Imagine discovering a grassy airfield located in a beautiful valley. This airfield hosting over 80 aircraft, all lined up perfectly. Among the aircraft there are five Curtiss P-40s, four P-51 Mustangs, one Spitfire, one Hurricane, one Corsair, one Sea Fury, one Val replica, three C-47s, one B-17, six Stearman, T-6s/Harvards, Yak 52s, and many other aircraft including helicopters.
Sound great? Now imagine it is 7 am, you are standing there with camera in hand amidst absolutely breath taking scenery. You are left wondering if all this is real! For now you hear the sound of my steps in the wet grass but soon, the characteristic sound of the T-6s/Harvards will fill the air .
The day, Saturday July 12, 2008 is just beginning and I know it’s going to be busy one with non-stop flying. Arriving at the airfield, we feel the relaxed atmosphere and appreciate the freedom of walking around the aircraft. Officially, the doors open at 6 am and breakfast is served. Eggs, pancakes, orange juice and coffee are available for a small fee. It doesn’t take long for all the people to gather - veterans, pilots, organizers, volunteers, sellers, cooks, visitors and photographers. Everyone is there for one reason - aviation - the history of aviation, a happiness to share a passion for aviation, the air show!
And beware! At Geneseo, it is served royally!
Once conquered by the first surprises, namely the quantity and diversity of aircraft, wonderful hospitality and beauty of the site, what was quite appealing was the close proximity of the public to the airplanes. Throughout the day, you could move alongside and under the wings of airplanes and circulate between aircraft. I observed an audience totally respectful of materiel and safety.
Geneseo air show is the best air show I’ve ever seen so far. I am leaving the valley with a feeling of fullness. I am leaving with souvenirs, business cards, happy to have met new people and to have retied friendships with others. An air show that is worthy of a visit! "
Good bye Geneseo, and thank you !
Rick Volker of the Russell Aviation Group takes off during the "Greatest Show on Turf". Photo: Pierre Lapprand
The low angle of light offers beautiful effects and golden tones at this early time of the day. There are not many people around so one feels privileged to be able to stand alone with each aircraft. It’s not difficult to imagine a young pilot approaching his machine very early in the morning during the war, mechanics having worked through the night, the aircraft is ready. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
Once sworn enemies, a Chance Vought F-4U Corsair and Val replica. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
A line up of Harvards includes those from the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association. For now you hear only the sound of my steps in the wet grass but soon, the characteristic sound of the T-6s/Harvards will fill the air. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
A Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter replica from the Great War Flying Museum in Brampton, Ontario. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
The Red Baron in his his Fokker DR-1 Triplane flies again - not much more than one hour flying time from Carleton Place, Ontario, the hometown of Roy Brown, the RFC pilot reputed to have shot him down (apologies to our Aussie friends). This little Fokker is a replica belonging to the Great war Flying Museum. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
For the public, being under the wings of an airplane, protected them from the sun and also any sudden downpour that might occur. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
Gimme Shelter. The B-17 Memphis Belle offers shelter to her "little friends". Photo: Pierre Lapprand
North American SNJ
Dan Demeo in Curtiss P-40 M (front) and Mike Burke in the Curtiss P-40N warm up at Geneseo. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
Memphis Belle - a movie star B-17G modified to B-17F when used for the movie “Memphis Belle” released in 1990. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
Another peculiarity of the Geneseo air show are the trees near the runway. These givie dramatic shots when photographing the arrival of aircraft with a telephoto lens. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
The welcome mat is out for aircraft and fans alike. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
Dave Hadfield at the controls of the WACO Taperwing of Vintage Wings Canada leads a parade of biplanes. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
If you have any doubt as to whether the shark's mouth looks like a shark - witness this fierce and dangerous shark-faced P-40 - built in nearby Buffalo - just 70 miles away. Photo Pierre Lapprand
Hurricane XII and Spitfire IX from the Russell Aviation Group located in Niagara Falls. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
In the evening, in a final session of photography, there were moments of pure magic. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
Moonrise over Geneseo. This P-40 settles down for the night the last day. Photo: Piertre Lapprand
Several of these planes belong to history and being allowed to touch them is touching a part of our past. This was very moving for me. I think about the paratroopers who once boarded this very airplane, an authentic C-47 Dakota that participated at D-Day in Normandy - A one-way ticket to the hell of war. Photo: Pierre Lapprand
What a delight to see the inspiration passed on to the young. Photo: Pierre Lapprand