I can’t say that I am a dedicated aviation enthusiast, but I wouldn’t say I have no interest in it either. After all, which little boy did not grow up, wanting to be a fighter jet pilot? It would have to be and still is one of the coolest job in the world! So, when I heard that there was an airshow on, I popped out of bed and wasted no time rushing to Avalon for the airshow on a Sunday.
The Melbourne International Airshow is one of those events that I simply never had a chance to go. It’s the first time I am in Melbourne long enough that I don’t happen to be at some other corner of the globe for this event. It’s suppose to be a 2-yearly event, so if I do not go this year, I won’t get to go next year either! It’s held at Avalon airport, which is normally a civilian airport. It didn’t stop Tiger Airways landing there going about their usual business whilst the show goes on.. Looks slightly odd, if you ask me..
As a kid, I did spend enough time to study fighter jets to know names like F14 Tomcats, F16 Falcons, F18 Hornets and so on. Yeah, I know… my fighter jet knowledge does not appear to go beyond models that start with ‘F’. But, hey.. even the ‘F’ models that I knew are long out-of-date now. It’s the first time I was introduced to the new F-35 right at the entrance!!
This sharp-looker owned by the Australian Air Force was a sure way to get your adrenaline pumping with its sleek lines, and mean looking armaments hanging underneath. At $50 million a pop, there’s no way they’re going to let anyone of us touch it!
Fortunately, the show was not all about fighter jets, and included just about anything that have wings or can fly. There’s my dream Europcopters:
The luxury jet that had been waiting for me to pickup for while:
And even a “Dolphin”…
Somehow, anything out of the US Air Force seemed to draw the crowd with their super-cool planes.. starting with the awesome B1 Bombers…
Perhaps the one plane that showcased US superiority over the rest of the world in jetfighters, was this super-cool F22 stealth fighter.
It was also referred to as the ‘Ferrari’ of the sky. It certainly looked like it! I learnt later that, that this darn thing costs US$150 million a pop! Imagine losing or damaging one of these!! There’s a reason why we are all standing about 10 meters away from it. Too bad no one gets to see it in flight. Apparently the pilot was sick! I hope they don’t mean ‘air sick’!
Apart from the planes littered all over the ground, there are plenty of planes taking off the main runway, to showcase their beauty in-flight. This one demonstrates the Australian Army’s typical search and rescue operation:
While this one proves just how acrobatic it can be… even though it doesn’t look it.
And what kind of air show would it be, if it did not include some skilled demonstration of formation flights..
Apparently, all Australian Air Force pilots are trained to be able to fly in formation:
If you are sick of looking at planes, go stare at some monster trucks on the side. I would argue these were as popular, getting the crowd roaring and cheering for the driver to do crazy stunts with them.
For $55 a ticket, I got to say, it had been a very satisfying and enjoyable day. It’s definitely an eye-opener as well to see so many different aircrafts all in one place!
But there’s a feeling of remorse leaving the show. If only aircrafts are like cars, where if I spotted one I like, I could buy it and drive it home. Give it a couple of years.. perhaps China will make planes cheap enough to allow ordinary folks like us to do just that..