This Iwakuni City, of the Yamaguchi Prefecture. It's the 5th of May, the last day of the Golden Week.
As a customary practice, every year an aviation show is put on, known as "Friendship Day".
As we enter through the gates to the base, we can see very large space, surrounded by a lot of big aircrafts. I suppose you'd need a lot of space for a show like this!
On the other side, there are a lot of aircrafts lined up side by side. Hmm, I wonder where we should start....
The first noticeable thing has to be this very huge airplane. It's the UP-3D Electronic Battle Training Assitance Aircraft. A derivation of the P-3 Orion patrol plane from Western Countries, it is used for training against military vessals, and if neccessary, will tow targeted ships or scatter chaff.
The lines on the nose of the plane kind of look like whiskers, it's kind of cute! It looks a little bit like a seal doesn't it?
That large vessel over there seems to have departed. Maybe it's headed to Hiroshima?
Over here is a plane that's even bigger than the last one we saw. It's the US-1 rescue flying boat. Since it's a flying boat, it can also land and depart from the surface of the water, which makes it possible to access isolated islands where there are no airfields. Another plus point is that its crusing range is a lot larger than helicopters, and can quickly reach places that are far out. The pitch black nose is huge! I wonder what's inside...
This is the F-22. The F-22 Laputa is, in the 5th generation of fighter jets, the world's first stealth fighter jet.
Its characteristics are a radar that's smaller than a bird and can't be seen, which is reflective of its stealthy nature, and is capable of traveling at supersonic speed without using an afterburner. At present, it's the world's strongest fighter jet.
More importantly, it's actually come to Japan hasn't it?
Look at the two flashy fighter jets lined up over here. The white one is the YF19, and the blue one is the YF21. They're still at the testing stages, and in the midst of deciding which of the two will be officially used. It'd be pretty funny if with this, even fellow pilots started fighting over it eh? An air battle between pilots of a test craft! Haha.
Oh, that's...There seems to be something strange but, I'm sure it must be a steath feature. A invisible fighter isn't just for show.
But I don't think it's okay for you guys to be riding on it...
This large helicopter is used for mine sweeping and transportation and is known as the CH53 Super Stallion. It's the biggest helicopter in the West.
There are a few derivations of it, and is also used in the self-defence force.
Ah, it's a sky rocket!
But it's not that pretty...fireworks are still the best at night.
Um...is this... an airplane? Helicopter? There's something suspicious about its frame isn't it. I wonder if this can actually fly. With a frame like that, how it lands and what not is a mystery. Maybepilot has to look at the back, or should I say the bottom in order to land? It seems difficult.
This is the MH-53E Sea Dragon. It's one of the derivations of the the Sea Stallion helicopter we saw earlier. The self-defence force is currently operating 10 of these, but they will be retired in the near future. The crafts that will be succeeding these seem to have already been decided as well.
The craft where there are a lot of people is the C-130 Hercules. It's maiden flight was more than half a century ago, and even now it is still being revised and manufactured. It's a best-seller for tactical transportation.
Ah, those two dancing over there are, um, according to the pamphlet, are the Grey Dancers that have come from Area 51.
U..m, they're kind of out of sync aren't they? It'd be better if they were dancing more in unity.
The ease of use of the C-130 and its ability transportation capacity has people saying it's the "World's most supreme transportation craft", and is pretty expensive.
Ah, the rocket is launching. Here's to hoping that space development will make progress.
This is also a transportation craft, and is called the C-1. It's a local product of Japan, but rather than remedy the faults in its cruising range and what not, from 2013, a new model that is currently under development will be taking its place.
On the other side is a lot of fairly gigantic things. According to the pamphlet, that's where the buses should be parked...did tourists arrive on those? I guess that's how all these visitors arrived here!
Taking a closer look...what a junk! The people that rode these must be pretty brave. She may not look like much, but she's probably got it where it counts.
The size of its fuselage compared to the engine is pretty big. She'll make point five past lightspeed!
This one's a light brown, but perhaps it's rusted? It seems like a lot of people can ride it but it looks pretty slow.
Since it's got track wheels, if it tried to speed up it might be pretty disconnected...scary!
This also looks like it's served its time. They all seem really old.
This is...it's the Hayabusa, the Hayabusa!! Moreover, it's floating!? Ah, it's being suspended by wires. That surprised me!
I saw its last moments on the internet! I don't own a television so...
I wonder what this round thing is? Is it also a machine for used for space development?
I've seen this one in the news before. It's the heart and mind of Japan isn't it? It's an advanced technology craft, and thus it's a craft that is used for the research and study of technology.
Next to it, there's a strangely shaped airplane. I've never seen one of these fly before. It seems like it'd have a strange way of flying.
Over here are crafts that were used in the Second World War. One is the Shinden. I was wondering why it was facing the opposite direction but actually the propeller is reversed. The propellor seems to, rather than pull the craft, push it. It's a different shape, but it definitely seems fast!
And over here is the Zero fighter plane. As we'd expect, it's really popular. It's formal name is the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter. From pre-war days to post war days, it's the most famous of Japanese aircrafts.
As a result of the unreasonable request from the army for a craft that is thoughroughly built and lightweight, it is designed much more smarter compared to those from other countries built at the same time.
This is a replica that was built for the movie "Zerosen Moyu", but at present there are still many Zero fighter planes around. Many are captured planes being restored, but reverse engineering works are also being done.
And that brings us to the end of the Iwakuni Friendship Day! It's not everything, but we've taken a tour from the start to the end. Well how about that!
This year as well there were a lot of people that gathered for the event. It seems like a record high of 270 thousand visted.
This is an event that's done every year, so if you're interested, it's definitely worth at least one visit!