Stunt pilots, military jets, classic warbirds go on display at Aussie airshow
Airplanes perform during Wings over Illawarra Airshow at Illawarra airport, about 100 km south of Sydney, Australia, on May 5, 2019. Death-defying stunt pilots, cutting-edge aviation technology and an array of classic World War II fighters are just some of the things on display at one of Australia's largest air shows. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)
by Levi J Parsons
SYDNEY, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Death-defying stunt pilots, cutting-edge aviation technology and an array of classic World War II fighters are just some of the things on display this weekend at one of Australia's largest air shows.
Held about 100 km south of Sydney, Wings over Illawarra will feature some of the globe's rarest aircraft from pre-jet era passenger carriers to anti-submarine destroyers.
"The 'Connie' is the only flying Constellation of any type in the world at the moment and probably the one that's got the greatest interest to people," senior tour guide Doug Philpott, from event partner HARS Aviation Museum, told Xinhua on Saturday.
"These were the premier airliner before jets became available. It's such a classic looking aircraft."
As well as being home to the first DC-3 ever flown in Australia back in 1946, HARS also has a flying World War II era anti-submarine Neptune.
"That's been in the museum the longest. It's been here since the late 70's."
First held in 2007 as a one-day event, the ongoing success has seen the airshow expand to two days.
"Last year it attracted 33,000 people," event organizer Kerry Bright said, adding that while the presence of modern Australian military aircraft like Black Hawk Helicopters, the C-27, C-130 and C-17 are a huge draw for visiting aviation enthusiasts, the biggest attraction is always the historic warbirds.
"Planes like these beautiful Kitty Hawks, Spitfires, Tiger Moths and the Mustangs. They're always really popular!" she said.
Although it can be exciting enough just getting an up-close look at the vast variety of aircraft on display, veteran fighter pilot Kris sieczkowski from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), will be taken things one step further, tearing through the skies performing death-defying stunts for the local crowd.
"Our display primarily is designed to try and showcase the handling ability of the aircraft, he explained.
"So a lot of it the stuff that we do although it's an aerobatic display, the maneuvers are quite similar to how we fly the aircraft in air-to-air engagement when doing 'dog fighting' and things like that."
"Our military aircraft we have are pretty amazing machines, he added. So it gives us an opportunity to hopefully inspire some of the younger guys around to join the air force."[ Editor: Liu Jiaming ]