June 2, 2006

It's good to have friends in really high places

Click to enlarge.

Parked on the ramp at the Quad City Airport this afternoon.

Flight group aligned to within a half inch.

The number 1 plane of Flight Leader/Commanding Officer Steve Foley. Foley has over 5300 hours in Navy jet aircraft, including 788 carrier arrested landings.

The business end of the F/A 18 Hornet support plane. These engines can propel the plane at over one and a half times the speed of sound. Generally not a good place to stand. They go for around $18 million a copy.

The Blue Angels will be providing their awe-inspiring show again this year at the Quad City Air Show this Saturday and Sunday.

An F-15 Eagle is also scheduled to appear. The F-15 is a high performance fighter jet which can achieve speeds over Mach 2.5 at sealevel.

Other attractions this year include a P51-D, a P-38 Lightning, an F4U-5 Corsair, The Red Bull aerobatics team, a jet-powered semi truck which races planes, and a lot more.

The bad news is that advance tickets are already sold out online, but a few may be available at stores selling them, which include Hy-Vee and Fareway supermarkets.

The good news is that you can usually find a spot outside the event if you can't get in and still be able to get a good view of the spectacular aerobatics.

A shot from the 2003 show

And I'm putting this sweet little aerobatic unit on my wish list. It's a Zivko Edge 540. Any appreciative donor who wants to spring for it would be a pal for life. Or perhaps a group of you could go in on it?

Note the clear plexiglass under the pilot so he can keep track of the horizon no matter what position he or she is in.

The Zivko Edge 540 can handle around 15 Gs of sustained loading, and climb at a rate of 3,700 ft per minute powered by a 330 hp Lycoming engine with a maximum weight of only 1,500 lbs. That means it takes this plane a minute and 26 seconds to climb a mile. And it has a roll rate of 420 degrees/second. That makes me dizzy just reading it.

It's the same type of plane flown by the Red Bull Aerobatic team.

And here's a shot of Shockwave in action. Commenter John C. mentioned this in his comment.


At 6/02/2006 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice shot. Did you ask for a ride?

At 6/03/2006 3:24 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I didn't have to. They invited me. Of course I took them up on the offer.

I broke blood vessels in my eyes, threw up out my nose, and passed out 2 or 3 times, and I think they had to burn my flightsuit. But you can't beat fun like that. I'd do it again in a second.


At 6/03/2006 6:32 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Did you take the pictures? I always figured that they stashed them away somewhere when they parked over the the QCIA. I remember they parked at the Davenport airport for a couple years, but eventually went back to Moline's, possibly after 9/11.

I'm hoping to get some good shots at the show Sunday.

At 6/03/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


Yes, I took all of the pictures myself.

There are 6 blue angle jets and perhaps 4 or 5 support jets parked on the ramp just south of the freight terminal on the northeast side of the airport.

At 6/03/2006 11:44 PM, Blogger John C said...

Can you see the Blue Angels jets parked at Quad cities from a public place? Does anyone know if you can see them take off and/or see their pre-flight walk out/routine? (Do they do it if there is no audience?) I was at the air show today on Sat. There are still plenty of tickets available at the gate. They're more expensive than advance. But it was WELL worth it, seeing the beautiful weather we're having. Blue Angels ROCKED as did the several aerobatic performers. There's this guy down on the flight line as part of the show with this Peterbuilt cab with 3 Pratt & Whitney J34-48 Jet Engines mounted on the back called Shockwave. See http://www.shockwavejets.com. He drag races the couple aerobatic planes with them flying overhead. He spits out all sorts of flame a truck length behind him and billows of all kinds of smoke. Quite fun and impressive. Does anyone know a good place to park outside the show? I may go back tomorrow and just do that without going in. I'm knew to the area so not sure what might be good.

At 6/04/2006 1:53 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah, the Shockwave is pretty awesome. He can also squirt kerosene into his stacks somehow and blow flames out of them about 30 feet high. Pretty wild.

I saw him race the stunt plane a few years ago and it's something to see. Of course, it has all the elements, VERY loud, lots of flames and smoke, very powerful, very dangerous (or at least the appearance of great danger), and VERY fast.

Good to hear that there's still tickets available at the gate. The weather is tremendous if if holds out through Sunday.

As to good spots to park outside the show, I've found some excellent places to park along county road Y64 or North Harrison St.

You just take W. 90th street, the road that leads into the entrance of the airport, but before you enter the airport property, you take a right. If you get there early enough, you might find an availbable place to park and watch.

I don't know how tight they're controlling parking along that road now, but hopefully there's still a way to park and watch. There's lots of warehouse and industrial type properties and if you're careful not to block hydrants, roads, or private drives, you should be ok.

If that area is full, just continue north on N. Harrison and take a right onto E. Trails Rd.

There's some industrial parking lots along there where you can pull in and find a spot with a good view of things as well.

One road further is E. Blackhawk Trail and you might find a suitable spot there as well.

The best thing to do is to drive to the airport entrance, take a right, and drive slowly and keep a sharp eye out for a place to slip in. If you see one, grab it.

I also imagine that instead of turning right at the airport entrance, you could also go left, and follow the road as it passes the go-cart track and on to the D&D Hummer. There will likely be spots to find along there as well.

Basically, it's a matter of keeping an eye out and grabbing an opportunity when you can.

The earlier you arrive, of course, the better chances you'll have of getting a good spot.

And yes, the Blue Angels (forgive my typo in the comment above) F18s can be viewed where they are tied down, south of the air freight terminal on the northeast side of the airport.

Keep going straight through the lights where I-74 ends and take a left. IF they're there, you can see them.

I'm not aware of them doing any sort of ceremony there, but I certainly don't know enough to say.

But if you get tackled, thrown to the ground and end up with an all expense paid trip to sunny Cuba, don't hold me responsible. ;-)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home