Wings, Wheels, Rotors and Expo was held at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos on Sunday, October 23, 2016.
The weather put a damper on the Wings, Wheels, Rotors and Expo this year. While it spit and drizzled most of the day, about 2:30-3:00 p.m. the rain started in earnest. It appeared to us that the number of show cars in attendance was down this year, clearly there were fewer “wings and rotors” this year. Possibly the prediction of rain kept some participants away.
Photos are posted on our SmugMug site and all photos are available for purchase.
We did see some interesting planes. The USAF Thunderbirds were there. The Thunderbirds are a demonstration team. We had hoped the Thunderbirds would put on a show, but by the time they taxied onto the runway the rain was beginning to fall and visibility was poor. The Thunderbirds did take off and made one pass over the show area, before landing.
Lady Alice, a P51 Mustang World War II fighter was there. The P51 was used in both WWII and the Korean War. Around 3:30 Lady Alice taxied down the runway and took to the air. She is an elegant lady. To everyone’s delight she made a low pass over the runway before heading home.
Also on display were two Korean War era trainers, one used by the Marines and one by the Navy.
This WWII trainer – an AT-6 Texan (below) was used by the Army Air Force.
The Gulf War-era fighter, the F15, (below) was on display. This fighter was introduced in 1976 and is expected to be used by the U.S. Air Force until at least 2025.
The California National Guard had a Reaper drone on display. This drone is housed at March Air Force Base and is piloted from there even if the drone is in the Middle East. Under its wings, the Reaper is outfitted with two Hellfire missiles and two 500 pound bombs.
As always several large scale radio controlled (RC) models of military planes were in the air off and on during the day. At times these planes were involved in fierce dog fights and were a lot of fun to watch. The pilots of these RC models are very talented.
There were a lot of nice cars there also. This 1949 Willys Jeepster was brought to the show by the group Honoring our Fallen. The Jeepster has 6,854 names of those who have fallen since 9/11 painted on this tribute vehicle.
The Expo celebrated the service of women in World War II.
Below are some of the nice cars at the show.
As the skies darkened and the rain fell, the show cars headed out.
Over the years we have been to many of the Wings, Wheels, Rotors and Expo shows and it has always been one of our favorites. Although, due to the lengthy delay in getting cars into the show, we quit taking a hot rod to the show a number of years ago, opting instead to go as spectators. Sunday, the rain sent spectators and show car owners heading for the exits about 3:00 p.m. The show has always required the show cars to remain in place until the show is over (5:00 pm this year). When the rain began, many show car owners were prevented from leaving until they could be escorted off the base. As they sat in the rain, those in open cars were not too pleased with this policy.
When the mass of spectators tried to leave the public parking area they, like us, were met with gridlock. We sat in line for 40 minutes without moving an inch. While there were many individuals involved in parking the cars, we saw no one associated with the show trying to move the cars out. We consider ourselves lucky because a kind individual, who was not associated with the show, came by and told us about another way to get off the base which had no congestion at all. One can only wonder why there were no show personnel directing gridlocked cars to a second exit which would have relieved the frustrations hundreds experienced leaving the show.
More photos are on our SmugMug site as well as all the photos shown above and more. All photos are available for purchase.
We will be at the Wings, Wheels, Rotors and Expo at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, CA on Sunday, October 23, 2016. This show is a great way to see old cars, old planes and old helicopters. The show is held next to the runway and the planes fly in and out. How great to see a P51 or a B25 landing and taking off. We’ll have an article and photos about the show posted here on Monday evening.