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phasephantomphixer

Early Aircraft Inspiration from where you grew up?

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I still remember the P-3 Orions with the stinger tails from Moffet Field when I was 3. But grew up near Beale AFB' pattern with sights of white T-38's in chase with the SR-71, U-2's, and like clockwork, hearing two KC-135Q's at 2:10 am (Learned that they refueled the SR over Idaho). Now they fly the Global Hawk out of there. Only thing that hasn't changed is the U-2!

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I grew up not all that far from RAF Wittering and Cottesmore, so back in the day, Tornado's and Harriers were a constant, especially as where I lived was a low flying area. Because of that, there was always a smattering of A-10's, F-111's, Phantoms, Hercules, Jaguars and Buccaneers. Also had Coningsby just up the road, so the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight was fairly common. As well as heading over to the wash to watch them all beating up the gunnery ranges there. Where I found a bomb, just the top half of and empty one with a parachute, no idea what it was.

My nan lived down near Alconbury, and we used to go and watch the TR-1's/U-2's doing their thing, plus, being near to Duxford, there was no telling what one might see.

Happy days those, memories of being in Derbyshire and looking down from a cliff at two Phantom FGR.2's at low level come streaking out of the mist in a roar of noise and spectacle. Would have been about 1982 I suppose. I damn near wet myself.

Not to mention the never to be forgotten sight of an RAF Hercules at about 100ft, with 1 engine on fire, right over the house, heading to RAF Cranwell for an emergency landing.

EE Lightnings, although coming toward the end of their service, were still a common sight, and a constant at airshows and the like.

So yeah, inspirational certainly, indeed, my very first word was "plane", uttered from my puschair as a vulcan flew over low enough to cast a shadow over our back garden.

Those were the days eh?

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Back in 1979 at the young age of four my dad took me and my brother who was seven to the local Abbotsford International Airshow in British Columbia. I have never missed one since then and even to this day I book my holidays around the second weekend in August which is when the annual show is held every year. My wife doesn't exactly like the idea of some of my holidays going to airshows but she knew what she was getting into before we were married. So I guess my inspiration for aviation would be my dad because without him taking me with him to the airshow I probably wouldn't have become the aviation fanatic that I am.

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I grew up in OC, California with MCAS El Toro being the largest 'close' base ... NAS Los Alamitos was still in full operation when I was a kid, March AFB was a nearby drive as well as George, Norton and Edwards being a bit further ... NAS Point Mugu was about an hour and a half up the coast ... NAS Miramar was about 2 hours down the coast ... My family would attend nearly all of the annual base open houses so it was a busy season back in those days ...

My brothers and I would go spotting at El Toro frequently after my older brother moved out that way in the 80s ... Fun times .... So, F-4s and A-4s were always my favorites in those days ...

-Gregg

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Castle AFB.....B-52s and KC-135s filled the air....

.....that'll leave a mark on ones soul

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My hometown is located near Schiphol(Amsterdam) airport with the 6th and newest runway 36L/18R being so remote from the actual airport I can reach it by bicycle to look at departing and arriving traffic. I remember the old Northwest Airlines DC-10's which are now out of service.

The nearest air force base is quite a distance from where I live (as far as we have large distances in this country) so I have never been attached to military aviation and I actually think it is quite a pointless business. Sometimes I build something military because I like the aircraft type but overall I'll just do civil subjects.

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I remember as a child living near RAAF Edinburgh and regularly seeing P-3C Orions, F-111C's, F/A-18A's and Mirage IIIE's flying over our school yard. Just got me so excited to get home and play with my models and do lots of drawings. :rolleyes:

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Well, I grew up 20 miles from the nearest aiport, and 50-75 miles from the nearest military airbase. However my obsession with aircraft (particulary vintage aircraft) was really kicked into high gear in 1976 when I was 12, and a Ford Tri-Motor visited our "local" aiport, and my dad bought me a ride (for the princely sum of 12 dollars.)

SN

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I grew up near Selfridge ANG and I can remember the F4's and A7's flying over head everyday I even remember riding my bike over to the runways and watching them take off and land every weekend

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Cannot remember any aviation related inspiration for my first 5 years in England, BUT, when we moved to Canada we lived initially in Belleville. This is just up the road from CFB Trenton and the family that live on the first floor of the house was military. He was a Vampire pilot at the base!! Naturally when the first Base Airshow happened after we moved there, well I pushed to go!! This '58 and we saw the Golden Hawks plus all the other stuff that would come for the show, good times.

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The street I grew up is situated pretty much under the approach for the Moncton Airport (now Greater Moncton International Airport), so I got to see all kinds of neat a/ growing up in the 70's. One of my earliest memories is seeing an Easter Provincial Airways DC-3 on final while my friend and I were playing on his swing set. I was about 4. I thought he was crazy when he told me there were people in that thing.

Wasnt uncommon to see all kinds of military and civilan aircraft, even today. Saw Argus's and Dakotas on a regular basis, once in a while we'd see Voodoo's out of CFB Chatham or the odd CT-133, DC-8s, DC-9s and DC-10s from Air Canada, DC-3s from EPA and CP-Air, as well as the 737's that eventually replaced them. Im sure there were others but these are the ones that stand out from my childhood.

We've had some pretty big a/c land here on occasion too... In the late 80's, the French Prime Minister Francois Mitterand (before he became president), made an official visit to the city and came in an Air France Concord. In the late 90's, our city hosted an international Francophone summit so there were VIP aircraft from all over the world. president Clinton was rumored to be coming but didnt, would have been cool to see AF-1. September 11th of '01 we hosted about 14 international flights after the air spaces were closed. I forget when this happened, but we had a C-5 Galaxy make an emergency medical stop when one of the passengers had a heart attack. And more recently, some 747 charter flights from Corsair were making regular stops here.

And that is why I am a wing nut. :wacko:

Edited by Charlie Cheetah

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During my family's time at Gander Nfld. Voodoos and Vuclans would often come by and make some serious noise. That's when I was less than 4 years old. Now and since being in Kingston we don't get many interesting visits from the air. Hornets a few times a year, and the C-17s make practice low level approaches every few weeks. They just don't make enough noise, just block out a lot sun.

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Grew up in the 1970's very close to the Farnborough Airfield (Home of British Aviation & site of the Airshow). Was still a Ministry of Defence research establishment back then so got to see what felt like all and everything from a young age. The Viggen at the 70's Airshows is possibly my greatest aviation memory from my formative years ...just the unique shape and sound.

Vulcans in anti-flash white I was lucky to see on ocassion (can still remember one of my earliest memories being the everyday sight from my bedroom window of a Vulcan, De Havilland Comet and a Boeing 737 (???) that the airfield fire brigade used for training purposes.

The Airshow provided glimpses of the weird and wonderful ...I guess I've seen more types than I can put a name to now and the advantage of living locally was that I would get to see flying the types that were not on the official flight program for the show: SR-71 Blackbird, Rockwell B-1, Fairchild Hawkeye and the Northrop U-2 come to mind.

The 80's saw the advent of the Russian types ...Migs & Sukhoi's. But again it was the unexpected that proved most memorable: I still remember the Antonov 124 that "blew" an engine on take-off and the replacement engine that arrived on an Antonov An-22. The Yak-141 "Freestyle"(?) that melted the runway and being amazed by the apparently dangerous landing speed of the Mig-21!

But I am at heart fondest of the WWII Aircraft and I feel privileged to have seen Spitfires many times. I was an Apprentice at Farnborough when the son of local businessman Charles Church (who had tragically been killed in an accident while flying one of his Spitfires shortly before) did a memorial flight in a Spifire as tribute to his father. I was lucky that day to see a Spitfire really pushed to the limit of it's performance.

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From the age of about 8 I remember a constant stream of USAF and USN aircraft over my house and school, C-130s and KC-135s being very common, also VT-29/C-131s, C-117s and many more. But I've never lived anywhere but England. How so?

Grew up not far from Mildenhall. Fond memories of open days there, and also at Lakenheath and Bentwaters; Wattisham too where I got my fix of Lightnings which were based there at that time, 29 and 56 Sqns iirc. Mildenhall air days had a unique aroma, a heady mix of burnt jet fuel and barbequeue.

1974, I was "on the fence" to see the SR-71 arrive after its Farnborough vist. Impressive!!

Happy days ...

Edited by MikeC

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My hometown is located near Schiphol(Amsterdam) airport with the 6th and newest runway 36L/18R being so remote from the actual airport I can reach it by bicycle to look at departing and arriving traffic. I remember the old Northwest Airlines DC-10's which are now out of service.

The nearest air force base is quite a distance from where I live (as far as we have large distances in this country) so I have never been attached to military aviation and I actually think it is quite a pointless business. Sometimes I build something military because I like the aircraft type but overall I'll just do civil subjects.

Can certainly see the influence you described. I currently work Civil A/C and funny to read comment of military A/C as my hobby friend feels the opposite of building Civil kits! Personally, I build both and they each have their challenges. I will add that Military reach the pinnacle of Aviation technology, and are a most effective weapon.

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I doubt there was much influence from the airport or airbases. The only airport that was within driving range for my parents was YVR. And living in Maple Ridge growing up, it wasn't all that often. Most of my inspiration came from hanging out at the hobby store and looking at the models. The "oooh, that looks nice, maybe I'll build one..." albeit, it looked like crap at the end of the build. :( Sure wish I could have those models back fresh in their kits.

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It was near constant for me growing up. We lived in Strachur, Scotland just up the hill a bit from loch fyne. The RAF would come down the glen and scream along at low level over the loch all the time. We'd see just about every thing that was in service in the late 80's mostly Tornados and buccaneers though.When we moved to the states we first ended up very near to NAS JAX so we would see the p-3's all the time, then to Coco beach where we would drive down to a wee patch of beach just on the other side of the wire from Patrick AFB down in satellite beach and watch the c-141's and very early arrivals of c-17's. Being close to military fields ended about the time I was 13 we moved up to the Baltimore area I work very near(like a mile and a half away) from the end of BWI's runway now and the shops old location was close enough to joint base Andrews that I saw the 1st Heli on a near daily basis and could see airforce one low and slow enough to make out the writing on the side.

Cheers,

Rusty

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I was born in Akron Ohio, grew up there unitl I went to college. I grew up with the fuselage of a 1937 Faichild 24G in my garage. Got to play in it most of my life. In fact I got my A&P so that I could restore it. Never had the time and money at the same time.

Mom and I took dad to work at Goodyear Aerospace every morning till 1962 when we finally bought a second car. So I grew up looking at the Goodyear airdock and terracruiser trailers for Mace/Matador missles. And I watched engines being test run for USN Blimps in the test shed south of the Goodyear plant

Dad was also a Pilot so I was in flying planes since I was 6 months old.

My two youngest aviation memories were of the Thunderbird F-100's buzzing us at what seemed like 50 feet over our our little leauge field. And watching a C-133 make an approach over our home into Akron Municiple Airpor (KAKR) to pick something up at Goodyear.

Didn't step foot on a military base till in High School, went to the USAFM in 1971. Joined ROTC in college in 73. Retired from USAF/USAFR in '98 working on the entire KC-135 fleet that whole time.

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Well, I grew up 20 miles from the nearest aiport, and 50-75 miles from the nearest military airbase. However my obsession with aircraft (particulary vintage aircraft) was really kicked into high gear in 1976 when I was 12, and a Ford Tri-Motor visited our "local" aiport, and my dad bought me a ride (for the princely sum of 12 dollars.)

SN

Any chance that was the Island Airlines Tri-Motor? I would visit my grandparents on Lake Erie, and we'd go to the local airport and watch it take off to bring visitors to Put 'n Bay.

I grew up in Syracuse and remember A-37's, A-10's, and F-16's from NYANG along with F-106's and B-52's from Griffiss.

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Lived in Chester Pa from 1937 to 1942. Wasborn outside Atlantic City NJ, lived there my first year. Remember being taken past PHL airport and seeing a P-4o warming up near the fence. Also remember an autoguro landing on market St in the middle of downtown Chester. Used to go to Atlantic City almost every weekend, and remember Usn aircraft at the municipal airport there. They were Green with Gray bottoms. This was prior to the USN Airbase being built at Pomona, NJ. In Spring of 42, moved to Brockton Ma. used to see large formations of bombers heading overseas from Westover AFB, Naval airplanes from NAS Squantum, and blimps from NAS S Weymouth. Summered at Humarock Ma, on the beach one summer, and the blimps would descend to about 25 ft over the beach, the sailors waving at us all.(We kids would think how great it was that they waved so wildly at us, didn't occur to us that the attention was toward our mothers in their swim suits.) Hal

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Grew up a few miles from Randolph AFB in San Antonio. Remember watching T-38's and T-37's overflying my house all the time. And of course during the airshows I had everything you could imagine overfly the house. I also saw a lot of C-5's from Kelly AFB as well.

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I grew up with A-10s from the Connecticut ANG base out of Bradley buzzing my house. Then we had the hogs flying over my uncle's house in the Adirondacks, where I spent time almost every summer. Always fun watching them hug the mountains around the lake.

The original POW/MIA balloon was also owned by a guy a few streets away from us, and we'd often have him fly over the house.

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Back in 1979 at the young age of four my dad took me and my brother who was seven to the local Abbotsford International Airshow in British Columbia. I have never missed one since then and even to this day I book my holidays around the second weekend in August which is when the annual show is held every year. My wife doesn't exactly like the idea of some of my holidays going to airshows but she knew what she was getting into before we were married. So I guess my inspiration for aviation would be my dad because without him taking me with him to the airshow I probably wouldn't have become the aviation fanatic that I am.

Much the same with me. My dad took me and my older brother to our first Abbotsford Air Show in 1970. I really do not remember it. But by 1973 I can remember every Abby Air show. 1973 was the year CF-101B Voodoo 101019 exploded at the show during the end of the 4 ship display 409 sqd. put on back then.

The aircraft that most inspired me as a wee tot were both the CF-104 Starfighter and the AVRO Vulcan. But I've seen many a cool plane over the decades of visiting the Abbotsford Air Show.

For prop jobs I LOVED the show Blacksheep Sqd on t.v. in the 70's and FELL IN LOVE WITH THE CORSAIR!

As to the Abbotsford Air Show, its halcyon days were from the late 1970's through to the mid 90's. Sadly it's just not quite the same anymore. Bureaucratic paranoia over a a VERY MINIMAL possible accident (esp. the bureaucratic lunacy of such on Thursday fly in day), fewer cool military aircraft and seemingly harder to get variety of civilian acts, well it's still a MUST SEE EVENT FOR ME but not quite the same as back in the day... TOO BAD! :(

Edited by Les / Creative Edge Photo

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