Leave it to the Swiss to breathe new life into the airshow. First, they don’t call it that. It’s an Air Force practice open to that portion of the public willing to climb to ~7500 feet to watch planes and helicopters fly through a mountain range, firing live ammunition at targets placed on the rock walls. They’ve taken an event popular all over the world and Schweizenated it in their own particular … idiom.
Here is the Patrouille Suisse flight demonstration team in action from the recently concluded AXALP 2017. It’s a 360-degree video. Click and drag on the screen to see all angles. I don’t know how they did it but it is impressive.
As a teenager, I was privileged to see him fly his Shrike Aero Commander at a Northern California airshow. As an adult, I got to see him at an event in his honor at Torrance Airport. Robert Hoover, the pilot’s pilot and long-time South Bay resident, passed away today in Torrance at age 94. Rest in Peace, Sir.
I got a copy of the SR-71 Pilot’s Manual as soon as it became available in the early 1990s. It’s a throwback to the days of slide rules and handmade graphics and utterly fascinating. There is a lot of material on the Pratt and Whitney J-58 engine and the Lockheed inlets that powered the Blackbird beyond Mach 3 yet I have never been able to fully understand why and how that system did what it did. Thankfully, Blackbird enthusiast Tech Adams explains it all in his delightful video – The Mighty J58 – The SR-71’s Secret Powerhouse.