The Australian International Airshow has been run at Avalon over the past week, and finishes today. It is the largest airshow of its kind in the southern hemisphere and features not only displays and aerial shows for the public, but it is a huge trade and military exposition as well.
And a trip down memory lane.
I’ve wanted to go to the Airshow for years. From the moment we walked in I was hit with nostalgia. First up was the Air Force tent full of giveaways (seriously, I don’t know why I picked up the cheap pencils with RAAF rondel erases, but I have five). Then there was the RAAF dog handler’s tent, complete with 8-month-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois puppies, and aircraft, aircraft, aircraft – from tiny two seat trainers, through the new F-35 Lightening fighter jet, up to a Globemaster and B-52 bomber. There were also helicopters of all kinds, luxury jets, vintage planes, a Qantas 747, and a used-planes for sale section (I kid you not).
The aerial displays were good, on the whole. The NZ air force put on an incredible show with their Hercules, and to see the roulettes performing one of their last shows in the current P-9 aircraft, accompanied by four of their new planes, the P-21, was amazing. There were some large gaps (up to an hour) between performers, and that, coupled with the extreme heat (around 40 degrees and little shade) had us leaving a little earlier than we intended.
And the memories. My time in the Army Reserve and Air Force left me with some great memories, and though it’s been many years since I left it will always be an important part of my life, and of me. When you’ve been part of something special, it never leaves you. It influences my attitude to many things and plays a large role in my writing. The US military and law enforcement provide the background for my books, which flows onto many of my short stories, and will continue to do so.
Did I get any ideas for future stories at the airshow? What do you think?
Of course I did, but you’ll have to wait to find out what they were!
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