USA South West - Alamogordo

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As the cheap hotel prices evidently did only include a morning 'coffee', our first mission of the day was to find a proper place to have breakfast. Fortunately we did not have to go very far and found a waffle & pancakes place to get some cholesterol-enriching food quickly. As I was still impressed by the food at the Denver airport, I certainly had to order the breakfast Burrito, that filled me up until late in the Hoafternoon… While we were sitting there, the sun came up over the mountains and we hurried a bit in order not to arrive too late after the official beginning of the show.
Entering the airbase at Holloman we were very impressed by the row of US, New Mexican and German flags, a clear sign of the close cooperation between these two Air Forces and the close connection to the location. On the long way to the flightline we also passed the Holloman Heritage Park, representing all aircraft that flew here at Holloman. However I do not think that a F-117 will be parked here in the near future as well.

 

Holloman AFB Heritage Park

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Arriving at the show itself we were very surprised as not a lot of people were already on base: no one was queuing to get in the E-3 AWACS or the C-5 Galaxy, usually the crowdcatchers on every show…
--> The rest of the show report can be found in the Airshow Section (Holloman Air & Space Expo 2007)
For dinner in the evening we chose the Golden Corral all-you-can-eat for 10$, wehre we had so many main courses that we didn't manage to take any of the desserts.
AlamogordoThe first stop after this airshow week-end on Monday morning was the small airfield of Alamogordo. During the days before we saw that this is also used as a tanker base, but during the period we have been there all airtankers have been in California to fight the severe forest fires over there.White Sands But nevertheless we have been given access to the airfield to take some photos of a Gruman Albatross and a gunship version of a P-2 Neptune, that are currently undergoing some modification work and might be brought back to flyable condition.
The next drive was to the very remarkable White Sands National Monument. Whereas the outside temperatures and the strong sun let us feel the warmth of a late autumn day, the emotion induced by the eye was more the one of a cold winter day. That was really, really strange!

Alamogordo / White Sands National Park

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The late morning was spent at Holloman Air Force Base, where we have been given access to the German Air Force Tornados and the QF-4E Phantom Drones.
More about that can be discovered in a separate report on this site.

Holloman AFB - preview

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We then made our way to Tucson, but decided to stop shortly before sunset at the airport of Las Cruces, which was a good decision, as we saw some white/orange T-34s circling around the airfield. To our big surprise the ramp of this civil airport was full of these military trainer aircraft!
Las CrucesWe asked some of the crews near the aircraft if it was possible to take some photos, and permission was granted. Without restrictions! So we really had to hurry as the sun was quickly disappearing behind the mountains, but the photos in the last light of the day were a wonderful end of that day.
There were a total of 24 Navy/Marines T-34s parked on the ramp, 19 coming from Corpus Christi and 5 out of Pensacola as a temporarily detachment "to flee the weather", as we learned after having taken our photos. After asking I still got a patch for free and before leaving to Tucson we still had a look at the other aircraft parked and stored around the airport: PV-2 Harpoon, A-26 Invader, F-100, a MedEvac helicopter and two Marines UH-1 Cobras, one wearing a special "digital" camouflage scheme.

Las Cruces

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