Wednesday 11 November 2015

LIMA 2015 Part 05 (Day 1 of Exhibition) - Airshow - Props, Jets and more [Updated 20.11.2015]

Just looking at the dates and oh my, it has been close to 3 months since my last update. Lots of stuff have been going on, but I'm glad to say that we shall be moving on. 

To continue from the previous post right after the RSAF Black Knights. Krisakti / Aerotree was next, with one of the ship being piloted by our own Red Bull Air Racer. The solo performer in the Zivko Edge was out doing all sorts of maneuvers, many of which were tight turns, loops and more. 

Solo Zivko Edge 540 (N540WA)

I felt both the Reds (Extra EA-300L) and the White (Zivko Edge 540) complimented each other. While the Reds were sturdy, calm and synchronised always, we had the white to add the tanginess to the show. It would disappear for a moment before swooping in from behind the centre-stage area, wowing the crowds by pulling of sharp climbs.

The Aerobatic team was painted with the Aerotree on the top and the Malaysian Flag below. So whatever angle anyone is viewing them, they would see something.

Doing a vertical climb

Before performing a loop

Like other group performers, the show first started with the entire Krisakti group before they split and execute very close passes at each other.

Good thing about smaller planes like these at airshows is that they are slower and easier to track and follow, not to mention being able to lower your shutter speed for sharp shots to give the props the bluriness. However, with the size of the props, even a 300mm lens on a 1.6x crop body can have a hard time filling the entire frame while shooting from the apron. Future photographers of LIMA might want to consider using maybe >300mm or add a teleconverter for the added reach needed.

The reds made a flyby to signify their exit while the solo white came in at an angle to land on the runway at high speed. Awesome flying guys.

It was like a non-stop music playing for 2 hours with displays of so many different jets from different countries. This next one was what I only saw (heard of) on the internet and in games (Sky Target for those of you who know), the Rafale.

Rafale B (104-1C)

While this Rafale was a two-seater variant, it appeared that only one person was present in the aircraft during the display. From what we were treated, the Rafale was LOUD but its agility really stood out, even for an aircraft its size.

Glowing behind

Generating Vortices

I think if a video camera was rolling pointed at the audience, you would see their heads turning from left to right, then right to left, then up with eyes squinting away. Trust me, I know. I was one of them.

Low-Speed Gear-Down Flyby

And he's off again

With Afterburners engaged

Closeup with brighter shot of the belly

The pilot started with a bang, and it had to end with one too. Instead of coming in for an approach like all other aircraft (well except the Zivko), it flew along the length of the runway, invert itself while extending the gear, and pulling back on the stick to make a full 180 degree turn to touchdown on the runway. (now let me find the appropriate shots).

Braking on the runway

That is one large magnificent jet we had. The next one was much smaller but incredibly agile, nicknamed the "Viper". Equipped with fly-by-wire controls and designed to be somewhat aerodynamically unstable at lower speeds, it shows how much the jets have evolved with the heavy reliance on fast on-board computers. These changes help by reducing the weight and to improve maneuverability. Again, >300mm lens on a crop body is desired for close-up shots of such small fighter jets.

Generating vortices (92-3912)

(Photos from the other side would be much better)

Topside during high-speed pass

Honestly speaking, most of the acts of single jets are very similar to each other. You have the knife edge, the 4 direction (top, left, right, inverted) flight direction, low-speed fly-by and so on. 

Close-up of the F-16 after the performance. [Larger]

The close up above shows many features of the F-16, such as the bubble canopy, the air inlet (which always gives me the impression of a smiley face) and of course, the placement of the landing lights at the landing gear door.

The F-16 marked the end of the 2-hour long aerial display. Yes, 2 HOURS. Isn't that just great? But by then, it was already 2 P.M. and most of the crowd were already dehydrated, and sweating profusely. A few more shots and the tarmac and it was indoors for all of us.

Lineup of J-10s [Larger]

Qatar A319-133LR (A7-CJA) - Dropping / Picking up VIPs

Quite a number of business / corporate jets were coming in. The Weststar fleet of 727 and the helicopter, this Qatar and a Thai A320 CJ were among some of them coming in and out, in addition to Gulfstreams, and smaller private planes.No shots of the Thai CJ as the heat haze was terrible at that length.

A400 engine

So indoors, here we come. We planned to spend some time indoors, before leaving to see the maritime display. But by the time we left the expo, the jam was horrendous. So just indoors and a visit to other parts of Langkawi. Not much time was spent indoors though.

Magnetic levitation of a model helicopter

Gun display (with locks of course)

The helicopter display was cool, with it spinning from left to right and back to left again. Wondering why didn't I lift it up. The other thing was the rifle display, with some carbines and machine guns, with some very nice to handle with smooth using parts, and others not so well oiled.

That completes Day 1 of the exhibition. Most of Day 2's performances are the same, so will only add those shots that are significantly different.

Next post to come.

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