(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

After the retirement of the Starfighter (see Pratica di Mare Airshow) one jet still to see was highon my list: the Gruman F-14 Tomcat, the last of the big fighters. When they have disappeard from the aircraft carriers in the Pacific and will see their end within the next few years my goal was clear:Oceana, located on the eastcoast of the USA,about a 4h drive south of Washington DC.

Nas OceanaWhere? NAS Oceana, VA - USA
When? 24-26/09/2004

Uncle SamOceana, together with theneigbouring Norfolk, is the main base of the Atlantic fleet and also home of Tomcat now.End of September the annual airshow was held, this year the theme was "Pursuit of Liberty". Indeed the entrance was free, but I can assure that my credit suffered quite a bit in the souvenir alley where I was snapping for Tomcat patches, T-Shirts... like a lot more other people as well.

SouvenirsAs usual on big American shows the static display was wide and really accessible, which can sometimes be quite frustrating for the photographer. The static was really interesting with all the different Navy jets, but with the Norfolk base nearby I did miss a DC-9 and a C-2 Greyhound which would have been nice in the static display. Also no colourful F/A-18 of VFC-12 "Fighting Omars" could be seen on the ramp though they are based at Oceana. But well, do not worry, there have been 3 Tomcats, a rare OV-10A and a lot of other interesting aircraft in the static display. And no F-16, which was quite a surprise.
mospagebreak title=F-14_Tomcats}

F-14 Tomcats - Airpower Demo & Solo Display

001 ---- 002 ---- 003 ---- 004 ---- 005
006 ---- 007 ---- 008 ---- 009 ---- 010
011 ---- 012 ---- 013 ---- 014 ---- 015
016 ---- 017 ---- 018 ---- 019 ---- 020
021 ---- 022 ---- 023 ---- 024 ---- 025
026 ---- 027 ---- 028 ---- 029 ---- 030
031 ---- 032 ---- 033 ---- 034 ---- 035

SwooshHmmThe flight display had to suffer from the cancelation of the Blue Angels due to devastating hurricanes around their homebase Pensacola, but the organizer managed to fill this gap and I have had the impression that they did let the Tomcats fly more often :). Most impressive was the Airpower Demo including 6 Tomcats and 4 Hornets that 'attacked' the airfield with a lot of pyro involved. But most pleasing for the crowd were the high speed photo passes by the Tomcats. The Tomcat flight display was also remarkable, and has unfortunately the last F-14 solo display at Oceana as there will be no more display after the disbandment of VF-101 next year. Another highlight for the crowd was the first Super Hornet in the skys over Oceana. It impressed with its high maneuverability compared to the Tomcat. For the rest of the show it will be better for you to check out all the photos, I have selected more than 180 this time, and enjoy them.
Ocena Airshow was a good possibility to say good-bye to the 'Cat, one of the most remarkable and impressive fighters. If you haven't been there yet, look out for next year's show, there will still be some F-14s around in the air!{

 

F/A-18 Hornets

036 ---- 037 ---- 038 ---- 039 ---- 040
041 ---- 042 ---- 043 ---- 044 ---- 045
046 ---- 047 ---- 048 ---- 049 ---- 050

E-2C Hawkeye

051 ---- 052 ---- 053 ---- 054 ---- 055

F/A-18F Super Hornet

066 ---- 067 ---- 068 ---- 069 ---- 070
071 ---- 072 ---- 073 ---- 074 ---- 075

SAR SH-3C Sea King

186 ---- 187 ---- 188 ---- 189

 

Canadian CF-188 Hornet

056 ---- 057 ---- 058 ---- 059 ---- 060
061 ---- 062 ---- 063 ---- 064 ---- 065

A-10A Thunderbolt II

076 ---- 077 ---- 078 ---- 079 ---- 080
081 ---- 082 ---- 083 ---- 084 ---- 085
086 ---- 087 ---- 088 ---- 089 ---- 090

F-15C East Coast Demo Team

091 ---- 092 ---- 093 ---- 094 ---- 095

B-2 Spirit

096 ---- 097 ---- 098 ---- 099 ---- 100

T-6 Texan

106 ---- 107 ---- 108 ---- 109 ---- 110

Navy Legacy Flight

126 ---- 127 ---- 128 ---- 129 ---- 130

Air Force Legacy Flight

131 ---- 132 ---- 133 ---- 134 ---- 135

F-86

101 ---- 102 ---- 103 ---- 104 ---- 105

T-28 Trojan

111 ---- 112 ---- 113 ---- 114 ---- 115

Warbirds

116 ---- 117 ---- 118 ---- 119 ---- 120
121 ---- 122 ---- 123 ---- 124 ---- 125

{mospagebreak type=Aerobatics}

Skytypers

136 ---- 137 ---- 138 ---- 139 ---- 140

Aerobatics

141 ---- 142 ---- 143 ---- 144 ---- 145
146 ---- 147 ---- 148 ---- 149 ---- 150
151 ---- 152 ---- 153 ---- 154 ---- 155

Statics

156 ---- 157 ---- 158 ---- 159 ---- 160
161 ---- 162 ---- 163 ---- 164 ---- 165
166 ---- 167 ---- 168 ---- 169 ---- 170
171 ---- 172 ---- 173 ---- 174 ---- 175
176 ---- 177 ---- 178 ---- 179 ---- 180
181 ---- 182 ---- 183 ---- 184 ---- 185

 

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