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Andrews AFB Airshow 2012

Brandon Farris reports from Andrews AFB, Maryland...........

PhotoRecon was on hand for this year’s 2012 Andrews Air Show. Over 200,000 turned out over the two day show, at one point filling to capacity and forcing the base to turn eager fans away. The show, per usual, boasted a stellar line up of flying performers and statics. So join PhotoRecon for a recap of another great show!

The show also has the tradition of switching off which demonstration squadron comes each year, for example last year it was the Thunderbirds, this year the Blue Angels under the command of Greg McWherter that would be the ones to take the main stage. This will be the last time that the Blue Angels attend the Andrews Air Force Base until 2016 as the 2014 show will showcase the Thunderbirds.

The other main attractions included the F-22 Demonstration Squad, The B-2 Bomber on Saturday, The US Army Golden Knights and to celebrate the centennial of the Marines, the AV-8 Harrier and Osprey. Some of the civilian acts included the always entertaining Shaun Tucker in his custom built Challenger II biplane sponsored by Oracle , also Mike Goulian in his Extra 330SC that is sponsored by Goodyear and Whelan, the Geico Skywriters which consist of 6 SNJ-2 aircraft and last but not least Warrior Aviation flying in a L-39 and P-51.

There were some awesome statics on hand as well, NASA brought in their Super Guppy which is used to carry space shuttle parts, if you are a local in the Seattle area PhotoRecon has learned that it will be bringing part of the space shuttle trainer that the Museum of Flight is receiving. Also there was a wide variety of NAVY and Marines aircraft from the last 100 years.

The Air Force had several impressive statics on display, from the always great B-52, to a white painted C-40, along with a large C-5 Galaxy from Dover and a C-17 Globemaster III that made its way all the way from McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma.

The show seemed really well coordinated and base personnel actually seemed to know what was going on unlike many other shows I have attended over the years. But unfortunately the show was not without its hiccups, waiting for the busses after the show and that they also pushed Air Force One out of its hanger and were prepping it for Obama to fly to Chicago on it.

The police were reportedly pulling people off of buses and interrogating them for taking pictures of it that were heavily distorted by heat haze and poles. I had already got a couple of pictures before a cop came up to me and a group of others and told us we were not allowed to shoot it and the Secret Service would be visiting us if we posted pictures. I asked the base Public Affairs Lead Officer and he stated that pictures were indeed ok as it is our tax dollars that pay for that plane. But other than that incident everything else seemed rather smooth.

Despite the handful of issues however, the show remained solid. We are disappointed to report that the show will take one year off, returning in 2014. Base officials cited cost—two million for the whole shebang—as the primary reason.

PhotoRecon would like to spend a special thanks to all of the Airmen and Base Personnel that helped make this event happen. We are sad that it is going to become Bi-Annual but look forward to being back in 2014 to cover it again! Also special thanks to the Goodyear Team that allowed us access to the top of their truck trailer to get us a heightened view of the show! Also look for part 2 in the near future about a couple of ride along’s that PhotoRecon got to be a part of! - Brandon Farris.

Air Force One - Hanger
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