Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cold War warriors

The Airshow was titled Legends over Madera and these two certainly fit the billing. Each was a warrior at time that saw a new breed of pilot taking to the sky in jet aircraft to wage war at altitude and speeds unheard of. These tow cold war warriors; the T-33 and the Mig1 7F shared their moment in the sun above the Madera runway.

Air traffic controller Greg Colyer flew his T-33 “The Ace Maker” while retired Air Force pilot Bill Reesman with 320 combat missions over the skies in Vietnam piloted the Red Bull Mig 17F at the show.

The T-33 is a two seat version of the F-80 Shooting star, the Air Force’s first jet fighter. The jet has a lengthened fuselage to make room for the second seat for the student pilot. T-33s entered service in the 1950’s to train Air Force combat pilots and are still used today by some countries. Of the 7,000 trainers built only 50 are left in the United States in the hands of private pilots and collectors.

Sponsored by Red Bull the Mig 17F is an after burner boosted version designed in 1952. The Mig17 was a Soviet frontline fighter and saw action in the skies over Vietnam with the North Vietnamese forces. Reesman’s Mig 17F was Polish built patrolling borders their for 25 years. The after burner equipped jet can reach speeds of 600 mph and can pull up to 8Gs in high-speed maneuvers.

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