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Komaki Airshow 2011
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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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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