No, it’s not the Gay Military Acquisition System or the Ghastly Mostly Absorbent Seatbelt – it’s the Great Minnesota Air Show.
The Navy’s Blue Angels were the main event, and put on a great show as usual. My favorite part is the “tactical surprise” or sneak pass (done by the Thunderbirds as well), where the crowd follows the four-ship flight, only to be ambushed by one of the solo planes, approaching right at the edge of the speed of sound. (This video gives you an idea – flying that fast, you can’t hear it coming).
But the real show-stealer was the F-22 Raptor, a plane whose performance is so extreme that it might as well be science fiction. It did maneuvers matched only by the little aerobatics planes: things like flipping over in midair (!); full performance turns inside the space of the airfield; standing the craft virtually on its tail and flying forward at only 90 knots; and a vertical climb that ended in a dead stop in midair, followed by sliding backwards before flipping into a dive.
It’s mind-boggling to write about it and even more so to see it.