It is interesting to note that with the decline in the economy visitors to air shows are paying more attention to antique and vintage aircraft than the brand new hardware on the ramps. At the Paris Airshow this weekend large crowds of people discovered, hidden among the shiny new military and civilian aircraft, some very interesting aircraft from World War I and World War II. Among the favorites for the French was the French-made Bleriot XI, a vintage World War I aircraft. This aircraft was first shown at the very first Paris Air Show in 1909, and the fragile old aircraft attracted crowds today just as in yesteryears.
Even more visitors were intrigued by an American aircraft, the venerable PBY5A Catalina flying boat displaying its beautiful lines in the shadow af a massive Boeing 777. This aircraft was a long-range recon aircraft and sub hunter which also performed air-sea rescures of downed airman during World War II. Closer to home, at the Olympic Air Show in Tumwater, WA more vintage aircraft attracted attention of show goers. A B-25 called the "Pacific Prowler" was a great hit. These were the aircraft that Dolittle and crew flew off aircraft carriers to conduct the first bombing raids on Japan in World War II. The mandatory stunt flying kept visitors eyes skyward as they watched Russian Yaks perform aerobatics, while others sat around with their own older aircraft like Navions and J-3 Cubs. Remember, this is the season for air shows, so find one and go to it - you won't be sorry. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Up there the world is divided into bastards and suckers. Make your choice. — Derek Robinson, 'Piece of Cake.'