'Cool things' at Cannon Air Show

Features were a performance by the Thunderbirds and a STEM pen.


May 27, 2018

Courtesy photo

Cody Machen supervises a weekend romp after hours at Hillcrest Park Zoo for "Dr. Doom," a Western Diamondback rattlesnake he caught about 10 years ago near Fort Sumner.

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — The 2018 Cannon Air Force Base Air Show Space and Tech Fest kicked off a weekend of flight, food and fun on Saturday with not much for attendees to complain about, other than the 95-plus degree temperatures.

Though much of the action took place high in the sky, one highlight on the ground was the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pen which featured some of the technological advances the Air Force makes use of like a mannequin that can bleed, sweat and cry used for medical training and a tent that showed what a pilot sees when they are up in the air.

"They were more interactive this time around. They had some really cool things," Marta Gill said of the STEM pen. Gill also appreciated the expanded food vendors and water stations from past years.

Of course the highlight of the day for many was the performance of the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron, known as the Thunderbirds.

The Thunderbirds showed off their technical prowess with a series of both high- and low-altitude rolls, passes and inverted flying, along with a climb straight up to 15,000 feet.

"First air show I've ever been to, I thought it was really impressive," Bob Jordan said. "The Thunderbirds (were my favorite), without a doubt. Just the formations and the G forces. Some of those tight turns, no doubt they had to be able to turn some serious G's."

"They made maneuvers I've never seen before," said Phyllis Harrington, who has attended previous Thunderbirds shows at Cannon.

Besides the Thunderbirds and their F-16s, the next most popular plane seemed to be the MiG-17 for its raw power.

"That little silver jet was pretty good," Jordan said. "It's basically just a rocket with wings."

"We only see those in the movies, so that was cool," Suzanne Reese said.

Randy Regner said she enjoyed, "the power of it, the sound, the look of it."

Additionally those in attendance had the chance to explore about 10 static displays of aircraft including the PC-12, F-16 and C-5.

"I think it's wonderful that they have all these different planes and you're able to go inside the planes," said Regner, who traveled from Chicago to visit her brother and planned her trip specifically around this weekend's air show. "They let you get in them and you can actually touch and see everything that's in there, old planes and new planes, it's just wow."

Reese came from Earth, Texas and said she never misses an air show at Cannon.

"It just revives patriotism. It makes you really proud of our country and what we're capable of," Reese said.

The event continues today with a similar schedule. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., with aerial performances taking place from 10 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m.


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