DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11448 posts, RR: 73
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5555 times:
OK.....I just got back from the deal and this was terrific. Don Brooks, head of the Liberty Foundation http://www.libertyfoundation.org/index.php has a brand new B-17G (brand new means completely rebuilt from the fuselage up. The crew has been together on this thing for years now, and this is a beautiful airplane.
The "Glacier 3" Lockheed P-38, found under the ice in Greenland by Pat Epps and crew and restored to flight in Tennessee is one beautiful airplane that flies as good as it looks. There will be some photos up soon that a fellow member took of this incredible piece of aviation history.
There were also some really great looking warbirds present (including a spectacular T-6 Texan that is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, and a very red T-33 that burned lots of jet-a low and fast over the field) and flown on the flypasts, all to honor General Paul Tibbets and Pat Epps.
The USAF made their presence felt with a C-17 out of Dobbins being diverted over PDK on its way out of town for a low and slow pass with its gear down in salute to Gen. Tibbets.
I actually got to shake hands with the General and felt history when I did it. I'll see if any of the photos I took are good enough and try to upload them.
This was a terrific show, and was not even a show. This was a private, unadvertised get-together to honor two aviation legends and this was the first time I can remember something like this happening outside of an airshow.
I sat on the deck of Downwind Cafe for the flypast and was lucky enough to speak with a Rhino pilot, Kelly Fuller, who was a great guy and one of the first Superhornet pilots to fly it into combat. He gave me some great insights to the airplane and was pretty damned enthusiastic about it. He used to be a Tomcat pilot and loved it, but said that the Rhino was a much more survivable airplane and could outturn most anything out there. Something about turn radius versus turn rate, but he seemed pretty confident. The systems redundancies and computers make this a better systems platform....in other words when, not if, the Tomcat loses a system you make do until you land...with the Rhino if you lose a system, the computers reroute information to make up for it. He said the only beef he really has is the FLIR. He likes the older LANTIRN system used on the Tomcats. He also explained to me how they came to name it the Rhino. When they were doing the first CarQuals with it to certify it for carrier landings they usually shorten the name of the plane to call the ball. They didn't want it to be the "SuperBall" and evidently some navy captain whose callsign is, no shit, Gooch (Kelly says he's going to be a carrier skipper, had been watching Animal Planet, and decided that because this airplane is grey, beefy, has a pointy nose and is slow they ought to call it the Rhino. There you have it.
It was a great day and I wanted to share it...so there you have it.