The Lincoln Air Show, Nebraska

lincoln air show P38
For my money, one of the most beautiful planes to ever fly, the World War II fighter, the P-38 Lightning.

I'd never been to Lincoln when it wasn't football season. So I was cheered to find that the weekend we had chosen to visit was the time of the annual Lincoln Air Show. I like the whole idea of cool airplanes and visit aircraft museums whenever I can.

So, a show where these planes are actually flying is ecstasy beyond even a sold out Big Red Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

Excuse me while I geek out, but I spent my youth, and even some of my young adult life, building model airplanes. I even got sort of good at it before I lost interest. However, I've never lost interest in the planes themselves, and the Lincoln Air Show was even more special than most. Because, for the first time, I was going to get to see my favorite plane of all time, the P-38 Lockheed Lightning, fly. It's a strange looking plane with two fuselages. And, compared to its contemporaries, like the P-51 Mustang, it looks rather odd.

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But beautiful in a time-honored sense. And unique. And the classic antithesis to the ultra sleek F-22s and F/A-18s of today.

I should also mention the P-38 was deadly. The top three American aces in World War II flew P-38s. And it was a squadron of P-38s that shot down the plane carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the man who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was sort of hoping for some sort of dogfight reenactment at the Lincoln Air Show, but I had to content myself with just watching it glide by. A beautiful sight.

Here's a gallery of shots from the 2016 Lincoln Air Show.

Lincoln air show f22 P38
The Lightning then teamed up with the newest operational American fighter, the F-22 Raptor. Note the size difference. You need a big frame to carry all that engine, I guess.
lincoln air show Japanese zero
The show started off with a plane I've seen on the ground, but never in the air: a Japanese Zero, from World War II.
lincoln air show zero P51
Following the Zero is the iconic World War II American fighter, the P-51 Mustang.
lincoln air show f22
The Raptor made a couple of high speed passes, including turing hard enough to make flame come out of its engines. Loud. Very loud.
lincoln air show blue angels c130
The stars of the show were the Navy Blue Angels, but before the fighter jets took the stage, we were treated, believe it or not, to some pretty fancy flying by their equipment transport plane, a C-130. You should see these things do the steep “combat” takeoffs and landings. Scary.
lincoln air show blue angels 1
The Navy Blue Angels were the finale, and the tricks these guys can pull off in their F/A-18s were never ending.
lincoln air show blue angels 3
Sometimes they just made pretty patterns in the sky.
lincoln air show blue angels closing pass
Sometimes they passed very close to each other at a closing speed of over 1000 miles per hour.
lincoln air show blue angels inverted
A few times they shot by at 500 mph while taking turns rolling upside down.
lincoln air show blue angels close
But the scariest trick of all is what they opened with, when the Blue Angels passed by at high speed, and it looks like they're almost touching other. How the hell to they have to guts to do that? Of course, if you have the guts to get in a fighter plane in the first place, this is just part of your day.
lincoln air show blue angels 4
Zoom, zoom. Lots of fun.

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2 thoughts on “The Lincoln Air Show, Nebraska”

    • Thanks Scott. Lots of exposures and you’re bound to get something. Next time though, I’m taking a tripod and much longer lens. I was using a 300 mm and could have used something twice as long.


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