With the 2010 Reno Air Races less than a month away (September 15-19) I figure it's a good time to look back at a cool moment from the 2009 event. Even tho this CoolPix isn't from any of the racing, it is from the airshow part of Reno. It's also kinda special since they told us the Blue Angels were only going to do one more show after Reno with Fat Albert, their Lockheed C-130 Hercules support aircraft, demonstrating the supercool JATO big-kick-in-the-butt takeoff. It turned out to be a great opportunity to get a fab pic with the clear blue sky and the mountains in the background. Plus, I was just really glad to get to see it as I don't think I'd ever had the chance before. They're still using Fat Albert, but the JATO shows are over forever now.
Apparently the JATO rockets are in short supply these days as they really aren't being used like they were back in the day when many military aircraft would eat up massive amounts of runway while belching enough smoke to give an environmentalist an instant heart attack. In fact, if you can handle looking at high pollutin' beasts from the past, check out the CoolPix of the B-47 JATO - it's crazy! NSFEW (not safe for environmental wackos)
Anyway, it was a wonderful treat to watch Fat Albert spew fire and make some sweet noise at Reno last year. I'm hoping to be able to make the trip out west this year too, which would be great because the Canadian Snowbirds are scheduled to perform. I haven't seen them in years, but I have loads of memories from the 80's when I saw them many times. Graceful, precision aerobatics with up to 9 airplanes in formation... go Canada!