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Knight Writers

  • Feb. 16 is a Non-Student Day
  • Spring Break is Mar. 11-15.
The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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MacDill AirFest Is An Airplane Lovers’ Paradise

MacDill’s Airfest was enjoyable for both airplane nerds and curious spectators
Warbird+Thunder+show+off+to+the+crowd.
Photo Annabelle Bulger
Warbird Thunder show off to the crowd.

MacDill Air Force Base’s annual AirFest helps build civilian-armed forces relationships, inspire future generations of airmen, and shows the public exactly what their taxes are going towards; that’s exactly what it did on March 29 and 30.

Headlining the air show were the Thunderbirds, the Air Forces’ air demonstration team. Performing an awe-inspiring routine with a mixture of their iconic Diamond formation and solos, the Thunderbirds demonstrated the precision and teamwork required to be a fighter pilot and the power of the Air Forces’ signature aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. For me personally, the Thunderbirds were more than enough reason to attend.

Besides the Thunderbirds, a variety of different aircraft were flown throughout the show. From the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the F-18 Hornet, the KC-135 Stratotanker, to several other aerobatic aircraft, it was a treat to see the numerous aircraft fly and showcase their unique capabilities. A newer element to the show was the addition of pyrotechnics- not only did people get to see the aircraft’s airborne efficiency, but several recreations of attack patterns and bombing runs. One of the critiques of past AirFests was that they were too boring, but I feel that these new additions gave the performances more life by more accurately simulating how these aircraft are used in combat situations.

There was even more to do on the ground. People could go inside a C-130, one of our primary bomber and transport aircraft; get up close with A-10 “Warthogs”, one of the most successful ground-support and one of the longest servicing aircraft in the Air Force; see Blackhawk helicopters, the Air Force’s elite F-35s; and even vintage WW2 era fighters and bombers.

One of my favorite aspects of the ground displays was the opportunity to talk with the pilots of the aircraft themselves. Pilots and ground crew stick by their aircraft and are more than happy to tell you all about them, similar to how horse trainers speak about their horses. It’s neat to hear about their experiences and learn more about how these aircraft fly, even if you have no real interest in airplanes or being a pilot.

Besides the planes, people could check out the souvenirs and other stalls. Besides model aircraft, merch was available; civilians were able to try on special forces gear, and there was plenty to do between performances. Even if you aren’t a huge airplane nerd, there was enough action and activities to make it an enjoyable day trip.

 

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About the Contributor
Annabelle Bulger
Annabelle Bulger, Staff Writer
Annabelle Bulger is a junior at Robinson and a staff writer for Knight Writers. This is her first year on staff. Being an Army Brat, Bulger has been homeschooled for the majority of her life as she has moved across the United States, living in Georgia, Texas, Tennessee and Washington before coming to Florida. Despite a lifetime spent on the move, Bulger has never moved from the world of dance. Since she was three, Bulger has continued to dance everywhere she's found herself, currently performing with The Next Generation Ballet Company in Tampa. "Ballet is definitly a staple in my life, it's been the one constant everywhere I've gone, so it's very important to me," Bulger said. However, dance is not where Bulger's artistic talents end. A true musician, when she's not dancing she can be found sharpening playing piano and guitar. She can often be seen wearing Ghost, Sleep Token and Chappell Roan t-shirts. While she classifies herself as a classic rock and heavy metal lover, Bulger could never limit herself to just one type of music. "I love to experiment with genres and expand my music taste, I love all kinds of music," Bulger said. As she becomes more active in the student journalist landscape, Bulger hopes to comment on political and economic issues, mainly how they affect her fellow students. "With the recent surge in activity in the Middle East, and my dad working the job he does, I have gotten very into investigative journalism and in-person reporting regarding these issues and I would love to try that myself while on staff," Bulger said. "I'm highly opinionated and I love to hear other people's point of view."
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