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2012 Air Shows
40th Anniversary of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Air Show, June 16-17, 2012 aka Hamilton Air Show
Location: Hamilton International Airport, Mt. Hope, Ontario, Canada
Admission: Adult (16 years & older) $30, Child (Age 6 to 15) $20 Kids 5 & under FREE, Member FREE, Flightline Club $100 per day, Ramp Pass $10 per day, Photo Pass $60 per day or $110 for both days, discounts offered on the web site.
Parking: Free off site with buses
Value: Very Good
The much anticipated 40th Anniversary of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) celebration with an air show started off on June 16th with an excellent weather forecast! The lineup for the event also looked very promising and included several rare and rarely seen aircraft in the Canadian skies. The air show to attend in Canada for a true WWII warbird enthusiast!
On June 16th and 17th, tens of thousands of fans arrived at the off site parking lots and were bused in to the grounds in a very organized manner, which was much improved from the previous show (so called warm up for this year’s) held in 2011. For those who had purchased a Photo Pass or holders of VIP tickets there was a special area to park on the airport grounds but they had to board a shuttle bus too, as the hot ramp and the actual air show grounds were separated by an active runway of the Hamilton International Airport. The commercial activity continued throughout the show, with very little interruption. Ric Peterson, the announcer, did a good job during these short intermittent breaks of getting the spectators involved, by doing “the Wave”, and cheering for the arrivals and departures.
The Hamilton air show is very family oriented, with something for everyone: kids activity area, lots of static displays from the Museum's collection, (2) A-10s from the USA, (1) C-130 Hercules and Harvard II from the RCAF, vendors who sell typical air show merchandise, refreshments and food vendors (with typical variety of hot dogs, burgers, fries all of which were very reasonably priced) and even a beer garden for those who enjoy a beer on a warm sunny afternoon. The line ups for the food were long 20+ minutes, perhaps more food vendors would be better for next year. There were sufficient sanitation facilities, although they could have been distributed slightly better.
The air-box corridor for the air show provided excellent viewing and photographic opportunities with a lens 300mm and up. For those who were interested in purchasing a Photo Pass, these tickets allowed the purchaser to get in to the show grounds one hour earlier than the general public, with hot ramp access to photograph performing aircraft and was well worth it. There was a special area set aside for the Photo Pass holders with refreshments available all day with light lunch served and an elevated trailer for better viewing of the runway. For the working media, a separate area was roped off, with free refreshments available.
On both days the show opened with a parachute jump by the Hamilton Sport Club from a Beech 18 Expeditor . The lineup of performers was excellent and included some of the Museum’s iconic aircraft: the Lancaster, Lysander, Fairey Firefly, B-25, Canso, but what most of the people came to see was the B-29 “Fifi” along with other WWII bombers and fighter planes. Unfortunately several did not show due to technical issues: the B-24 Liberator, Focke-Wulf 190, another Lysander and the FM-2 Wildcat. The actual flying lineup was still very impressive, with a collection of trainer aircraft taking to the air on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to the high winds on Sunday they did not fly, but were instead displayed in the static area. The flying continued with great bomber and fighter formations, which have never been seen in Canada before, or for that matter anywhere in the world: B-29, B-25 and the Lancaster flying in a loose formation escorted by a P-51 Mustang. The other highlights were the performance of the Hawk One Sabre jet piloted by Dan Dempsey, in formation with some of the fighters, and a great solo flight. Another great solo flight was performed by the Corsair piloted by Paul Kissman. The Snowbirds flew in the middle of the event; for a change they were not the closing act. There was a mock dogfight by WWI replica aircraft. The RCAF CP-140 Aurora was piloted by a future Snowbird pilot. The CF-18 Demo team did a high show and it was very notable. There were two civilian performers: Pete McLoud with his Red Bull Edge 540 and Matt Younkin with his Beech 18. Both had impressive performances with lots of smoke. The Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team performed to their usual high standards.
Overall the show was organized much better than last year, and most staff were very helpful. The 2012 Hamilton air show was the BEST in Canada so far for this year and it was well worth the visit for any air show enthusiast!
AirShowsReview would like to thank the all the people involved especially Al Mikeloff, Marketing Manager, David G. Roher, CEO of the CWHM, pilot for the B-25 and his crew, for their hospitality.
Participants were:
  • Snowbirds
  • CF-18 Demo Team
  • RCAF CP-140 Aurora
  • Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team
  • Matt Younkin with his Beech 18
  • Pete McLeod, with the Red Bull Zivko Edge 540
  • Hamilton Sport Club
  • Avro Lancaster MK X,
  • B-29 "Fifi"
  • B-17G "Chuckie"
  • Lysander IIIA
  • B-25J Mitchell "Hot Gen"
  • Dakota (C-47)
  • SB2C Helldiver
  • Fairey Firefly MK 6
  • Canadair Sabre HawkOne
  • FG-1D Corsair
  • P-51 Mustang
  • P-40 Kitty Hawk
  • Spitfire MK XVIE
  • plus many more...
Rating: 9 out of 10

Photography and report by AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC
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