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2011 Air Shows
Hamilton Airshow, June 18-19
Location: Hamilton International Airport, Mount Hope, Ontario
Admission: Adult (18-64) $25, Sr (65+) & Youth (13-17) $20 KIds (6-12) $15, Kids under 5 free, per day. Photo, VIP passes in limited quantities $75 to $100 per day.
Parking: Free
Value: Good
This was the first air show in a decade at the Hamilton International Airport, at Mt. Hope, Ontario. In many ways, it was a preview and a “dry run” of what is to come next year hosted by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the museum in 2012.
It wasn’t the typical air show one sees at most events; there was only one civilian performer, Bill Carter, in his Pitts S2S. The remainder were all vintage aircraft, apart from the Hamilton Sport Parachute Club skydivers who opened the event.
It was a good spectacle to see rare warbirds flying, many of them owned by the CWHM itself with others from the Military Aviation Museum, Vintage Wings of Canada, The Great War Flying Museum, and the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group from Geneseo, NY. There were several static aircraft from the museum’s collection as well static aircraft from the Canadian Forces.
While most of the vintage warbirds flew, some only flew for one lap around the airfield and landed right away. That was quite disappointing to many, including the persons who paid extra for the photo passes. The only real exception to this was the Corsair from Vintage Wings piloted by Paul Kissman, who put in the best solo performance of the day, and the thrilling display by the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team. There also was a short mock battle between WWI replicas. There were several formations flying: WWII bombers (2) B-17s with a B-25 Mitchell, (8) Harvards, and for the closing act, the Lancaster with P-40N Warhawk, FG-1D Corsair, P-51D Mustang, Spitfire Mk XVI, and a Hurricane Mk IV. Some of the advertised aircraft did not show up due to mechanical issues, which is quite common to any airshow.
The layout of the show wasn’t bad, it was split into three main areas: a static display area that turned into a hot ramp for the flying portion, the regular field area (left of the connecting taxi ramp) with static display of jets, and vendors offering souvenirs and food, and the right side of the ramp between the taxi ramp and the hot ramp. However, once the air show started around 2 pm, and the spectator crossed over to the right side of the field, they were locked into that area. The taxi ramp was blocked off due to aircraft movement for display. The photo pit and media areas were located in the right field, quite a distance to walk, and not necessarily the best for taking photos, especially of taxiing aircraft.
There were sufficient food facilities, water was priced reasonably at $1.50 per bottle, and sanitation facilities were plentiful and well distributed.
Over all it was a good dry run by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for next year, and to correct some of the small short comings for next year’s big anniversary event. For someone only interested in vintage warbirds it was spectacular!

Some of the participants on flying or on static display were:

  • Avro Lancaster
  • B-25J Mitchell
  • Westland Lysander Mk III
  • DC-3 Dakota
  • PBY-5A
  • Fleet 21
  • Fokker DR1
  • S.E.5a
  • B-17G Chuckie
  • B-17F Memphis Belle
  • Commemorative Air Force SB2C Helldiver
  • Harvards from Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team and Aircraft Association
  • Bell CH-146 Griffon
  • Lockheed C-130
  • Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King
  • CF-18B Hornet
  • CT-33 Silver Star from Jet Aircarft Museum
  • plus and many more...

 

Jet warbirds as static: CF-104 Starfighter

The Red Baron in the Fokker DR1
B-17G Chuckie
Paul Kissman in the Wintage Wings Corsair was spectacular!
Harvards
Rating: 7.75 out of 10
Report and images by Laszlo Nyary for AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC.
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