Nyutubaru, Japan Air Self Defence Force Air Fest

Nyutubaru Air Base, Miyazaki, Kyushu, 7 December 2014

Known as ‘Fightertown’ Nyutubaru is one of only two bases still flying the F4 Phanthom in Japan (Hyakuri, north of Tokyo, being the other). It also houses two elements of F15s, a standard attack squadron and an Aggressor unit that wear distinctive camouflage schemes. The base is very active and the southern perimeter has numerous vantage points for photographers, a well-positioned café and extremely understanding attitude to the strong public interest in their activities.

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Yao, Japan Ground Self Defence Force Air Fest

Yao Airfield, Osaka 16 November 2014

Yao is a busy general aviation airfield that is also home to an Army helicopter unit. The air fest is a popular local event and, though the gates open early, started with an almost empty ramp dominated with a large grandstand for dignitaries. All became clearer around 0930 with a multi helicopter flypast in line astern, all parking on the cross runway. Multiple examples of the based Hueys, OH6s and more modern OH1s were complemented by a single Apache, Blackhawk and Cobra gunship. The only other visitor was a single Chinook on the active ramp. With the main ramp still fenced off the dense crowd was then entertained by mission demonstrations from most of the helicopters in front of the grandstand.

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