Riverside Airport Airshow
Riverside Ca. What a show!
The unscheduled winds only held back a few performers but the brave gave it their all. With gusts up to 45mph made landings in the morning a stunt show by itself. The airport decided to move the mighty C-17 static to open up the N/S runway to allow proper take-off and landings. The jets ruled the sky with the much anticipated Vietnam Era F-4 Phantom Heritage flight joined up with a Korean War F-86 Sabre and modern day F-16 Viper flying in formation. March AFB Reserves came in with the C-17 Globemaster master giving an awesome display of maneuverability with its maximum short field tactical take off and landing demo. This is one of the only aircraft that can actually back up by itself with thrust reversing, using that technology to land in as little as 1200 feet. The Navy not be outdone came in with their F/A-18 Super Hornet and put together a Legacy flight with the WWII FM-2 Wildcat in formation. With Stunt pilots Jon Melby in his Pitts Muscle Bi-plane and Doug Jardine in his Russian Sukhoi built for nothing but pure airshow power got right though the high winds and put on a great show that wowed the crowed. Margaret Stivers showed off doing a little wing walking with pilot Hartley Folstad in their 1930’s Stearman biplane. Bill Braack blew away the crowd with his 10,000 horsepower Smoke n Thunder Jet car sending flames down the Runway about 200 feet. The Riverside Police department put up their SWAT and Helicopter suspect chase with K-9 support. The K-9 demo is a favorite of the show with the officers putting on a chase with “suspects” getting away and the police dogs taking the “suspects” down. The Dogs are really incredible in just how effective they are in taking the fight out a suspect. John Collver’s T-6 demo was once again right on target letting the crowd know the winds would not chase away his WWII trainer from giving its all.
I got a chance to go up with the C-17 crew and experience first hand the power of the tactical Take –off and landing. They aren’t kidding when they say fasten your seat belts! Coming in at a 40 degree angle and coming to a full stop with the engines at maximum reverse thrust makes the landing a very quick and jolting adventure. The aircraft behaves like no other large plane in that it thinks and maneuvers like a small one. We were banking and turning on a dime, then cruising at 20,000 feet over the Pacific like a passenger jet in the pressurized cabin. You climb the stairs to the office with the Pilot and co-pilot where they have the grand view of the sky and watch their instruments heading back over the coast then descending back to earth the Pilot announces please make sure everything is secure and get buckled in we will be landing shortly. No one is standing around; everyone is rushing to their seats and tying them selves down!!
Many Thanks to the crew for their hospitality and service to our country. And thanks goes out to the City of Riverside for putting on once again a great show.
Facts about the C-17 Globemaster III:
Reliability and maintainability are two outstanding benefits of the C-17 Globemaster.
The C-17 measures 174 feet long with a wingspan of 169 feet. The aircraft is powered by four, fully reversible, F117-PW-100 engines. Each engine is rated at 40,440 pounds of thrust. The thrust reversers direct the flow of air upward and forward to avoid ingestion of dust and debris.
The aircraft is operated by a crew of three (pilot, copilot and loadmaster). Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft door that accommodates military vehicles and palletized cargo. The C-17 can carry virtually all of the Army's air-transportable equipment.
Maximum payload capacity of the C-17 is 170,900 pounds and its maximum gross takeoff weight is 585,000 pounds. With a payload of 169,000 pounds and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 feet, the C-17 has an unrefueled range of approximately 2,400 nautical miles. Its cruise speed is approximately 450 knots. The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and equipment.
The design of the aircraft allows it to operate through small, austere airfields. The C-17 can take off and land on runways as short as 3,500 feet and only 90 feet wide. Even on such narrow runways, the C-17 can turn around using a three-point star turn and its backing capability.