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B2 Fly-by At Westfield (Mass.) Air Show  
User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4149 posts, RR: 2
Posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6063 times:

This was my first opportunity to see a B2. In New England, military jets are about as common as lobsters in Omaha. Only a handful of bases in New England have military aircraft (and the base-closing commission has made for fewer still). It is ironic that the only two eventual active air bases in Massachusetts--Westfield and Westover--are located about five miles apart as the crow...err, the C-5...flies.

Anyway, the B2 came in today from some base I would guess was in the middle of the country (Missouri? I dunno). The plane did two fly-bys at the Westfield Air Show at Barnes ANG base...both with gear up ('clean')...before flying away to do yet another appearance at an air show in Nebraska (!). That is alot of territory to cover! The pilot come over on the intercom so the show crowd could hear him say that this was a pretty strict 'check ride' and that they had to 'go out to Nebraska to do another air show.'

I was pleased to finally see a B2, but surprised that it only did those two passes before leaving. I guess these things are pretty tightly scripted.

As an aside, an F-15 from Otis ANG base did a fabulous demo at Barnes...the base that these F-15s will be relocating to when Otis finally closes.

Chris in NH

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6059 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
from some base I would guess was in the middle of the country (Missouri?

Whiteman AFB, MO.

What did it sound like? Is it as quiet as they say?


User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6051 times:

Well, the two things about B-2 airshow demonstrations.... this is what I've heard, sounds plausible, but I can't be sure its correct (so don't flame me!)

1) Airshows are picked as "targets" for practice missions. When the B-2 flies over, you've probably actually just been nuked.

2) The B-2 builds up speed while approaching the airshow, just before reaching show center, the engines are pulled back to idle and the plane glides by - making it appear to be very quiet.


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2121 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6048 times:

I've seen the B-2 several times at airshows, it usually only does 1 or 2 passes, pretty benign, then flies off. At MacDill AFB, FL years ago it was also on its way to the Ft.Lauderdale air and sea show which I had attended the day before. Considering the cost of the plane and its operations hitting multiple airshows on one circuitious flight makes sense.

Only once did I see the B-2 do anything but pretty much straight and level passes with shallow bank angles. It was at Eglin AFB around '99. I've got nice pictures of her in a steep bank, very impressive. And yeah the B-2 was always quiet when I've seen her, but I'm not so sure its from 'gliding' in after a high speed entry. If she powered up after the pass, we'd hear that from the distance and I doubt with a 172' wingspan she carries enough kinetic energy to glide for so long... I do believe she is that quiet, though no doubt she wasn't at full power either.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12173 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 3 days ago) and read 6014 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
Only a handful of bases in New England have military aircraft (and the base-closing commission has made for fewer still). It is ironic that the only two eventual active air bases in Massachusetts--Westfield and Westover--are located about five miles apart as the crow...err, the C-5...flies.

Yeah, BRAC has really screwed up most military installations in New England. I was stationed at Pease AFB, NH, before it closed in 1990, and I loved it there. Then Fort Devens, MA and Loring AFB, ME closed with the next list. Portsmouth NSY, NH/ME was on this list, as was Groton/New London NS, CT, until they were removed last week.

BRAC is a political process, not a military process.


User currently offlineAFHokie From United States of America, joined May 2004, 224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6005 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
BRAC is a political process, not a military process.

speaking the gospel there. god forbid they do anything that makes sense


User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4149 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6002 times:

Well, what's always very humorous is to see life-long 'Doves' like Kennedy and other Massachusetts Democrats carve up the military, and then 'whine' when their bases close. One could theorize that because Massachusetts is so liberal (anti-military), bases there are taking the brunt of the hits.

An interesting aside for all you New England air show fans: the big show in 2006 will be at...Pease!

Chris in NH


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5992 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
I guess these things are pretty tightly scripted.

Absolutely!!

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 1):

What did it sound like? Is it as quiet as they say?

It's not a glider or gliding, you do hear the engines but it's in the same league as the Coast Guard Falcons, but a diferent pitch.

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 2):
1) Airshows are picked as "targets" for practice missions. When the B-2 flies over, you've probably actually just been nuked.

That doesn't make too much sense, if this was the case I'd expect the bay doors to open and It will be SEVERAL years (if ever) before you see that at an airshow.

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 2):
2) The B-2 builds up speed while approaching the airshow, just before reaching show center, the engines are pulled back to idle and the plane glides by - making it appear to be very quiet.

Plausable

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 3):
no doubt she wasn't at full power either.

Definately!!
I have seen the 117 at full power and there's a little bit of smoke, I have never seen such a thing in any B-2 pass I can recall.


User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4149 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5979 times:

speaking of 'practice bombing runs,' the Westfield A-10s (the 'hometown boys,' as they self-proclaimed themselves over the scanner) did a four-ship demo, led by 'Torch One.' As you can imagine, pyrotechnics were part of the demo. As each of the first three A-10s came down the runway, a huge fireball would erupt along the runway to simulate a ground attack that represents the signature of the 'Warthog.'

Anyway, here comes the 4th A-10. Another fireball and a plume of oily smoke? Perish the thought! This time, a whole avalanche of fire and smoke erupted...enough to cause the A-10s (which were probably on fumes anyway after having to delay their performence by 15 minutes and thus orbit Westfield some several miles away) to do missed approaches and then go-arounds because of all the smoke on the runway. Firetrucks came out to douse the stubborn flames. While all that was happening the fire-belching jet truck was doing its second run of the day down the 9,000-foot-long strip. If you love fire, this was the place to be! Beavis & Butthead would have been thrilled.

Chris in NH


User currently offlineHamfist From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 614 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5973 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
1) Airshows are picked as "targets" for practice missions. When the B-2 flies over, you've probably actually just been nuked.

Doesn't sound plausible. Probably some truth stretched into an exaggerated rumor. Besides, if a B-2 is going to nuke (or even drop conventional munitions) it's not gonna fly a sterile 200-250kts at only 1000-1500' over the target.

Given that practically all B-2 overflights originate from Whiteman AFB, that makes for some long rides just to do a couple of passes. Therefore, it would be reasonable to expect the Air Force dictate that these fairly expensive missions have some "training" element added. I wouldn't be suprised if crews have some mock targeting or navigation elements incorporated into the flight.


User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5969 times:

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 9):
Doesn't sound plausible.



Quoting Hamfist (Reply 9):
I wouldn't be suprised if crews have some mock targeting or navigation elements incorporated into the flight.

So which is it? Not plausible or not surprising?  Smile


User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4149 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5961 times:

I don't know how this 'quoting' feature works, but I never said that 'Airshows are picked as "targets" for practice missions. When the B-2 flies over, you've probably actually just been nuked.' The message above implies as much, but it was flyF15 that raised it as a theory.

In any event, here's MY opinion: The U.S. Air Force should accomodate air show requests much more than they do. I mean, don't we as citizens pay for this hardware? The services do a full-court press in trying to recruit candidates during open house and air shows, so if an air show in our region wants a B2, why can't it be granted? I mean, largely, these planes are all lined up at their home base doing nothing anyway, right? I don't think I'm exaggerating that point at all. As I said, this was the first B2 flyby that I had EVER seen at a New England Air Show (in the air or on the ground). I was thrilled to see one yesterday, so I truly applaud the folks that arranged for it to happen.

Another aside: whoever came up with the concept of the 'Heritage Flight' is a genius. One of the more emotional and impressive things to be seen at an air show is a F-15 flying in formation with a P-51.

Chris in NH


User currently offlineDc8jet From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5924 times:

Saw my first B2 at Pease several years back. They had an open house and one flew over. As I recall it only made one high pass but it was nice to see just the same.

User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2121 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5915 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 11):
Another aside: whoever came up with the concept of the 'Heritage Flight' is a genius. One of the more emotional and impressive things to be seen at an air show is a F-15 flying in formation with a P-51.

The Heritage flights were started in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the US Air Force. It was meant to be just for that year, but it was such a resounding success that it was extended and extended and finally was decided it is here to stay.

I've always been a huge fan of dissimiliar aircraft formations, and I've got tons of pictures from the net and taken myself (and have been in one) to show for it. So of course I was very happy that they started and are continuing that tradition.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineJspitfire From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 308 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5910 times:

I saw the B2 do a couple fly-bys at the Abbotsford Airshow earlier this month. That was my first time seeing it, and it only did 2 passes before going off to other airshows.

We also had the US Heritage flight, which was an A-10 and a P-51.
In Canada they have also started the Canadian Heritage flight, which is usually an F-18 Hornet and an old Harvard trainer (or Texan for you Americans). It is amazing to see such different aircraft flying in formation.


User currently offlineAFHokie From United States of America, joined May 2004, 224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5887 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 11):
The U.S. Air Force should accommodate air show requests much more than they do. I mean, don't we as citizens pay for this hardware? The services do a full-court press in trying to recruit candidates during open house and air shows, so if an air show in our region wants a B2, why can't it be granted? I mean, largely, these planes are all lined up at their home base doing nothing anyway, right? I don't think I'm exaggerating that point at all.

All branches do accommodate air show requests as much as they possibly can. You are correct, airshows are prime places to attract potential recruits. That being said, units are budgeted only so much per year for everything from flying to making sure there is enough paper for the printer. Also, what's the sortie rate for that unit at home at that time? Do they have a crew and a jet even available? Do you want them spending that money for lodging, fuel, maint on the jet, etc to attend an airshow, or would you rather they spend that same time and money on training? It costs money to send a jet and the crew to go sit as a display, or as a performer at a show.

When crews do go to a show, it is a safe bet that some sort of proficiency training is taking place on the way to and from the show. I'd put money down that the airshows that B-2 did overflights for were waypoints in some sort of proficiency training mission.

The jets do not are not sitting lined up all nice and pretty on the ramp doing nothing. Specifics for the B-2 I can't tell you, I've never worked with them, but if they are like any other wing out there, a given percentage is down for some sort of maint reason, whether it's because the jet broke, or for a scheduled phase cycle. Then there are those jets that are off station, whether they are forward deployed flying missions supporting OIF/OEF or they are in depot, or off station for some other training, be it Red Flag, Maple Flag, etc.

Finally, the jets that are home for the weekend. Do you send that crew that typically spends an average of 10+ hours a day at work (in addition to the time that is spent deployed and TDY) away for the weekend from his family to sit at a show? Don't forget that there is maint that is done on the weekends, if the jet is gone, kinda hard for them to work on it.

Not to jump all over you, but what do you want your tax dollars to do? Give you something to do on a weekend, by having something cool to go look at, or be spent as wisely as possible to provide you the best defense that can be provided?


User currently offlinePlainSmart From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5875 times:

I have heard from people that have coordinated fly bys that they auctally do run practice missions while, during, and after the flyover.

User currently offlineDrewfly From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5856 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
This was my first opportunity to see a B2. In New England, military jets are about as common as lobsters in Omaha. Only a handful of bases in New England have military aircraft (and the base-closing commission has made for fewer still). It is ironic that the only two eventual active air bases in Massachusetts--Westfield and Westover--are located about five miles apart as the crow...err, the C-5...flies.

Anyway, the B2 came in today from some base I would guess was in the middle of the country (Missouri? I dunno). The plane did two fly-bys at the Westfield Air Show at Barnes ANG base...both with gear up ('clean')...before flying away to do yet another appearance at an air show in Nebraska (!). That is alot of territory to cover! The pilot come over on the intercom so the show crowd could hear him say that this was a pretty strict 'check ride' and that they had to 'go out to Nebraska to do another air show.'

I was pleased to finally see a B2, but surprised that it only did those two passes before leaving. I guess these things are pretty tightly scripted.

As an aside, an F-15 from Otis ANG base did a fabulous demo at Barnes...the base that these F-15s will be relocating to when Otis finally closes.

Were you there Sunday? If so...when the hell did the B-2 do the flyover? I got there at noon. The F-15 demo (on Sunday) was by the ACC F-15 East Coast Demo Team, this year from Eglin AFB. That's what the EG tailcode is for.



A-10 Thunderbolt II, ugly as hell, efficient as hell, would you like to meet my boomstick?
User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4149 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5834 times:

The B-2 only appeared on Saturday, and the show web site made that clear beforehand.

The F-15 demo that I thought was fabulous on Saturday might well have been done by the same jet that you saw on Sunday. I just assumed that it was an Otis ANG jet, being a New England Air Show and there being other performances by other New England aircraft (F-16 from VT; C-130J from RI),

Having seen both the B1 and the B2 at Westfield shows over the years, here's this interesting observation: The B1 is by far the loudest I've heard; the B2 by far the quietest!

Chris in NH


User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5833 times:

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 9):
Given that practically all B-2 overflights originate from Whiteman AFB

The reason for that, in case anybody is wondering, is the B-2 bombers must live in special climate controlled hangers when they are not in the air. Whiteman AFB is the only place in the country with the hangers, plus a couple on the other side of the world.


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2121 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5824 times:

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 18):
Having seen both the B1 and the B2 at Westfield shows over the years, here's this interesting observation: The B1 is by far the loudest I've heard; the B2 by far the quietest!



The Harrier in hover is the loudest sustained sound I have ever heard. The B-1 in full burner is the second loudest I've heard.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 21 hours ago) and read 5794 times:

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 20):
The Harrier in hover is the loudest sustained sound I have ever heard.

Quite possibly true, but considering it's using all that energy to stay static, I consider the Harrier the 'garbage truck' sound of the airshow.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 20):
The B-1 in full burner is the second loudest I've heard.

This is S W E E T!!!


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 19 hours ago) and read 5784 times:

As a taxpayer who feels we got duped on the B-2 (Thanks John Kerry!) for investing $40 BILLION into the program when we were suppossed to buy 200 of them but only ended up with 20 or so, to waste a B-2 for something as worthless as a flyover or with all due respect to my Gunny, some orientation ride is rather one of the most conspicuous forms of waste in all of our Government.

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 21):
Quite possibly true, but considering it's using all that energy to stay static, I consider the Harrier the 'garbage truck' sound of the airshow.

But when your on an LHD standing right next to it as it lands, it gets even louder.

[Edited 2005-08-30 17:14:26]

User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2121 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 10 hours ago) and read 5747 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 21):
Quite possibly true, but considering it's using all that energy to stay static, I consider the Harrier the 'garbage truck' sound of the airshow.

I don't know man, I've seen Harriers come to a hover a mess of times, and it gives me chills every time. To watch a 20,000lb jet just stop mid air and sit there, then turn 360's about its vertical axis, and then accelerate nearly straight up and be doing 400 knots in no time... that to me is very impressive.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineHamfist From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 614 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 9 hours ago) and read 5743 times:

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 10):
Quoting Hamfist (Reply 9):
Doesn't sound plausible.



Quoting Hamfist (Reply 9):
I wouldn't be suprised if crews have some mock targeting or navigation elements incorporated into the flight.

So which is it? Not plausible or not surprising?

BOTH! Not plausible that that any aircraft would be doing simulated nuke passes at 1500' feet over the target, BUT, not suprised if there actually is some sort of training involved (i.e. not low-level nuke passes).

COMPRENDE'?


25 RaginMav : That is VERY funny!!! Because this same B2 made passes at three airshows that day. The one you attended, Offutt AFB near OMA, and a third place (don'
26 ChrisNH : I wonder, on a trip like that, (Missouri-Massachusetts-somewhere else-Omaha-Missouri) how many times that B2 needed to get more gas from a KC-10? Chri
27 Post contains links Hamfist : Given the "Range" information on the page listed below, probably not very often. http://www.is.northropgrumman.com/products/usaf_products/b2/b2.html
28 AFHokie : Eglin's team is the West coast team. The team out of langley is the East coast team.
29 Duce50boom : I'd be surprised if the B-2 had to refuel at all. Because of it's all wing shape, the B-2 has a tremendous unrefueled range, which will only be longe
30 Drewfly : Nope, they were from Eglin, announcer even said so. Langley has a FF tailcode, these had EG for Eglin.
31 Post contains links Duce50boom : Drew, Hokie is right. Whether the announcer misspoke or you misheard, the west coast team is from Eglin (EG) and the east coast demo team is from Lan
32 HaveBlue : Its true the East Coast is from Langley and WC team from Eglin... though the Eglin boys do shows on the East Coast... several in FL for example, but i
33 ChrisNH : Why wasn't the F-15 show done by one of the planes from Otis? Are they not able to do a performance? The reason I ask is because the F-16 demo was don
34 Maiznblu_757 : Bottom line is its a training flight. When a B-1, B-2, or B-52 do multiple airshows in 1 day, covering thousands of miles, the venues that they over
35 Post contains links Duce50boom : According to this webpage......... http://www.scanboston.com/westfield.htm ...There was an Otis F-15 performance scheduled at 12:10. With the F-15 de
36 HaveBlue : I agree 100%. I've rarely got to see a demo that wasn't by the official team, but the demo team does the e x a c t same thing every time since as far
37 Maiznblu_757 : I never said I didnt think that the non-official "demos" werent worth seeing. He asked why an F-15 from Otis didnt perform the demo (Apparently there
38 Duce50boom : I knew what you meant Maiz, I was just adding that although they're not an "official" demo team, their performances are usually more exciting and fres
39 HaveBlue : This is what I was responding to, and stand by it. I was simply saying that I agree that the demos done by individual regular flyers can be more impr
40 Duce50boom : Agreed!
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