Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Air Show Dress Rehearsal

K got us a pass to see an air show on Saturday, September 7th at Hyakuri Air Base, which is located a little to the west of Lake Hinuma.   The last time they held an air show at Hyakuri was in 2009.

They suspended them after Ibaraki Airport was built on a parallel runway across from the base in 2010.   (We flew from there to Hokkaido in August of that year.)

The 7th was to be a sort of dress rehearsal for the full show on Sunday and they were to limit the number of people at the events so as not to interfere with the commercial airport traffic and parking, and  perhaps give the base fewer people to deal with while they relearned how to do this.   One had to apply by mail to obtain a pass.

After a 75 minute drive we arrived a quarter after 8 am.   The parking at the base was already full and we spent the next hour or so in bumper to bumper traffic being directed hither and yon until finally reaching a field which was used for parking.  What was the point of the "special" pass again?    Our parking area ended up being near one end of the runway and as we parked the F-15s which had been doing fly-bys for the show were just landing. It was another half an hour or so of walking to get to the gate, during which time we also missed the rescue demonstration - though I did get a pic of the "Peace Krypton" which is used for search and rescue.  (Ah well, we've seen it all before I told myself.)

Hawker U-125 Peace Krypton - note the white IR sensor under the nose for night searches, bulge under the belly which holds a Toshiba 360° radar, and tall window for visual spotting.  The plane carries flares, marker buoys and a life raft as well.  It coordinates rescues with a Mitsubishi UH-60J helicopter.

It was nice to see the aircraft without the normal crowds. While we missed the usual aerobatics of Blue Impulse, it turned out that the following day which was supposed to include aerobatics was hit with bad weather. The aircraft were grounded! The crowds that came that day only could see static displays and aircraft taxing on the ground!

The following is a totally unsorted slide show - (Photobucket does some things well, others, well, it sucks...) - enjoy the pics anyway.

Pandabonium's Blue Impulse album on Photobucket

Until next, sweet sailing.

4 comments:

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Until next, sweet flying!

Pandabonium said...

Yeah. That too, Doc! Sailing or flying, it's all about managing fluid flow.

(Not to be confused with bladder control.)

JosephM said...

Some serious machines. Good pictures.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks JosephM. Some of the planes are getting old and have been scheduled for replacement by more modern designs, but that hasn't proved to be easy.

Still awesome to see even old ones fly.