I went to the annual air show at Komatsu Base of Japan Air Self-Defense Force on
September 19th. The day, it was unfortunately raining and windy and I worried about
if the show would go on as planned. But when I arrived at the base, the rain stopped.
As I was waiting in line for baggage check, I heard the roar of a fighter approaching.
It sounded like the opening flights started. It brought back a sense like “This is it! I came to the air show!”
After the opening flights, exhibition flights of F-15 and F-12 start.
They show maneuvering flight which appeals their performance, formation and turning flight one after another. A demonstration of a rescue aircraft is another feature.
The members train on a routine basis, so their rappelling looks completely effortless.
I’ve heard that hovering is also very difficult to control.
In the afternoon, Blue Impulse’s acrobatic flight starts finally.
First, all the pilots from the first to sixth craft walk down to each craft orderly.
And the fifth craft takes off to check the weather in the sky and the acrobat programs are
decided by the result finally.
However, as expected, it was fewer than half the number of normal due to bad weather.
Even so, I was happy to see their “corkscrew”.
Annual visitors to Komatsu Air Show’s are about 150,000 people, but this year there were only about 72,000 people. That said, I was overwhelmed by the number of tour buses and headed back home. And I am already looking forward to next year’s show. （H.S)
Phamphlet of this year’s air show
F-15 is displayed on the apron
Less than half people of usual years but it’s pretty crowded on the apron
Before lunch time, queues of people form in front of the food stands
Rest area in the hangar is also crowed (The 1st to 3rd hangar are open to visitors)
Komatsu Base shares the runway with Komatsu Airport, so passenger airplanes also take off as usual
Formation flight of Blue Impulse(I want a telephoto lens!)
Commemorative photo corner with fighter pilots is popular
From last year’s Komatsu Air show (0:51) The fifth Blue Impulse’s takeoff is a traffic violation? That might be, but I want to see that in front of my eyes :)
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