Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Salinas California International Airshow - A Disappointment

I am not sure if anyone else is saying this, but I was disappointed in this year's airshow.

Sure, I went Sunday and the Thunderbirds were grounded by fog. I had been looking forward to them for months. I felt like a kid who ended up in the hospital on his birthday. It hurt too much to laugh and I was too old to cry. Oh well ...

But there was more to the disappointment than that.

In years past there have always been many "static displays" to enjoy. These are parked aircraft that have been flown in that you can get up close and personal with. There have been numerous P51 Mustangs, B25 Mitchell bombers and a wide variety of other WWII warbirds. This year there were no P51s and therefore no music of the Rolls Royce Merlin engines. There were no bombers. The vintage DC3 was not there. In point of fact, there was precious little to look at. The lack of things to look at cast a depressing pall over the whole event Thunderbirds not withstanding.

Most of the speculation I heard about this sorry state of affairs involved the economy. These planes are in private hands. They are enormously expensive to maintain, and as for the 100+ octane aviation fuels they require, well ... it is galactically costly, and it is something of a miracle it can even be found in this day of jet fuel.

Will the air show ever be what it was in the last few years?

One can only hope.

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