I really would have loved to have had a closer view of this gorgeous balloon flying in the distance this morning but didn’t do too bad as it was. Just another, gorgeous fall day in the Centennial State.
Sadly, I will miss today and this weekend’s show of this monstrous locomotive as it travels from #Cheyenne to #Denver and back but have a big smile thinking of the last couple of times I have seen it. Most recently, last September, my wife and I chased the metal behemoth on the plains of Colorado as it headed toward Denver. There, we were able to find a nice spot as No. 4014 crossed a bridge and climbed the hill. This image is a different look than any I shared of it previously, going with a sepia tone to date it to a more age-appropriate like capture. You truly can’t appreciate these mechanical marvels until you see them in person. They are truly impressive.
Of all the demonstrations at The Great Colorado Air Show last month, this was the one I was most looking forward to. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is the United States’ latest fighter aircraft and I expected it to be impressive – and it was.
The U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team and pilot Major Kristin “Beo” Wolfe put on a heck of a show. The single-seat, single-engine aircraft was amazing to watch, feel and hear.
It is interesting to note that there are three distinct versions of the F-35 Lighting II.
The F-35A, seen here, is the Air Force version and the lightest of the bunch. The Marine Corps flies the F-35B with it having the distinct capability of short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), allowing it to operate in a wider variety of environments and off of Navy amphibious assault ships. The F-35C is the U.S. Navy’s version, beefed up with larger, foldable wings and stronger landing gear for operations off of aircraft carriers.
Continuing to intermittently share my pictures from The Great Colorado Air Show a couple weeks ago. This was one of the two military aircraft I was most looking forward to seeing.
The A-10, affectionately nicknamed the Warthog, is absolutely legendary. It is a plane, quite literally, built around a gun – a beast that shoots 30mm rounds at nearly 4,000 rounds per minute. That gun and the other armament the plane can carry make it perfectly suited for its mission of providing close air support to ground troops. Titanium armor helps to protect the pilot and the essential aircraft systems from ground fire.
For the air show, the demonstration team showcased the plane’s maneuverability and demonstrated attack maneuvers like what are used in combat. These planes may not be the prettiest or the fastest but they are nothing short of incredible.
Photographer’s note: I thank you for continuing to indulge me while I share some pictures of “birds” far different from what you normally see on this page. It was a fun and challenging event photographing the planes at the air show and don’t worry, feathered birds and furry creatures will certainly continue to dominate the pictures you see here.
A local aerobatic team that put on a heck of a display at the Great Colorado Air Show last weekend. Their seven planes may not have the speed associated with the military demonstration teams but that doesn’t make them any less exciting.
As I understand it, this was their last public performance as the team undergoes some changes. I am glad to have gotten to see them one last time.
Being a sailor, you can of course guess how much I loved seeing these! It has been 20+ years since I last saw the Blues perform and this was a good year to do it as they transitioned to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Arriving at my campsite last Thursday, I was greeted by the familiar sound of roaring military power as the Blue Angels wrapped up their practice for the day. The next day I watched them practice from the campground and then Saturday and Sunday from the The Great Colorado Air Show itself.
Several hundred pictures later, I am not entirely sure which ones to share but here is a batch of my personal favorites, mainly because at least a few are uncommon views of this amazing team at work. It certainly brought back memories of my time in the service working in aviation and being on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
My thanks to my shipmates for their service and for a show well done. Bravo zulu!
Definitely not the usual type of birds I photograph but I couldn’t resist. I had long planned for this, making reservations at Boyd Lake State Park six months ago and buying tickets for the show the second they were available. Mother Nature played nice and it was a great way to wrap up our camping season watching stunt planes, parachutists and, of course, the Blue Angels. My thanks to all of the people that worked hard to make this show happen, the volunteers, and the performers. Please do it again soon!
I’ll be incommunicado this weekend while I hang out with some warthogs and hornets and watch some lightning. 😉 More pics to come on Monday.
Not the usual type of “bird” I photograph but this was something I had never seen before and I spent hours watching and photographing the action.
One of the biggest hazards after a wildfire is the potential for erosion, mudslides, water supply contamination and further damage due to a bare, plant-less landscape. To help speed recovery, large areas need to be reseeded.
Grand County’s Northern Water began a project using helicopters. The Kaman K-MAX helicopter is perfectly matched for the task.
Capable of hoisting up to 6,000 pounds and being highly maneuverable, the chopper initially made passes with a large “bucket” dispensing what I presume was seed. The days that followed saw it carrying nets full of mulch which it was then dropping on the same areas.
It was pretty impressive to watch these pilots operate with amazing speed and precision and is just another step toward recovering from last year’s devastating blazes.
Not the typical kind of “bird” you expect me to photograph but given how the fires here in the Centennial State are dominating our news and impacting so many lives, I took the opportunity yesterday to visit Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport where these planes are temporarily based out of.
It is a constant, beehive of activity as the airtankers depart with a load of slurry, expertly drop it on the Cameron Peak Fire or the CalWood Fire, then return, load up and do it again. About every 15 minutes a plane is arriving and / or departing, ensuring a constant onslaught against the blazes.
It is an impressive sight to see and we are thankful for the work of Neptune Aviation Services Inc , AeroFlite Aerial Firefighting and others for their aerial work and as well as those of the firefighters from across the nation on the ground.