Add to Technorati Favorites expat Abu Dhabi Dispatches: Al Ain Aerobatic Show 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Al Ain Aerobatic Show 2011

Al Ain Aerobatics Show Entrance

I recently attended the Al Ain Aerobatic Show in Abu Dhabi’s “Second City”. I am no stranger to air shows and have been known to go to great lengths to see them. You see, I have been a “Wingnut” since a very early age and am naturally attracted to all things aeronautical. My father was a fighter pilot for the USAF and I spent some years in the US Navy as a flight officer. Even my current vocation is aviation related, you can’t keep me away from these winged wonders, it’s in my blood! People either like flying or they don't, there are very few in the middle.

I look at manned flight as a minor miracle. Flying is the rare combination of engineering, art and skill. As one who has experience in high performance jets, it is difficult for me to convey the sensations of speed, freedom and power to those that have not had the opportunity. Being able to loop, roll and go anywhere you wish in the vast three dimensional environment of the atmosphere has no rival in any earthbound activities. You can go from weightless one moment to seven times the force of gravity the next. Loud and fast is just icing on the cake! High performance flight is physically demanding but mentally exhilarating.


Temporary Control Tower

The weather at Al Ain airport was one of those perfect UAE winter days with a clear blue sky and a light cool breeze. Because my time was limited I did not get to see all the shows that day but what I saw was impressive. The Baltic Bees (Latvia), Saudi Hawks and Turkish Stars jet demonstration teams all put on a heck of a show and I was envious of them from my grounded perch. The aroma of jet fuel and the roar of the turbines made me yearn for the “wild blue yonder”. 

The Baltic Bees from Latvia in their L-39C Albatross Jets

The Saudi Hawks Flying BAE Hawk Aircraft

Saudi Hawks

Saudi Hawks

Saudi Hawks

Saudi Hawks....One for the Ladies

Saudi Hawks Team Member

Turkish Stars Demo Team....Northrop NF-5 Freedom Fighter Jets

Turkish Stars-Low and Slow, Gear Down

Turkish Stars

Turkish Stars-The NF-5 is Capable of Supersonic Speeds

Play-By-Play Announcer on the Big Screen

In between these feature shows there were radio control model flights and some dirt bike stunts.  The RC models had actual jet engines and were incredibly detailed. They sounded, looked and smelled just like the real thing.

Incredibly Detailed Scale Radio Control Models

Just Like the Full Size Version
This intrepid pilot failed to get his jet started
Scale RC Model of Canadian Snowbirds Canadair CT-114 Tutor
Snowbird Fly-By

There was also an impressive demonstration by a solo UAE Air Force Mirage fighter aircraft. It’s comforting to know these guys are watching out for us.

UAE Air Force Mirage 2000-9

My Best L'il Buddy Capt. Jack D. Denham (R) with his Mentor from the UAE Air Force Just Before  Takeoff to get some bad guys

I had fun and that is what life is all about. There were activities for all. I was dreading a parking and overcrowding fiasco but that did not occur as logistics were well planned and executed. The only minor gripes I have is that there were some schedule inconsistencies and then I developed a sore throat from sunburned tonsils and a stiff neck due to looking skyward for several hours straight and there was no draft beer available. Small price to pay but we all have to make our sacrifices.

This Must Be A Logistical Problem When Nature Calls!
Desert View-Al Ain Outskirts


Dave said...

Looks terrific Ace, and I love the quality of the photo's - especially our little camel mate in the cockpit.

(PS - thanks for the blogs. I will check in from time to time whilst downunder. It is time to blow this place and head back to Gods country. SQ takes me homeward bound tomorrow).

Ace said...

Happy Trails mi amigo. I am getting itchy feet myself. SQ should provide a good ride. Good luck in Oz!

Thanks for the compliments...means a lot coming from you. The poor camel never got airborne due to a hung turbine start, much fuel on the ground. He is lucky he is not ashes as of now.

Stop by the blog once in awhile and let us know how you are getting along. I will miss your pix!

Chuck said...

Nice pics, Ace! Glad you had fun.

Ace said...

Thanks was good to get my aviation fix....loud and proud!!!

Misalyn said...

Terrific captures Ace! Love all of your photos.

Been there on the last day of the event. I had fun capturing the jets and the on ground displays. I missed the heart contrails in the sky. I had a 70-300mm zoom lens and when its time to capture the "heart" shaped contrails, that's the time I realized that I should have used the 18-200mm lens. I was so frustrated.

Just in case you want to see my photos, you can click this


You can read the summary of my week-long series here:

Ace said...

Good hearing from you Misalyn! I looked at your excellent blog and will add it to my blogroll.

If you want my Valentine heart contrail photo I can send you a copy. The Turkish Stars tried one too but it was not as well executed as the Hawks.

It was a fun day, I like Al Ain, its a nice change from Abu Dhabi, I don't get there enough.