Monday, July 16, 2012

Genny 2012

Well... this year your blogmeister picked the wrong day to head out to the Geneseo airshow. Arrival at HAG's HQ was roughly 6:30AM, about half an hour after the place opened for business, and it never did stop raining the few hours we stayed. The original plan was to go on Saturday, but as alluded to in the previous post, yours truly wasn't feeling all that swell. Sunday morning I was feeling slightly better, but not enough to wander around for half a day, hoping the skies would clear.

As an aside...

It's a tradition... my Dad was a photographer, not merely a picture taker like myself, but a bonafide shutterbug who knew the craft inside and out. Whenever we'd head to some event like an airshow or a race at Watkins Glen, he'd always spy a lovely scene somewhere along the way... often one that included the Sun... and would pull over to capture it on film.

Well, I no longer shoot film... although someday I'd like to go back, but only if I can rebuild Dad's darkroom! ... and I am not so talented or technically adept as 'ole Bruno. But I try to carry on the tradition as best I can. This was the only glimpse we caught of the sun all morning. 'Twas taken along Broadway (Route 20) just past Darien, NY. The rising sun peeked out for maybe a minute or three and that was that... didn't see it again until later that afternoon.




Okay, back to the airshow...

Apart from the rain, another disappointment was the small number of birds on the field (unless you count the hundreds of swallows!) and in the hangar. I didn't get an exact count, but there couldn't have been a whole lot more than two dozen warbirds, with a few more light planes. In and of itself, it wasn't a horrible showing... but compared to the norm for Genny, it was mighty disappointing.

Absent was the one bird your blogmeister wanted to see most this year... a Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8, albeit one of the FlugWerk replicas. Two stories surfaced as to the reason for its absence; 1) the bird was bent 2) the pilot was bent. Dunno which was the truth, but here's to a speedy recovery in either case.

So no Butcher Bird. Damn... really wanted to see one'a those up close and personal, replica or no. However, an equally intriguing type was sent in its stead... a Yakovlev Yak-3, which was, coincidentally, also a replica... albeit one made by the original manufacturer from original plans. (and, I *think*, original jigs and some original parts... not totally sure on that, though) The major difference between these replicas and the originals is the Allison engines that power the former.

Here's a singularly uninspiring view of this bird...




Another aside... sorta... this year was a first for your blogmeister. For many years my Dad and I went to airshows and other 'guy' events, and only a few times have the gals in my family been convinced to go along; my Mom went to some races at the Glen, as did my sisters, although they were too young at the time to have any say! And Ma also went to a number of car shows with Dad.

Anyhoo, ever since my Dad went West I've tried on occasion to get my Mom to do some things along these lines, but she never really took much interest in airshows or airplanes. So, you can imagine your blogmeister's surprise, and even shock, when she expressed a desire to go to Geneseo this year. I'm still a bit speechless.

But I tell 'ya, for someone who doesn't seem to normally give a rat's ass about things with wings, (unless those wings flutter and their owner makes a chirping noise) my Mom was surprisingly insightful... her questions and comments were often right on the mark, such as when she observed that several of the Harvards on the field were operated by the Canadians, or asking about the mission and victory markings on the B-17; "Now, those swastikas and the little bombs... those are airplanes they shot down and bombs they dropped?"

However... what really floored me was when she noted how the rough construction of the Yak-3, with its imperfectly fitting panels and not-so flush fasteners, might have some sort of impact on the ship's aerodynamic qualities. That put a big smile on my face... =)

I had to reign her in once, however... and this is a bit of a rant too, so be forewarned. We were in the hangar and I was maneuvering around and between birds to get a photo I wanted, when one of the pilots or ground crew gave me a stern and less-than-polite warning to watch out for a pitot tube which, of course, I had seen and was actually in the act of trying to avoid, close quarters and all. Sure, I felt like tellin' the guy that this wasn't my first rodeo, but just said, "yeah, I know". But then I saw the look on my Mom's face and had to immediately stem the tide I knew would follow... 'Ma, it's okay... he doesn't know me and has to assume I'm your average Joe Schmo who doesn't know airplanes and that I have no eyes, brain, or connection between the two." Either that, or he was just a pompous jackass. There's alotta really nice aviation folks out there, but there are also some who are truly full of themselves and have superiority complexes. Same can be said of any population sub-set, really, but I have noticed a higher proportion in the aviation community... and if you're not a pilot, you're not worth a second of their time. Though, to be fair, your average Joe Schmo can sometimes indeed be a real 'schmo'. With some of the things I've seen people do at airshows, and in general, I don't blame that fella at all for being protective of his airplane. But I don't like being told that I'm an idiot, no matter how polite the teller may be, and I admit... I had to grin every time my Mom, still a bit hot under the collar, would mutter something like, "My son has been around airplanes since he was little, he knows what he's doing. He was brought up to respect other people's property and..." Well, you get the picture.

Thanks Ma... =)

Okay, rant off... back to the photos...


With the rain, I didn't take many snaps outside. Actually, with feeling kinda crapola, I didn't take many photos, period. But here are some of the few... enjoy...




We had to shelter underneath the B-17 for a bit during one of the moments of heavier rain. I told my Ma that it was her official initiation to the Geneseo airshow. In my opinion, you haven't experienced Genny until you've spent some time underneath the wing of a warbird to escape a deluge, strategically placed to avoid the inevitable myriad of steady drips and streams of water that come leakin' out the bottom...




Entering the hangar, we were immediately greeted by a big Hog...




And, to my delight, there was an old friend hiding behind the Hog...




Hows'about another look at her, huh?




As far as the HAG's normal residents go, I was eager to set my eyes upon the A-20...




...and the B-23...





My Mom thought that this was cute... this one's for you, Ma!




Caught this groovy view of the B-17 out the back end of the hangar...




And a few more. I wasn't fibbin' when I said I didn't take alotta photos... but, as usual, I tried to take a few lookers...





All photos: S.Donacik/BuffaloWingz


Fade to Black...



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