DAILY PHOTO: Thunderbirds, 60th Chicago Air & Water Show

Taken on August 19, 2018 in Chicago at the 60th Air & Water Show.

DAILY PHOTO: Hardened Aircraft Shelter

Taken in 1988 when I was  stationed at RAF Woodbridge.

Taken in 1988 when I was stationed at RAF Woodbridge.

Hardened Aircraft Shelters (HAS) are heavy-duty aircraft hangers designed to prevent the wholesale destruction of planes as witnessed in the movie Independence Day at Marine Station El Toro. However, I think the Soviets were considered a more urgent concern than aliens at this particular time. (Oh, how times change.) This particular HAS contained A-10 “Warthogs”– a slow ugly plane that was built around a Gatling gun and that we were about to scrap until we started getting into wars that showed that if one wasn’t fighting dogfights with the Soviets–but rather fighting ground troops and armor of militaries devoid of operational air forces, e.g. in Iraq or Serbia– the A-10 was pretty much the most useful combative plane in the inventory.

I guess there were plenty of sunny days like this, but somehow my memories of England only come when it’s raining.

DAILY PHOTO: 1989 RAF Mildenhall Airshow

Taken in 1989 or possibly 1990 at RAF Mildenhall

Taken in 1989 at RAF Mildenhall

I heard that this was the biggest military airshow in Europe that year because a horrible crash at the 1988 Ramstein Air Show shut down that show and maybe some others in 1989. (I stipulate “military” airshow because there is huge airshow in Paris each odd year that features military aircraft but also   commercial craft, and that show is not exclusively a Ministry of Defense or Department of Defense endeavor.)

Oddly enough there was also a crash at the 1989 Paris Airshow, but it resulted in no loss of life (the 1988 Ramstein crash caused 70 fatalities and several times that number injured.) There was no crash at Mildenhall in 1989 though. I remember the F-18 being about the most impressive thing that flew that year. This, I believe, is a Panavia Tornado, but I’m not that familiar with planes–particularly non-US models–so I could be wrong.