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Barnstormers Logo ISSUE 435 - June 2016
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Vintage & Venerable, Fast & Firey - Part I
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Watford, Ontario, Canada
The 2016 Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demonstration Hornet,
honouring the World War II British Commonwealth Air Training plan.
This year saw the return of the Great Lakes International Air Show to the St. Thomas Municipal Airport (CYQS), roughly 3.5 nautical miles east of the town of St. Thomas, Ontario. Once one of more than 150 RCAF bases established during World War II for the BCATP, British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, where over 130,000 airmen were graduated as aircrew during World War II. No. 14 Service Flying Training School in Aylmer, Ontario and No. 4 Bombing & Gunnery School in Fingal, Ontario used St. Thomas as a relief airfield during the 1940s.
Always putting on a great display at airshows in Canada and the USA, the venerable Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association Harvards, left. Making Canadians proud throughout North America, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Aerobatic Display Team, right.
The airport has hosted the Great Lakes International Air Show for several years and the always popular event proved to be as popular as ever with upwards of 20,000 attending the event. Crowds were thrilled with all the regulars such as the Snowbirds, the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association and the ever-popular RCAF 2016 Demonstration Hornet. Despite some Canadian military aircraft having to cancel, such as the CP-140 Aurora and the CC-130 Hercules, the show was still popular and well done.
The Snowbirds with two of their iconic display manoeuvres.
Starting off the airshow were the iconic Canadian Armed Forces Snowbirds, the RCAF aerobatic display team, flying their 50+ year old Canadair CT-114 Tutor aircraft. The Tutor was designed in the late 1950s and built from 1960 - 1966 and was used as the RCAFs primary jet trainer and spent more than 30 years serving the RCAF and CAF in that role. In 1967, ten Tutors were modified for use as aerobatic aircraft as part of the RCAF display team, the Golden Centennaires, in order to celebrate Canada's Centennial year. Though the team was disbanded after 1967, in 1971 a new formation team was created at #2CFFTS (Canadian Forces Flying Training School). A year later, the name "Snowbirds" was chosen for the team and, after 7 years of flying various airshows and events, the team was granted full squadron status in 1978 as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron.

In a bright blue sky, the Snowbirds display is always more stunning.

The Snowbirds display across Canada and the United States from mid spring until early fall at airshows, special events and perform an annual flypast in the capital city of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The always popular crowd pleaser Snowbirds make every effort to put on a show, whether it's beautifully bright and sunny or a dull, dreary cloudy day. As long as they can legally and safely fly, the team does their best not to disappoint. Despite the age of their Tutor aircraft, they are popular with the pilots and the agile little jet aircraft perform exceptionally well despite their age. The Tutors have had minimal modifications made to them including updated avionics, a smoke generating system and specially tuned engines to enhance low level response, but they are otherwise as they were out of the factory in the 1960s. Considering their age, they and their pilots and crews do a remarkable job at keeping these vintage jets in the air performing as well as they do at shows year after year.

Pete Mcleod, Red Bull Air Racer and aerobatic display pilot, always entertains and shocks the crowds with his high energy performance.

Many of you are aware of the air racing events put on by Red Bull but they also sponsor a few aerobatic pilots and Canadian Red Bull racer and aerobatic champion Pete Mcleod puts on a fantastic aerobatic display in his Red Bull sponsored Edge 540. Pete obtained his pilot license at the age of 16, before obtaining his driver's license. Not 2 years later, Pete had also earned his commercial license, float endorsement and, at the age of 18, then went on to obtain his aerobatic instructor's rating. His first full year in competitive aerobatics was 2004 where he went on to fly undefeated and won multiple awards in his class including US Regional Series Championship and was the 2004 North American Collegiate Aerobatic Champion. Pete joined the airshow circuit putting his all into professional aerobatics and in 2007 he took 2nd in the US National Aerobatic Championship, Advanced category. He has also earned his unrestricted surface level aerobatic waiver which allows Pete to fly a spectacular show with extreme manoeuvres at any height and, at the age of 24, he is one of the youngest pilots in the world to hold such a waiver.
Kent Pietsch performs three different displays including crazy airplane thief act, landing on the top of a truck/motorhome and aerobatics with the engine shut down.
Kent Pietsch also puts on a great performance, three actually, flying his Interstate Cadet through a serious of superb aerobatics in this beautifully maintained vintage single engine aircraft. Though the Cadet was not designed for aerobatics, in the hands of such a skilled pilot, Kent makes it look as though the aircraft was designed specifically to do what he does with it. From performing dangerously low and somewhat purposely erratic aerobatics in one display, to the graceful manoeuvres of a sailplane and flying a landing routine on to the top of a moving vehicle, Kent does it all. Hailing from North Carolina, this gentle and friendly, unassuming man absolutely loves what he does and loves to perform for adoring crowds and it shows in his every performance.
Canadian sailplane aerobatic display pilot, Manfred Radius,
performs a wonderful, graceful aerobatic ballet in his Salto Sailplane.
Silencing the crowd, and the air around, was Manfred Radius in his beautiful, high performance Salto Sailplane, making the engineless aircraft dance in the skies. Releasing from his Bellanca Citabria tow aircraft at around 6000' above the airport, Manfred puts the Salto through a series of graceful aerobatics including loops, rolls, stalls, tailslides, spins and outside loops to the sounds of classic music. If you've never had the opportunity to fly in a glider, you can live vicariously through Manfred's striking and elegant performance.
It's not every day you see a helicopter enter an airshow box with a car slung
underneath but, at the GLIAS, that's exactly what airshow patrons got.
An interesting intermission, if you will, was the display by Zimmer Air Services Eurocopter/Aerospatiale AS 355 F2 helicopter with a vehicle slung below it, feigning an illegally parked vehicle that was removed by the helicopter under authority of the air boss or airport manager. The helicopter flew around the airshow box, eventually dropping the 'illegally parked' vehicle in front of the airshow crowd. Though an act that is not typical of an airshow, it garnered quite a few chuckles from airshow patrons and proved to be a popular bit of comedic relief.
The Harvards of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association.
The iconic Canadian built Harvard was one of the mainstay aircraft of the BCATP. Harvards were built in Canada, initially, by Noorduyn Aviation with the Mk IIB and eventually by Canada Car & Foundry with the post-war Mk 4. Though known as the T-6 Texan by many people, most Commonwealth countries know the aircraft as the Harvard. During World War II, thousands of pilots learned to fly on aircraft such as the Harvard before going on to fly fighter aircraft such as the Hurricane, Spitfire, Mustang and Kittyhawk. The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association, CHAA, out of Tillsonburg, Ontario, have 8 Harvards, one of which is currently under full restoration, as well as a de Havilland of Canada Tiger Moth and a North American Yale. CHAA is dedicated to the restoration, maintenance and preservation of the "Yellow Peril" and are invited to perform at many shows in Canada and the North-Eastern US.
This week we had a look at the Harvards, left, from the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association in Tillsonburg, Ontario. Next week we'll see what else there was to enjoy and buy, such as model aircraft, hats, posters, toy planes and great t-shirts such as this one, honouring & remembering the Canadians at the Battle of Vimy, France during World War I, from D-Day Wear in Guelph, Ontario.
This week we visited the Great Lakes International Air Show in St. Thomas, Ontario and had a look at some of the assorted performers that participated in the airshow. Next week we'll return to St. Thomas and have a look at the remainder of the aircraft along with static aircraft and a few vendors.
Next week we'll have a look at Tom Martin's Evo 1 Rocket, left,
and the Pyro Jet Truck, right.
Kent Pietsch doing his wonderful and humerous aerobatic display as a non-pilot who stole the aeroplane, left. The Snowbirds techies assisting the pilots after their performance, right.
Manfred on final in his Salto sailplane, left, after his performance.
Pete Mcleod showing off the underside of his Edge 540, right.
The beautiful paint scheme of the 2016 RCAF Demonstration CF-18 Hornet.
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
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