm including a link to a video posted up on our local "Castanet".

Hope some of you enjoy this.

- -

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news...-120012-1-.htm
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 04:04 PM
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Eddie,

Great photos and a great vantage point. In my view, I'd be more inclined to compare the Snow Birds with the RAF Red Arrows, or the Italian Frecce Tricolore demo team, than the Thunderbirds. Both fly aircraft that, being slower and very maneuverable, offer a much better - almost always in view - aerobatics show for their audiences. That's just my humble opinion.

Your pictures reminded me of an air show I attended long ago in Germany while stationed at Ramstein AB. At the annual USAF-hosted "Flugtag," Germans came by the thousands to see a tremendous display of static and aerial demonstration aircraft. One of the highlights was watching Bob Herendeen (forgive the spelling) perform aerobatics in a Focker F-27 (similar to an Aero Commander Shrike) while flying with one of the two engines shut down!

My personal highlight was the Spitfire IX flown by a very skilled, and very lucky, RAF Squadron Leader. As the Merlin came to life I suddenly became only one of two people on the entire airfield - me and the pilot - despite the fact that there must have been several hundred thousand people in attendance. He taxied out, poured on the power, lifted off, sucked up the under carriage, and immediately made a steep climbing turn away from the crowd to display the light blue under-wing surface. I was completely enthralled with the sight and sound until I realized I heard a taka-taka-taka sound coming from behind me. I turned around to see an elderly German gentleman manning an imaginary machine gun blasting away at the Spit. I caught his eye and he smiled the broadest grin I ever recall seeing. I turned to my wife to tell her what I'd seen but by the time I turned back he had vanished! Long live World War II.

I also followed you link and thoroughly enjoyed the Snow Birds video. Also enjoyed the Sh*t Parkers of Kelowna. I thought us 'Mericans were the worst sh*t parkers but it's apparent that Canadians are working hard to catch up.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 04:36 PM
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Very Cool.. I was born at Carswell Airforce Base in Ft.Worth TX..Now know as Ft.Worth Naval Air Station...Grew up not to far from the base and there was a lookout that you could watch the planes take off and land all day long.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 05:40 PM
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Snowbirds

To the venerable fasteddiecopeman: Fine pictures, nice explanation, as usual. I won a Kodak International Photo Contest in 1966 or 1967, as I recall, with a photo of the Snowbirds ("slowbirds") performing at Randolph AFB, San Antonio, TX. I agree, they are much more fun to watch than the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels (for Canadian readers, that's "Bleu" Angels) since one can actually discern the formations and precision aerobatics without suffering whiplash. Thanks for resurrecting that memory from what's left of my mind.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Satanic Versys View Post
...Fine pictures, nice explanation, as usual....
There might have been MORE pics, but I was busy explaining the various moves to my wife and guests. TWO of the neatest displays the Snowbirds do include - 1. they fly by in a nine-plane diamond in a turn so you see all nine in a "plan" view, w/ the aircraft in the MIDDLE of the diamond inverted; and 2. the "twinkle" - all nine are flying toward the crowd, and ALL NINE individually roll their airplanes at the SAME time! - so the 'twinkle' is the sun reflecting off the wings, etc as they do it.

AND they are in CLOSE formation (w/ "wing-overlap") when they roll!!!

Arion - thanks for your comments too.


Ed
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