Oceana Airshow

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

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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

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E-2C Hawkeye

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F/A-18F Super Hornet

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SAR SH-3C Sea King

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Canadian CF-188 Hornet

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A-10A Thunderbolt II

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F-15C East Coast Demo Team

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B-2 Spirit

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T-6 Texan

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Navy Legacy Flight

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Air Force Legacy Flight

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F-86

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T-28 Trojan

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Warbirds

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{mospagebreak type=Aerobatics}

Skytypers

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Aerobatics

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Statics

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