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

The first weekend of May 2021 brought Wings Over South Texas Airshow along the shoreline of Corpus Christi. The two-day event was supposed to be preceded by two days of practice. Unfortunately the weather did not get the memo and decided to rain on the parade. As a result, the scheduled practice days and the Saturday show were cancelled leaving a small chance of good weather approaching the final Sunday schedule. I took a chance with the three-hour drive primarily to catch my first FA-18E Super Hornet Blue Angels experience and my first look at the US Navy F-35C variant of the Lightning II family. It was well worth the Sunday drive as the sky opened up to a warm and beautiful partly cloudy day with a nice sea breeze to welcome all the flying displays.

Arriving a few hours before the show, I was treated to some last minute practice before the starting time. The sun was not favorable during the midday period but I managed a few shots of the F-35C and the Blue Angels rehearsing their routines. The event finally took place at 13:00 with little disappointment for the two-and-a-half hour experience. The air show included some nice flybys and some spectacular aerial displays ranging from the classic 'Phrog' to the new 'Reaper'/'Raven'. Missing from the Blue Angels' lineup at showtime was the #6 opposing solo but the five-aircraft team managed to put on a memorable performance to close the show and continue to celebrate their 75th anniversary.

 
USAF F-16 Viper Demonstration Team showing the top side of 'Venom'
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
...and the bottom side of 'Venom'
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Viper Demo aircraft: F-16C Block 50 S/N 94-0047
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
'Venom' adding a little flare to the 2021 demo routine
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
US Navy F-35C
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
F-35C BuNo 169303 flown by Strike Figher Squadron 125 'Rough Raiders'
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Two-ship performance by the F-35C demo team
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Making a high-speed pass
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
If only a sonic boom is allowed...
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Notice the massive wings and horizontal stabilizers of the F-35C
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Showing off a hungry belly of the 'Reaper'/ 'Raven'
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
The only airworthy HH-46 Sea Knight operated by the National United States Armed Forces Museum
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
'Phrog' hovering over show center stirring up salt spray
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
US Coast Guard HC-144B Ocean Sentry
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
US Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A pair of Dolphins showing their capabilities
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
P-3 Orion equiped with Airborned Early Warning (AEW) operated by the US Customs and Border Protection
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
P-3 Orion equiped with Long Range Tracker (LRT)
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
AEW and LRT Orions in formation
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A colorful MV-22 Osprey operated by USMC VMM-166 'Sea Elk'
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
47th Flying Training Wing T-1A, T-6A, and T-38C formation from Laughlin AFB, Texas
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
T-38C formation from the 87th Flying Training Squadron 'Red Bulls'
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
2021 Blue Angels flying next to aircraft carrier CV-16 USS Lexington
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
The Delta Breakout
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Section High Alpha exibition
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A tight Diamond formation
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Double Farvel formation
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Echelon Parade formation
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Fortus formation
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
#5 Solo performing Minimum Radius Turn circumscribing the fire boat
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
The Vertical Break
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Solo Pass from behind
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Four Point Hesitation Roll shows the distinctive LERX of the Super Hornet
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Sneak Pass from left to right generating the vapor cone
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Approaching Mach 1 screaming by the spectators
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)

Diamond Dirty Loop
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Sustaning a high-G turn
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
2021 celebrates 75 years of the Blue Angels with a special shield below the windshield
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
 

Reports Menu - Homepage