The American Heroes Airshow - Museum of Flight, Seattle July 14th 2012
Keith Draycott reports from Seattle's Museum of Flight.
photos: Keith Draycott & Brandon Farris
On Saturday July 14th, Seattle’s Museum of Flight held its ‘American Heroes Airshow’. This now annual Pacific Northwest event is staged by the museum to salute the vital roll carried out by Helicopters and their crews in everyday public life. Throughout the previous day and morning of the show, helicopters flew into Seattle’s Boeing Field for the event. Helicopters from the U.S. Border Patrol, Coast Guard, Army, together with various Law Enforcement Authorities joined others from Medivac providers, local T.V.news channels, flying schools as well as private owners. By lunchtime around fifteen different types were on static display in the museum’s large parking lot and all of those attending were opened up and available for the visitors to take a look inside.
The event attracted large a number of visitors and the cockpit tours were especially popular. The line for the pilot’s seat in the AH-64 Apache cockpit was especially long with ‘children’ of all ages eager for the chance to sit in this remarkable army gunship. Representatives from all of the helicopters on display spent the day answering questions, taking photographs with visitors and demonstrating the equipment and systems carried onboard.
By far the largest contingent on display came from the U.S. Army who participated with five aircraft. The AH-64 Apache was joined by a Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Bell OH-58 Kiowa and Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota.
On a historical note, non-flying examples of a Korean War vintage Bell 47 complete with MASH markings and Vietnam era Bell UH-1 were also on show. Both were brought to the event on trailers and both were also opened up to allow people to climb aboard and take a look around. As well as the various helicopters on show there were also vehicles of varying shapes and sizes from many of the local emergency services. By far the biggest was the fire truck from Boeing Field's fire service.
The event was, like all of the museum’s events, very well attended. Many people took the opportunity to eat lunch in the excellent restaurant or purchase a seat on one of the helicopter sightseeing tours available. These gave a chance to fly in one of SeattleHelitours.com Robinson R-44 Ravens over the beautiful Seattle skyline before returning to Boeing Field in time to watch the departure of all of the helicopters in attendance.