Kinda missed the opening ceremony by a wee bit. Arrived to see them halfway through the performance. Apparently, they had the opening flyby by the A400 and some Hawks, some Sukhois and F-18s. Managed to catch a glimpse of it, though the majority were blocked by the MIEC building. Arrived to the roaring of jets. Here are some.
F-18 popping some flares
Super Puma doing an incredible loop
Flying away after the loop
One of the best things about being there early is the ability to snap and see aircraft without being blocked by anybody. Here's a Bell 429 with alone at the exhibition area.
Got myself an ultra-wide, and really love the effect it gives. You are able to stand so close, yet still be able to cover the whole aircraft. For those of you who are thinking of it, go get it - Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. It is light and the sharpness is very close to that of an L lens, and it is cheap. No regrets.
AirAsia Connecting ASEAN livery (9M-AHX) [Larger]
It's fun to have no barriers as you are not limited to how far or close you have to be. You could even go right below the belly of the aircraft. Sadly though, the aircraft wasn't opened for display. Would have love to get a tour up there.
Krisakti EA-300L up close (see what ultra wide can do?? :) ) [Larger]
There were quite a number of people present, most probably to witness the opening show, but still not over congested. Had time to walk around, and to get real close-up shots of the static display aircraft.
Aircraft there ranged from executive jets, to aerobatic stunt planes, to fighter jets to cargo planes. Next on the list were two Rafales, Rafale B and Rafale C, still covered up.
Dassault Rafale B (104-1C)
Not forgetting those from the neighbouring country, the Black Knights also paid a visit. 3 came but the performance was just a 2-ship performance. Here is Black Knight 1, still in the special anniversary markings from the Singapore Airshow back in 2014.
The F-16 was one of the last aircraft along this stretch during that time. What came in made me smile and grin. We arrived just as it was taxiing into the parking bay after the opening demonstration. The sound is just amazing.
Royal Malaysian Air Force A400M (M54-01) [Larger]
Obviously as soon as the engines stopped, a swarm of people gathered round the aircraft. I think they were wise not to lower the ramp completely as the aircraft would have been overwhelmed by visitors. Doors were opened, but access was not.
Belly of the Atlas
Unfortunately I did not manage to get a shot of the map of the display section like what I did during the Singapore Airshow 2014, but the layout was fairly straightforward. It was just the apron next to the runway. Here are some screen grabs from Google Earth.
Red square marks the outdoor display
Showing coverage of display with the MIEC (big white square above)
With all the shots taken, it was time to proceed (though honestly, I could have stayed the whole day there). Next up was the Maritime's Water Bomber.
Malaysian Maritime CL415 (M71-01)
Got a chance to explore the insides of the aircraft. Obviously, the first thing was to head to the front end of the aircraft, the cockpit. It was slightly elevated and had room for only the pilot and the co-pilot. A third person could stand in the walkway if they wanted to.
The water bulkhead doors are controlled by the switches you see at the tip of the steering column. Just a simple flick and gallons and gallons of water comes splashing down on the target area.
This next aircraft, CN-235 was the centre of attraction, no matter to the public or the crew. No, it is not one with special modifications or from a new operator, it was because of the portable air-conditioning system attached to the aircraft. The whole aircraft was cool and nice, which is a BIG PLUS in Langkawi's hot weather.
Another cockpit shot, CN-235
Also had the opportunity to open the cockpit windows and waved, like some pilots do...... to passers by who have no idea of what we are doing. But regardless, something fun to do. After what seemed like only a few seconds in the cockpit (close to 20 minutes), it was time to move on. We exited via the rear cargo door ramp which was half open, before proceeding back to the main display area, where all the jets were parked. Managed to get quite close to the J10 parked there as the crew were friendly enough.
Along the way, we had quite up close moment with various jets parked there, whether they are the static display ones or the aerial display ones.
RMAF Su-30MKM (M52-11) [Larger]
No Smoky Bandits this year for the LIMA performance. Wonder whether it has got to do with their retirement. This Sukhoi above was huge. One might say well put the A380 in and let's see who is bigger and so on. It is true, but for a combat aircraft, it is fairly large. Standing next to it gives you the feeling of how small you are with reference to the jet.
USAF F/A-18 Super Hornet [Larger]
Here with sunshades. Guess it would help a wee bit to prevent direct sunlight from hitting the instruments. Air inside would be extremely heated up though.
Continuing in another part.