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Sunday, February 13, 2011

US Navy Air Station North Island: 100 Years of Flight, Feb 12th, 2011

I've been to a lot of military air shows over the years but I've never before been on the "inside" or been able to drive my vehicle along the aircraft display lanes or better yet, hang out with the air crews. This time was different!

The view through my windshield when I drove down the runway! A Navy P-3 Orion Anti-Submarine Warfare plane looms just ahead. A sight that many a Soviet submarine lived in fear of.

USCG C-130

2005 4Runner, ready for takeoff with the aircrew standing by  :-)
USCG MH-65 Dauphin from San Francisco


It really was as if you were watching a regular helicopter fly sideways! An unbelieveable machine!

Lots of helicopters too!


There were lots of venerable airships too. Both on the ground and in the air. Here are a few.

There were still more great aircraft that were on display. The Canadians flew down a EP-3 Orion
 A variant of the A-6 Intruder built for electronic warfare
 F-5 Tigershark for a simulated agressor aircraft used in Top Gun training

An F-16 in Top Gun colors
S-3B Viking Callsign Bloodhound 701 fromNorCal

An estimated 70,00 people made it onto the base to enjoy the great weather and the great show.

Untold thousands sat on this bridge for up to 2 hours only to be turned away at the gates to the base.

The grand finale was a true knockout. I've seen pictures of similar lineups but to witness such a huge display of modern airpower was such that I was rooted to the concrete. There are 28 aircraft in this one shot alone and many more were in the air with them.

Thanks for riding with me down the runway filled with the aircraft that have made Naval history. See you soon!


  1. Jim,

    Can't believe you didn't tell me you were going down there...especially with some special pass. We flew down to KSAN in a 207, six aboard, shuttle to Coronado, then humped camera gear to North Island. Was a great day. I think you had a better view than we did.

    Eric (ETAV8R)