21 June 2024 Air Shows » Air Shows Abroad » Skyfest Michiana  

Skyfest Michiana 17-18 August

Contrary to my three previous trips to the US, this one was centred round airshows. Thus it was that the weekend of 17-18 August found me wondering up and down the aircraft line-up of Skyfest Michiana 2002 at South Bend Airport, Indiana.

It was a good mix of old and new. The latter included displays by the B-1B Lancer, F-117 Stealth, A-10 Warthog and F-16 Fighting Falcon (the latter in formation with a P-51 as part of the US Air Force Heritage Flight).

On the display line was a US AF T-43 (military version of B.737), T-1A navigational trainer, a Marine Corps Sikorsky CH-53Es, and a pair of A-10s. Also present were three helicopters from the Canadian Armed Forces, a CH-146 and two Bell 206s, the latter sporting both civil and military markings. The reason for this being that although training has been passed on to a civilian company, they didn’t bother to remove the military serials. Also from the Canadian Armed Forces was a Beech Super King Air.

The “old” included a P-51 NL2151D, B-25 N5548N, M.A.T.S. L. 749A Constellation N494TW, C-47D (N8704) and B-17 (N3193G) from the Yankee Air Force’s Museum based at Willow Run, Michigan, Grumman OV-1(N10VD), Grumman C-1A (N189G) SNJ-5, or Harvard, a T-33 (NX556RH) and NA F-86 (NX188RI). All of these aircraft put on a flying display. For the more technically minded, the MATS Constellation also carried a “cut-away” engine (parts from the external engine carefully cut out to reveal the interior) together with a chart explaining the various engine components and fuel flow.

Other displays were by a “Super Chipmunk”, a highly modified DHC-1, a Pitts S-2B, and helicopter rides by an Enstrom and a Bell 47 (which I saw being towed down the freeway).

“That scared my heart!”

Pyrotechnics would appear to be a staple part of US air shows, and these were put to good effect, a mix of dynamite and petrol shooting walls of flame into the sky as the B-17, B-25, Grumman C-1A and OV-1 passed overhead. (It also led to a young boy smilingly telling his mother “That scared my heart!”)

Other aircraft included a pair of Vultee BT-13s (one of which had the side panels removed to show how the controls ran), Canadian AF Beech 90, P. Navajion, a US Navy Beech T-34 and an all-white Aero L39 with US AF titles. It carried civil registration N1239PW and 93-1256/PW as a serial number.

South Bend has three runways, laid out like a Cross-of Lorraine. Runway 36/18 is the vertical “bar”, with runways 09/27 Left and Right forming the horizontal “bars”. The aircraft line-up was along runway 36/18, between the two-09/27 runways.

The display line was over the “upper” 09L/27R runway, with displaying aircraft departing from 09R/27L. Depending on your priorities, you can either photograph aircraft taxiing in and out, or go over to the display line.

Sun Position. When facing the display runway (towards the 36 threshold), the sun is well behind you to your right. It doesn’t come abeam to your left until around 18.15, which isn’t a problem, as the show ends by 17.00 local time.

Aero L-39   NX239PW       c/n 931526; (to Khyrgistan AF as ...); N239PW Paul R. Wood, Lake Forest IL 11.1.00/02. (flies as "USAF 931256")
B. B-17 Yankee Air Museum N3193G        
Douglas C-47D Yankee Air Museum N8704 33048 US AF 476716  
Gr. C-1A   N189G   US Navy 146044 VRC-40 USS Independence
Gr. OV-1   N10VD   US Army 0-15958 Actuall serial 68-15958.
L. T-33   NX556RH   US AF Thunderbirds    
L. 749A   N494TW 2601 M.A.T.S. 8609  
NA B-25 Weary Warriors Squadron N5548N     43-4106 Barbie III
NA F-86   NX188RI   US AF FU-584 Individual display & with T-33.
NA P-51   NL2151D       Individual display, & with F-16.
NA SNJ-5 Warbird Aviation Rendezvous Inc. N3645F   US Navy 43779 Display.
P. Navion A   N8522H   US AF   Grissom AFB titles, photographed being towed.
Convair SNV-1   N61916 7041 US Navy 12614 Fin no. 71.
V. BT-13   N67789 1715 US Navy 03125 Fin no. 89.
Waco New Standard D-25   NC9756       One of four flying, test flight on 08.06.2000.
Beech C-90A Canada C-GMBG       Military version of Super Kingair.
B. T-43 Gator US AF 71-405       Military version of B.737-200.
Cessna T-1A US AF 91-088       71st Flying Training Wing, Vance AFB OK.
FH.227 US Army 51608       Golden Knights Parachute Team.
L. F-16 US AF 89-2086/HL       Performed both separate display and fly-bys with P-51 as part of US AF “Heritage Flight”.
L. F-117 US AF __-836       Fly-by only, didn’t land.
N. B-2 US AF ?       Fly-by only, didn’t land.
R. A-10 US AF 80-264       Battle Creek.
R. A-10 US AF 81-996       Battle Creek.
R.I. T-34C Mentor US Navy 161808       TAW-4
DHC-1   N11JH 189     Highly modified DHC-1 Chipmunk.
Pitts S-2   N911ST 5300      
Bell 222 Air Angels Inc. N992AA 47062      
B.47G-2   N312SH 1375     Offering joy rides.
Enstrom F.28F   N137R       Offering joy rides.
B.206   C-FTHK   Canadian Armed Forces 139305 Military version CH-139.
B.206   C-FTHP   Canadian Armed Forces 139309 CH-139.
B. CH-142 Canadian Armed Forces 146427       Military version of B.412.
S. CH-53E US Marines 164537/09       HMT-302
S. CH-53E US Marines 164538/10       HMT-302

Skyfest Michiana Defenders of Freedom, Offutt AFB Commemorative AF, Duluth, MN Cleveland Air Show Indianapolis Air Show/Gathering of Corsairs
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