We are back from the Dawn Patrol airshow. Highlights included
- Dogfights in the dawn's early light, performed by RC aircraft. They looked pretty real at that hour. You could tell them from the real aircraft flying later in the day in a couple ways: the RC engines sounded a bit less like something that might quit, and the real pilots, not needing to do so to save their lives in actual battle, did not do maneuvers as aggressive as the RC aircraft.
- Young boys getting hooked on the Wings of Glory WWI board game and the WOFF WWI simulator. Smart of airshow organizers to have a tent of activities for kids so they didn't have to listen to dads argue the details of a paint scheme on a WWI replica. Though whenever the re-enactors started firing guns, that's where the kids were.
- Lots of collectible books you could otherwise only ever find online.
- Dead grass around a SPAD-shaped shadow of live grass. Meaning, there was a lot of foot traffic from admirers walking around the SPAD to see it from every angle.
- Andy Parks hosted a round-table discussion by families of WWI pilots: Lufbery, Nungesser, Thaw (by conference call). D'Olive family also present.
- History talks from WWI specialists. Learned there about far-sighted (probably literally as well as figuratively) Princeton students learning to fly well before the US entered the war.
- Re-enactors showing off WWI surveying equipment, medical equipment, and uniforms. Map of where a WWI bicycle corps served, with names familiar to more recent soldiers: Kirkuk, Basra...
- WWI replicas flying (the kind that have the pilots actually in them, not flying by radio!) with gun sounds and muzzle flashes that got the crowd's attention.
More details in the email sent out to our followers. You can experience a previous Dawn Patrol trip in the video showing what it's like to travel across the Midwest with WWI Fokker fighter replicas designed for half-hour sorties: