Monday, June 22, 2009

Paris Air Show ( At last. . .)

After being waylaid by small red cars and colorful murals, I finally was able to shake myself loose and get into the grounds of the 100th Anniversary Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport, just north of Paris and south of CDG Airport. It seemed a little quieter to me than in some previous years, smaller crowds and not much really new on display, but it's always enjoyable if you are a bit of a romantic about flying machines to see what's happening there. This old Air France DC-3 is just the sort of plane to get my heart thumping, from another age. Can you imagine climbing into one of these and heading out across the Atlantic ?
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There was another DC-3 parked near the A380; highlighting the generation gap. It never ceases to amaze me how far mankind's technological prowess has led in the domain of aviation. Before questions like global warming took center stage. . . and rightly so.
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Don't know if this photo succeeds in conveying just how huge the A380 really is. . . that it can get off the ground at all is astonishing.
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And finally a nose view of a meaner sort of beast, an F35 ; something you don't want to see in your rearview mirror. . . It saddens me that almost from the beginning of aviation, when it really started to take off, so to speak, about a hundred years ago, people were looking for military applications. And now a hundred years on, vast sums are still being spent on finding ways to make killing machines like this one go just a little faster, a little higher, a little stealthier . . . while half the planet starves to death.
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22 comments:

English Rider said...

Makes me want to reach for a can-opener!

Laurie said...

Great photos, Owen. I loved the DC3 shots - great aircraft!
Laurie

PS try the Tattered and Lost Ephemera link on my blog list and check out the dick and jane book illustrations and read the accompanying story . . . It's titled forgotten child actors!

Paris said...

Oh, Owen! How cool!!!! Thanks for sharing. I am going to go to Paris some day! Yes, I am! =)

James said...

Cool stuff I'd love to see that show. I saw the Blue Angels but that was almost 40 years ago and I was very young.

desi said...

WOW, good shots Owen!

I was meaning to ask you if you also entered that Tarzan scream competition in Paris to win tickets for the Soccr World Cup next year?!
;)


:D

the watercats said...

Never been a fan of aircraft really, well, not the new thingies anyway, though I can see the beauty in their design. I used to live in R.A.F practice flight territory (Lincs in u.k), the jets used to come from nowhere and frighten the crap out of me.. Just before the second Iraq war kicked off there was suddenly a huge amount of flight practice going on, through the night too, that alone was indication enough of what was to come... planes scare me!.. Really nice shots though!

Not Waving but Drowning said...

I'm a spitfire girl.

Even the sound they make is wonderful,

GG

That is the chicken said...

That A380 is huge! I'd never realised how big they were before. The last shot of the fighter jet is very cool...looks very futuristic!

Margaret Pangert said...

To Paris above: With a name like Paris, you definitely need to go there!
There is so much majesty in these huge, powerful jets. What's flying overhead? Isn't there usually some kind of air demonstration? and is there any buzz about the Airbus?

Jenny said...

Hi Owen,

Those planes look like giant insects.

But then again, I am a bit fixated with insects at the moment because of a nasty tick bite.

Peter said...

I'm old enough to have experienced flying in the DC3's a few times! My first flight to the US was with a DC3 from Sweden to Iceland, where we changed to a bigger propeller plane ... and vice versa back! It was the cheapest way to get to NYC those days! Looking back, I'm happy I had this experience.

jeff34 said...

Et voilà ! C'est là qu'on regrette de ne pas avoir continué les études très très loin pour devenir pilote de tels engins ! ! ! Quelles sensations il doit y avoir quand on s'élève dans les airs aux commandes de tels appareils !
Je me fais ça demain avant de démarrer pour aller au boulot !Putain, je me fais le checklist ! Rétro - OK, ceinture qui f a it c hier - OK, le voyant rouge de l'eau... merde... encore allumé - OK, le moustique de l'été dernier splashé sur le bas du pare-brise, ( tiens il est encore là lui ) - OK, .... Je me vois bien tiens aux commandes d'un super oiseau comme ceux-là !
Ciao Amigo ! A bientôt !...;-)

louciao said...

I particularly like the front-on shots. The big white Humpty Dumpty face coming atcha. And the nose of that F-35 seems like it's piercing my monitor...hang on a minute...is that actually a bump on my computer screen? You'll pay for this Mr. Toad!

Steve said...

Whenever I see an aeroplane I always feel like an 8 year old kid again... they still bring out the wonder and amazement in me. My little 'un is showing signs of the same and will stop what he's doing in the garden to crane his neck up to watch a passing jumbo... it's lovely to see.

Rain said...

Hi Owen! Nice shots! That F35 looks like the bat-plane - or maybe just batman at the helm! My gosh that A380 is a beast! And I had to chuckle at the second photo because I can't ever imagine an airplane to be "quieter"...lol!

SP said...

Looks like a great day out! there are beautiful old aircraft. I'm not in Paris any longer unfortunately, though I have a couple more shots to post tomorrow... Hope you are well. Best wishes, SP

Owen said...

English R., the can opener might be useful, if there's any spam inside ! Can you imagine how many cans of spam would fit inside an A380 ?!?

Laurie, I did take a look at Tattered & Lost, quite a collection he has ! Bill & Susan are something else; looks like Bill is about to strangle that cat when Susan says "Stop!". Between TomB. photos and Tattered & Lost, those are two good blogs you've turned up lately... glad you are out there doing detective work !

Paris, Paris in Paris would be cool, do let me know if you decide to come over... :-D We'll get out the blog cake for you...

James, I suspect you'd like it...

Desi, Tarzan scream competition ?!? Not sure I'd be able to win, but you never know...

H2O Cats, I think I should have lived when planes had cloth wings and wood propellors, these metal contraptions give me the chills too. It seems almost impossible to me that the incredible technological chains required to keep all the parts in supply for all these vastly complex metal birds is sustainable... guess we'll see with time. It amazes me that things like the internet work too...

GG, Ahhhhh Spitfires... now that was an airplane. And the Hurricane. I was surprised to learn not all that long ago that Roald Dahl had flown in Hurricanes in WWII, before he started writing his childrens stories...

Chicken, the A380 is about as big as they come...

Margaret, they do put on aerial displays also, I didn't do any pictures because you need a telephoto lens about as long as your leg to be able to show the planes bigger than a flyspeck against the sky... I did see an excellent exhibition of acrobatic flying, and a glider doing very graceful swoops and turns...

Owen said...

Hi Jenny, been out in the swedish woods again hunting material for poems ? Ticks are no fun... :-(
But at least if he came after you, he had good taste... :-)

Peter, wow, that must have been quite a trip. Hope they let you out to look around Iceland a little, I would love to go there ! Liked you piece about Brassens...

Aahhh Jeff, oui il fallait aller plus loin dans les études si tu voulais quitter la terre pour monter dans les nuages et chercher les sensations fortes... j'adore par contre ta description de ta bagnole... il y a vraiment un moustique de l'été dernier ??? Faut la laver parfois les tires...
Ciao...

Hey Lynne, OK, I'll send your check back to you ! Sorry for the screen damage... it does look like it could come right out and bite... a positively evil looking machine. And it doesn't say "honk"...

Hi Steve, yeah, it's the old ones that do that for me. Funny how kids pick up on that, I think they sense our excitement. On the highway going down to Paris it goes right under the runways at CDG Airport, everytime a plane rolls over just above our heads I'm always saying to the tadpoles in the back seat... "Hey girls, look, there's a plane !" (as if they couldn't see it without my exclamations :-)

Rain, yeah, quieter AND greener... looks pretty white to me, but I may be getting a bit color blind what with my old age and all setting in... aaarrrggghhh.....

Hi SP, ah, so you hightailed it out of Paris ? Hope you had a great time here, I've really been enjoying all your photos, looks like you are pushing the limits of experimenting with exposures and shadows and moods... well, it works for me. Take care, I'll be curious to see where you're off to next...

AmyR said...

I would be excited and terrified to fly across the Atlantic in such a small plane. It would a good adventure to write about though. :D

Adam said...

I was at the show Friday too - but I was working! It was my first time there though, and what I find most interesting was not the technology but the crumbling 1930s architecture of the old airport. I'm preparing a post on it actually!

Owen said...

Adam, hey, maybe we crossed paths, although given all the people walking around with cameras of all descriptions attached to them, hard to spot the likely bloggers in the bunch ! If not indiscrete, what were you up to there for work ??? (feel free to use my email if you wish...)

Amy, exciting and terrifying, yeah, I think that is exactly what alot of the earlier years of aviation were all about...

Peter (the other) said...

From Santa Monica, home of the DC-3, I send Screaming Jets