Review: Denton Airshow

Review: Denton Airshow

Review: Denton Airshow
June 15
22:35 2014

 Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

The constant, angry buzz of propeller blades was constant at the 2014 Denton Airshow held in the airport Saturday morning.

The grey sky seemed to smile sadly on the proceedings, but made it difficult to pick the planes up at any distance. The three-hour show featured performances from nine individual pilots and the Texas Twisters formation team.

The appeal of airshows had always been odd. They seem mostly targeted at plane and military enthusiasts, but the announcing is aimed at people who have no idea what’s going on. The man behind the mic repeats things like the names of the planes and the maneuvers they’re performing, but also frequently reassures listeners that the maneuvers are difficult.

It was a museum on the tarmac. Airplanes have only been used for warfare since World War I and the flightless guerilla forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have rendered manned planes much less important to modern war. The small, recent window of history means war planes from almost every period were on display, though there was a heavy focus on World War II.

It was also a museum in the air, featuring a P-51 Mustang and it’s WWII companion, a B-24 Liberator, as well as the MI-24 Hind, a Soviet attack helicopter that is still in service. Russia deployed 13 to Ukraine earlier this year.

The event’s climax was a thoroughly-scripted “showdown” between Adam Baker in the German-built Extra 330 and Curt Richmond in the American built Pitts Special. Baker and Richmond performed three maneuvers head-to-head with the audience judging. The first two were worth 20 points and the last one was worth 50, rendering the first two events completely worthless. It was pretty easy to see where the whole thing was going.

It’s not the most engrossing or unpredictable event. Planes fly, sometimes erratically, sometimes with dizzying acrobatics — Andrew Wright’s performance was particularly dynamic. At the end of the day, an airshow’s real worth is determined by the food it serves.

Feature Photo: Steve Afeman and Carl Best perform a sequence of two-plane stunts during the 2014 Denton Airshow on Saturday. Photo by Joshua Knopp – Senior Staff Writer.

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