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Where? Komaki/Nagoya, Japan
When? 23/10/2011

Komaki/Nagoya is the home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - so to say the birthplace of the F-2 and F-15(D)J. It also hosts some of the C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as the KC-767 tanker fleet.

 With the opening of the Kansai International Airport (KIX) airport the busy civil days of this former Nagoya/Komaki airport are long gone and part of the apron made place for a big shopping mall, which was quite a big change to see compared to 2005. That mall also offers a big parking place and upon arrival quote a few photographers were seen standing there with their ladders and camera bags.

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The morning part of the flight display was of course already finished and the lunch break was on. Time to sit down, have a sushi and a green tea...
The view of the static display on the far side was overwhelming: there was a Shin Meiwa US-1 flying boat, jets from the Gifu-based Test Wing, a E-2C Hawkeye from Misawa and many more. Obviously hopes were high for the fly-out, but there was still some time and more to see until then.

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Apart from the rescue demo wit two helicopters and two U-125 the highlight was of course the KC-767 tanker demo. Restricted by the massive surrounding cities it was more or less limited to some fly-bys, only slightly showing its top side in the first run. It then flew out of view to formate with two T-4 and an F-2 from Gifu.

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The 'Viper Zero' flew in the receiver position to simulate the air-air refuelling procedure. Afterwards each of the jets performed a (high) fly-by. With the landing of the KC-767 tanker the show was over, the cloudless blue sky and the low light gorgeous and it was time to wait for the fly-out.

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The Shin Meiwa flying-boat, easily the highlight for most of the photographers, was first and the sound of its four engines and propellers when set to full power settings on take-off will for long not be forgotten! One visitor after the other then taxied for take-off, and the conditions for all of them were perfect as for the orange/white target-towing U-36A Learjet of the JMSDF, the blue F-2 from Gifu or the bright blue C-130 Hercules. Combined with the trees in the background better photographic conditions are rare...

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After the last aircraft was gone and the fire trucks also left, it was time to sit down, relax and think a bit about this great day. The last photos were shot of a Fuji Dream Airlines (FDA) E170 coming in shortly before sunset.

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