To get a good view of Addison’s annual Independence Day festivities, people arrive early to stake out a good Kaboom Town vantage point. Videographer Scott Slocomb does the the same thing many times over to give spectators a perspective on the show that few see first hand.
Stepping out the door of the C-47 with the Red River Skydivers provides an encompassing vista of all of Addison Airport. Watch the air show performers bob and weave their heads to keep their eyes riveted on essential visual cues on the ground that keep them on their show line as they roll, loop, and turn.
Peek at the air show performers practicing their routines on the ground, walking through each maneuver and flying their hands through a mental sky like conductors of the forthcoming aerial symphony. And the camera catches the spectators reactions, and the kids’ delight, at the performers mount their airplanes to turn practice into performance.
From the air, ground, and various mounts on their wings and tails, cameras capture the airplanes themselves, from the retired military aircraft still flying with the Cavanaugh Flight Museum to the air show performers. Landing lights glow brightly from the aircraft formations that escort day into night, and airplane-mounted pyrotechnics illuminate the night show performers, Dan Buchanan and Gene Soucy. Tethered hot air balloons glow in the night before the fireworks finale celebrates America’s birthday.
Developed at a time when faster swept wing jet aircraft were becoming prominent, the piston engine straight winged Skyraider filled a vital niche for the United States Navy, Marines and Air Force. Ed Heinemann of Douglas Aircraft Co. designed the Skyraider in response to a US Navy requirement for a carrier based long-range dive-bomber / torpedo attack aircraft. The prototype Skyraider first flew on March 18, 1945. The first production AD-1 was delivered in December 1946.
The Skyraider played an important role in the Korean War. Flown by Navy and Marine squadrons, this bomber was the backbone of close air support and ground attack operations. Its powerful Wright R-3350 radial engine and ample fuel load gave it a large combat radius, especially compared to jets of the period while its large straight wing and seven hard points per wing, gave it excellent low speed maneuverability plus the ability to carry a large amount of ordnance. In fact, the Skyraider could carry as much as a fully loaded, 4 engine, B-17 bomber! For the Vietnam War, the Skyraider again proved its usefulness flying ground attack support missions for the Navy and Air Force, and a new mission: Search and Rescue. Affectionately known as ” Sandys,” Skyraiders would fly to the location of a downed pilot and stay on site, laying down smoke, napalm, rockets and 20 mm fire to cover the rescue. Though the plane was never designed for air-to-air combat, Navy Skyraider pilots shot down two MiG-17 jet fighters, a further testament to its abilities. Douglas manufactured a total of 3,810 Skyraiders in seven variations. The AD-5 was a multiple crew variant with significant modifications. The fuselage was lengthened and widened to accommodate side by side seating for pilot and co-pilot as well as a crew / equipment compartment aft of the pilots. The engine was moved 8 inches forward and the vertical tail area was increased almost 50%. The AD-5 on display, Bureau No. 135152 was delivered to the United States Navy in 1955. It served with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron Twelve (VAW 12) from November 1956 through December 1960. The next assignment was with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron Eleven (VAW 11) from May 1961 through November 1962. It was retired from Navy Service in 1963. In 2008, the Cavanaugh Flight Museum added 135152 to its collection. The paint scheme is representative of AD-5s serving in the United States Navy.