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ISSUE 279 - June 2013
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Geneseo: Merlins on Turf, Radials on Grass

By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Watford, Ontario, Canada

The beautiful C-47 in a pass during one of the Geneseo airshows.

In mid July, on a small grass, valley airfield in upstate New York, a gathering of assorted warbirds and classic aircraft will take place. Known as "The Greatest Show on Turf," the Geneseo Airshow lives up to its moniker year after year. It's a wonderful place to see an airshow and, for airshow photographers, it's a unique opportunity to photograph vintage aircraft on grass.

The Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter, foreground, and the Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a, behind, look fabulous on grass and offer a unique look at what it may have been like when these aircraft battled in the skies above France almost 100 years ago!

This years show will provide the airshow junkie and airplane enthusiast an exceptional line up of aircraft that includes two of the rarest flying examples of their type in the world. Of course, every warbird is rare in its own way and the prospect of seeing such rare aircraft at one airshow, on grass, is something warbird lovers shouldn't pass up.

If you have the opportunity to arrive first thing in the morning, you may get the chance to get some great static line shots of aircraft such as the C-47 at sunrise, left, or without people around aircraft like the "Jacky C" P-40, right.

Once known as 1941HAG, the museum has re-acquired the name National Warplane Museum and operates out of the longest, active grass strip in the U.S. Housing a relatively small fleet of aircraft, the museum continues to grow with one of its most ambitious projects being the restoration build of "Lucy Gal," a P-51B Mustang.

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's DC-3 Dakota will be one of two CWH aircraft at the airshow, left. The CWH Dak and the C-47 in formation during an event in Hamilton, Ontario, right.

Painted with D-Day markings along the inboard of both wings, as well as around the rear of the fuselage, the ever-popular C-47 will grace the skies honouring both those who were lost in the D-Day battle, and those who still survive today. Canadian Warplane Heritage will also have their DC-3 Dakota appearing at the airshow and, with any luck, you'll have the opportunity to see both aircraft flying in formation during the weekend.

Vintage Wings of Canada, out of Gatineau, Quebec, will fly their beautiful RCAF World War II fighter aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI, left, and the Hawker Hurricane Mk IV, right.

Vintage Wings of Canada will bring two of their World War II fighter aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI, painted with the markings of the Royal Canadian Air Force 421 Squadron, and the Hawker Hurricane Mk IV, painted with the markings of Royal Air Force 6 Squadron. These two iconic aircraft will thrill spectators with the sublime sounds of the Rolls-Royce Griffon (Spitfire) and Rolls-Royce Merlin (Hurricane) engines.

American Airpower Museum's B-25 "Miss Hap" on take-off, left and in a level pass, right.

Three B-25 Mitchell bombers, one from the American Airpower Museum, "Miss Hap," another from the History Flight, "Barbie III," and the third, "Georgies Gal" from the Liberty Aviation Museum will impress with the deep throated growl of their radial engines. During World War II, the two-engine bombers operated in an assortment of roles, including the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, taking off from an aircraft carrier.

Mark Murphy flying his striking P-51D Mustang, left, and the American Airpower Museum's gorgeous P-40 Warhawk, "Jacky C," climbing during an aerobatic display, right.

Mark Murphy returns to Geneseo in his beautiful P-51D Mustang, "Never Miss, as does the American Airpower Museum with their stunning P-40 Warhawk, "Jacky C." These two classic American World War II fighter aircraft are always a hit at Geneseo. History Flight, along with their B-25, will have their AT-6 Texan and their N2S Stearman at the show.

Adding a little noise and speed to the airshow will be the Aero L-39 Albatross.

Other World War II warbirds appearing at the show will be a Harvard Mk IV from Air Corps Aerobatics (John "Skipper" Hyle) and Charlie Lynch with his Grumman TBM-3U Avenger. Warrior Aviation will show off their speedy Aero L-39 Albatross jet aircraft.

Watching the airplanes of The Great War Flying Museum might have you singing "Those magnificent men in their flying machines..... " until the Red Baron is shot out of the sky!

The Great War Flying Museum will make the trip from Brampton, Ontario in their replica World War I aircraft including the Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a, Nieuport 28, Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter and Fokker Dr.1 "Triplane." Flying from grass will give the photographer a superb opportunity to get some fantastic period shots of these beautiful aircraft.

Two of the most beautiful aircraft of World War II, the de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito from the Military Aviation Museum, left (Photo courtesy Gavin Conroy), and the Avro Lancaster from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, right.

If these aircraft aren't enough to inspire you to attend "The Greatest Show on Turf" then maybe the appearance of two of the most extraordinary aircraft of World War II, the Avro Lancaster from Canadian Warplane Heritage and the de Havilland Mosquito from the Military Aviation Museum most certainly will. With any luck you'll have the opportunity to see these two aircraft in a stunning formation, possibly with the Spitfire and Hurricane from Vintage Wings of Canada.

Rob Holland will have your head spinning with stomach turning manoeuvres in his Extra 330, left. Flying his H Salto sailplane, Manfred Radius will leave ribbons of white in the sky, right.

For a change of pace from the warbird side of things, Rob Holland will perform a dazzling aerobatic display in his Extra 330, tossing the airplane around the sky in a performance that will make you dizzy and breathless at the same time. Manfred Radius will perform his own unique, but silent display, in his H 101 Salto "V-tail" sailplane. The Salto, trailing wingtip smoke, will create a ballet canvas of white smoke above the Geneseo turf.

The P-40 "Jacky C" in a beautiful knife-edge pass, left.
The magnificent CWH Avro Lancaster passes overhead, right.

If you've never been to Geneseo for "The Greatest Show on Turf" then this is the year you have to attend. If you've been before, plan to return once again, for Merlins on turf and radials on grass. Oh, and bring your camera... and your friends!

The National Warplane Museum's C-119 "Flying Boxcar,"
still wearing some of the markings of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

1941HAG/National Warplane Museum:

The beautiful lines of the CWH Avro Lancaster is only bettered
by the sweet sound of her four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum:

One of three B-25's appearing at the Geneseo Airshow, "Miss Hap,"
from the American Airpower Museum.

American Airpower Museum:
History Flight:
Liberty Aviation Museum:

Vintage Wings of Canada's Spitfire Mk XVI & Hurricane Mk IV in formation.

Vintage Wings of Canada:
Military Aviation Museum:

Rob Holland takes to the air on a media flight at Geneseo in 2011.

Rob Holland Ultimate Airshows:

Like watching a ballet in the sky, Manfred's graceful dance of the white ribbons.

Manfred Radius Sailplane Act:

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a replica taxies out for take-off at Geneseo.

The Great War Flying Museum:

The eye-catching look of the P-40 "Jacky C' looks as good on the ground
as she does in the air.


As they may have looked in black & white wartime photos, the Avro Lancaster, left,
and P-51D Mustang, right.


Don't miss "The Greatest Show on Turf," Geneseo Airshow, Geneseo, NY, July 12-14, 2013


By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer

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