Text & Pictures: Chris Tonthat (an i2i Production) ©sbap 2021
    

The Northern Illinois Airshow at Waukegan airport took place on September 11 after taking a year off because of the pandemic. The one-day event featured mostly aircraft from the Warbird Heritage Foundation in addition to other private participants to fill the three-hour flying display.
The venue for this airshow was small but cozy. The main show center flight line and the connecting auxiliary flight line were opened to up-close viewing of the aircraft before and after the flying display. People were able to roam and talk to maintenance crews and pilots, and really get to know about the aircraft and the people behind those magnificent flying machines. When it came to showtime, the spectators were asked to move back just about three aircraft lengths away from the show center flight line to allow aircraft movement and enjoy the airshow. At that distance, one can smell the exhaust, feel the propeller wash, and experience the hot jet blast as the aircraft were going by and turned from the flight line toward the taxiway. What could be better than that?
Altogether, it was a day filled with warbirds from World War II to the Vietnam era. The well-maintained aircrafts looked like they just rolled off the assembly line yesterday, and they were glorious to see both on the ground and in the air. From the rare examples to the more abundant warbirds, even with a few participants cancelling out at the last minute, the 2021 Northern Illinois Airshow was still a success and well worth the $15 entry fee!

  
The show commenced with the Star-Spangled Banner dropping in from above
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Remembering 9-11 twenty years later
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In honor of the sacrifices made by the firefighters nationwide
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Dragon's Fyre Jet Truck screaming down the runway to represent the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
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Warbirds executing the missing man formation to commemorate 9-11
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The tails along the show center flight line
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Showing off Naked Fanny
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An airworthy T-2 Buckeye
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A Douglas A-4B Skyhawk
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Skyhawk being fueled for the show
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North American AT-6D in USMC livery
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North American T-28C in a US Navy livery representing VT-7 'Eagles'
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Grumman designed TBM-3E Avenger
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'Ida Red' Avenger mixing it up with the 'Naked Fanny' Skyraider
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Built by General Motor in 1945 and served as BuNo 85882 in the US Navy
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Avenger with wings fully deployed
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Transforming the wings to a smaller footprint
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Wings fully tucked in
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Naked Fanny ready to roll
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Unfolding the wings
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Something about the Skyraider that is just so right!
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A classic Skyraider pose in the air
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L-39s taking off in two-ship formation
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The Hoppers demonstration team
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The colorful one of the four Albatrosses on the team
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Cessna L-19 Bird Dog
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Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
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How about this DHC-1 Chipmunk?
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Buckling up the helmet getting ready for the flight
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North American F-86F, S/N 52-4986
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A smooth takeoff from KUGN
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Low pass in a left bank over the runway
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Returning to show center flight line
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A Shooting Star takeoff
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Technically a licensed-built Canadair T-33, S/N T33-556
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Face-to-face with a Shooting Star
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Representing a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star operated by the Texas ANG in the 1950's
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No airshow can be complete without some flipper actions...
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Skyhawk and Buckeye ready to roll
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T-2 Buckeye taxiing along the ramp
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Buckeye tangling with Tweety Bird, two purpose-built jet trainers
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One of two civilian-owned Buckeyes still flying in the world
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A head-on look of a North American T-2 Buckeye
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Cessna T-37 Tweety Bird was the smallest but loudest jet on the ramp!
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A rare and airworthy T-37
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Tweety Bird posing in a gentle left bank replicating an A-37B Dragonfly operated by the 524th FS of the RVNAF from Nha Trang AB
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Replica P-51D 'Moonbeam McSwine' Mustang, S/N 44-14237, of the Blue-nosed Bastards of Bodney
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Flown by triple-ace Capt. W.T. Whisner Jr. assigned to 487th FS, 352nd FG
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Imagining a victory roll
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Skyhawk rolling out for the performance
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Painted as an A-4C Skyhawk flown by LCDR T.R. Swartz of VA-76 'Spirits'
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Representing the only US Navy Mig-Killer Skyhawk that shot down a Mig-17 on 01-May-1967 using dumb Zuni rockets
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Flying fast and low approaching show center
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Sneaking up behind the crowd
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Corsair deploying the inverted gull wings while rolling on the ramp
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This is a Goodyear-built FG-1D of the Corsair series
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Newly restored and first flown on 09-Mar-2021 representing a Corsair served in the 1950's at NAS Glenview outskirt of Chicago
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Corsair and Skyhawk - US Navy legacy flight
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The finale of the airshow with the Skyhawk and Corsair breaking left and right
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FG-1D landing at KUGN after the show
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Skyhawk safely returning to the ramp after its performance
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See you again next time!
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