Air Fest 2013


When Labor Day finally rolls around, it generally means I'm in a pretty good mood. There are two reasons to explain this. The first being that it means I get a three day weekend, and I don't have to report to work the following week until Tuesday. That alone is worth a small celebration, but to add to the excitement is Air Fest that takes place at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Museum in Cape May, New Jersey.

Its a small museum but packs a lot into the old hangar in which it is housed. The facility boasts over 20 display aircraft, including a TBM Avenger and an F-14 Tomcat. Most recently, they acquired an F-16B. To makes things even more attractive, every year on or around Labor Day, the museum hosts Air Fest, an event that brings in several aircraft from the Collings Foundation.

I've been to this show at least three times, and it never gets old. It offers me an opportunity to see some vintage WWII aircraft, and to step inside them. Its a chance that only comes up once a year, so I take it when I can get it. It also gives me some time to hang out with my children, and develop their interest in aircraft and flight. This year, as in every year I've attended, the Collings Foundation flew in the B-24 Witchcraft, the B-17 Nine O' Nine, and the P-51C Betty Jane.

Without further ado, lets get you some pics...

When I was stopped at a red light, prior to arriving, the B-24 flew over on approach to the airfield. Snapped a quick pic in flight...





I find the B-24 to be one of the more ugly aircraft of the war, and certainly one of, if not the, ugliest American bombers to serve. Never the less, still quite a site to behold every year.

We arrived as the B-17 landed, which I got to see, but like an idiot I didn't take any video...










Having to chase after my two kids really prevented me from getting all the pictures I wanted. Maintaining their behavior and keeping them within arms reach while inside the aircraft was difficult enough as it was, let alone trying to snap a pic or two.

Not much to say about the P-51 other than she is beautiful...



And of course, I had to shoot the F-16. Its the jet I work on so I have a heavy bias towards it. They mounted a TER on the right wing which is holding several small practice bombs, neither of which I'm familiar with. And for some reason, they felt it necessary to fabricate some really terrible looking AIM-9s for the wing tips stations. They would have been better off without them...


Right across the parking lot is an even smaller museum dedicated to the Vietnam War. There are lots of things to look at inside, including some very well put together models of vehicles and aircraft from that era, but for the same reason I stated above, I didn't get many pictures. There was, however, this Ontos parked outside for you tread-heads...


A funny story:
While inside the Vietnam War museum, my son who is three and I were walking around looking at items on display. We came to an M-60 in a display case low enough for my son to see in without much difficulty. He noticed the linked 7.62 rounds hanging out of the receiver. They were rather shiny as they were dummy rounds coated in some sort of plating. But he pointed to them and said, "WOW DADDY, GOLDEN CRAYONS!!"
Oh, the innocence of youth...

Hope you enjoyed the photos!
Thanks for reading!

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