Goodyear blimp touch and goes
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there is a California Dept of Forestry repair depot for their helicopters, OV-10 Broncos and the S-2 Tracker bombers they bought from the Navy (ooooold skool, like Korean War old school)
we've watched P-51 Mustangs, B-17 and B-24 bombers, and any number of other curiosities fly in and out of here. but until last week, i'd never seen a Blimp fly in and out, and do touch and goes!
the blimp was here for the first round of the March Madness basketball tourney, and was flying around the area for a couple of days. this day, they were doing a bunch of promo flights, landing occasionally and loading on another batch of lucky bastards. they made quite a few flights in and out, circling the field, doing touch and goes, and landing for another batch.
i know from various television shows that the blimp is pretty maneuverable, but i wasn't prepared for just how capable it was. the angles of approach and departure, plus the speed it could drop and rise amazed the hell out of me. i'm not sure about the angle of takeoff following the touch and go, but it had to be at least 30 degrees, and probably closer to 45 degrees. and from runway to about 500 feet up only took seconds. i would have loved to be sitting in that machine during the touch and goes. what a ride. and they pay those pilots money. just doesn't seem fair, does it?
for a look at all the photos in sequence from that day, check out my flickr set here
and one final note: HEY GOODYEAR BLIMP PILOTS!!! if you ever come back to this area, i'll trade you a cool and unique tour of the country's newest facility of this type, and even show you the blue glow in trade for a ride. no kidding! just think of the stories you will be able to tell your grandkids, looking down into the heart of a nuclear fire.... you won't be sorry. and just to make sure you don't feel like you've taken advantage of me, i'll downplay the coolness factor of going up in a blimp. just to save your feeling of course. oh, and i'll bring Donuts!