Naha Air Show

The show in Naha was the main goal during this trip to Japan in 2008, so the expectations were very high as 2008 marked the last year of active 302 Sqn. operations at Naha, and this Squadron is still flying the F-4EJ!
But the weather forecast was not good at all many days in advance already and when we made our way to the airport the sky was already full of clouds and there was no sign that it would get better during the day.


Where? Naha, Okinawa, Japan
When? 14/12/2008

This report is an excerpt of the Japan Trip report 2008 that can also soon be found on this site.

N9... Finding the entrance to the show a bit later was no problem as there was already a queue of people waiting to get in. And many of them also brought their stepladders by plane to Naha, but of course not the whole way from Europe.

N2Whereas everybody was very mannered at the beginning the rush started once the gates opened for the public and everybody was running in. Being fit really helped a lot, because the way from the gate to the apron was loooooooong.

Preparations for the flying took already place just in front of the crowdline and we decided to stay there and get a good place close to the action with a nice view to the runway. Rushing through the static display did not make any sense because the barriers were very close to the aircraft and we photographed most of the jets on Friday during their arrival in nice sunshine.

Good Bye Okinawa - special coloured Phantom 37-8322

373 ---- 374 ---- 375 ---- 376
377 ---- 378 ---- 379 ---- 380
381 ---- 382 ---- 383 ---- 384


The line-up consisted of 3 T-4, 4 F-4EJ, 2 F-15J and the Blue Impulse team. Both Eagles were from the 204 Squadron at Hyakuri that is going to replace the Phantoms at Naha from April 2009 on.


Naha Phantoms

349 ---- 350 ---- 351 ---- 352
353 ---- 354 ---- 355 ---- 356

starting the flight display

357 ---- 358 ---- 359 ---- 360

302 Sqn. F-4EJ Kai Phantoms

361 ---- 362 ---- 363 ---- 364
365 ---- 366 ---- 367 ---- 368
369 ---- 370 ---- 371 ---- 372


N3N6Regarding the flight display I unfortunately have to say that it was one of the worst I have ever seen on an airshow. This not due to the weather, but mainly to the high civil traffic, which obviously has priority. Therefore the flight display of any jet or helicopter consisted only of a take-off, some (2-3) fly-bys in different configurations with variable pauses in-between, and the landing. Nothing spectacular…


The first act was a formation of the local Naha T-4s and F-4s, followed by some fly-bys of a P-3C Orion. The local helicopters - a Chinook, a SAR Blackhawk and ??? - also started their engines for some flying. Their circling around was however very far away and the three helicopters had such a great separation that it was not possible to get all three of them in the frame.

T-4s, also in formation with Phantoms

393 ---- 394 ---- 395 ---- 396

Helicopter fly-by

397 ---- 398 ---- 399 ---- 400

P-3C Orion flight display

401 ---- 402 ---- 403 ---- 404

N11Action on the groud was provided by the weapon loading demonstration of 2 Phantoms. After the aircraft came back from their flying displays the grouncrews were ready to load them with the full air-air weaponery consisting of 4 short range missiles (AAM-3 or AIM-9L) and 4 AIM-7 Sparrows.
In the meantime the pilots were standing on the side and waiting. After a scramble the rushed to their aircraft, started the aircraft and taxied away... to their final parking position far away from the crowd. At least this demo gave the possibility to take some close-up action photos of the Phantoms!

Weapon loading demonstration

337 ---- 338 ---- 339 ---- 340
341 ---- 342 ---- 343 ---- 344


N7The lunch break was really long, but gave enough time to explore the static display, the souvenir stands and the food court. This time we were lucky and found several patches, even one that sold the "Good-bye Naha Phantom" patch. One for ~15€! We only bought one and decided to spend the rest of our money for patches of other aircraft and squadrons that we saw during our time in Japan. And there are a lot of them… When we returned along the row I still discovered a "Phly-Out" t-shirt that one of the vendors was wearing. Of course I was asking for it and after some discussion I found out that he was wearing the last one of these T-shirts – and he was kind enough to sell me this one :)


Static Display - first impressions

409 ---- 410 ---- 411 ---- 412

all the colorful aircraft on the ground:

413 ---- 414 ---- 415 ---- 416
417 ---- 418 ---- 419 ---- 420
421 ---- 422 ---- 423 ---- 424
425 ---- 426 ---- 427 ---- 428

there was also a lot more to see...

441 ---- 442 ---- 443 ---- 444

N10Food was good as well and after getting it we sat down a bit to just watch and enjoy what was going on in front of us. In a hangar we discovered a Phantom that was displayed for a functional display (retracting gear, hook and so on) and took some nice close-up and detail photos of this bird. In the afternoon only Blue Impulse performed with some fly-bys and very cloudy skies. Nothing spectacular after the display one week earlier at a sunny Nyutabaru.


Blue Impulse

405 ---- 406 ---- 407 ---- 408

At half past three - shortly before it got dark - 2 F-15s of the successor Squadron at Naha, the 204 Hikotai, took off together with 2 Phantoms from Naha and performed fly-bys in different configurations. Quite nice, but the best part were the aferburner take-offs of the Eagles.

Successors at Naha: F-15s of 204 Hikotai

345 ---- 346 ---- 347 ---- 348

Old and the new together in the air

385 ---- 386 ---- 387 ---- 388
389 ---- 390 ---- 391 ---- 392


Just after the end of the display it got even cloudier and we prepared to make our way back to the airport. Before leaving the airfield we left our stepladders at the airfield, which have then been already for the second time in Japan. But we ambitious to bring them the whole way back to Germany, regarding the effort of carrying them through the Tokyo underground.


Civil traffic that day at Naha

429 ---- 430 ---- 431 ---- 432
433 ---- 434 ---- 435 ---- 436
437 ---- 438 ---- 439 ---- 440

All things considered the show itself was therefore nothing special, but combined with the fly-in on the sunny Friday the aviation part of the trip to Naha was excellent nonetheless.


Photos of the arrivals day and the show itself are also published on some other websites in a higher resolution:


911 F 4naha Zeitler 911 2f8o2585 911 Id2g1085
911 Id2g1181 911 2f8o2186 911 Id2g1153
  911 Id2g0958  


Pinit Fg En Rect Red 20
Rate this article:
0 of 5 - 0 votes
Thank you for rating this article.

recently published

19  1909 5656

Air Legend 2019

"Air Legend" at the Melun-Villaroche airfield in the South of Paris is a new airshow establishing itself firmly on the European circuit. The second edition in 2019 focused on Cold War jets and succeeded with a well balanced mix of those Cold War warriors, warbirds Read More
19 Hahnweide19 1909 9664

Hahnweide OTT 2019

2019 saw the 19th edition of the Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide. You may also call it a fly-in, a pilot meeting or a warbird airshow, and with around 400 participating aircraft it is arguably Germany’s biggest aviation event. It is an avgeek festival, and an aviation Read More
18 Radom 1808 6835

Radom Airshow 2018

Radom Airshow 2018 had the Polish Air Force’s 100th anniversary as a main theme. Concluding from past events the expectations were very high, and the event attracted highlights such as the Ukrainian Suchoi Su-27 Flanker or the JF-17 from Pakistan for the flying display. In Read More
19  1908 0740

Taiwan Planespotting

This was another plane spotting trip to Taiwan. Even though it has a vivid aviation photography scene, it’s tropical climate and a military on high alert do not make it an easy country to pursue this hobby. With the aim to photograph some aircraft of Read More
  • 1

more Airshows

07  0706 2776

Aerosalon Le Bourget

The Salon du Bourget - or in English "Paris Air Show" - is the world's biggest aeronautical trade fair. Well known for the large variety of displayed aircraft and traffic jams all around the area the 47th Read More
07  0710 5660

Holloman Air Show

2008 will be the last operational year of the unique F-117A Nighthawk. Last year 25 years in service of this remarkable Lockheed construction and an accumulated 250.000 flight hours were celebrated at Holloman AFB, NM Read More
03 Payerne 0304

WK Payerne

The same procedure as every year...For the beginng of the last Airshow season I have chosen to go to the Payerne Open Doors display. The report about last year can be read here. Hearing some Read More
06 Erding 0605 4937

Erding Open Doors

Within the scope of the festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the German Luftwaffe (German Air Force / GAF) the airfield Erding held an Open Doors day on Sunday, May 21st 2006. On my trip back Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23

Latest Tweets


Today 374

Yesterday 114

Week 945

Month 2174

All 2576515