Millville Municipal Airport, New Jersey
May 26-27, 2007
Airshow report updated on June 5, 2007.
It has been two years since I was last at Millville, which is a rare occurrence, since I am only an hour's drive from Millville Airport. Last year's show fell on the same weekend as the Rhode Island show and an airshow in Westfield, which had the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels, respectively. The Snowbirds were at an airshow in Canada, which meant that Millville did not have a jet team that year. However, bad weather, which included a lot of torrential rain, hindered all three airshows that weekend. I had originally planned on attending just the Rhode Island show, but at the last minute, booked a hotel in Connecticut and decided that I would also attend Westfield's show. Rhode Island was Friday/Saturday and Westfield on Sunday, and it worked out for me. However, the Saturday show at Rhode Island was completely washed out, save for a few acts to get in the air to fly some sort of performance. I heard that the Sunday show there fared much worse, whereas even with the low ceilings, Westfield got a full show in both days, making me glad I went to Westfield on Sunday.
Millville got a soaking rainfall after their Saturday show, which forced the cancellation of the Sunday show. That did not stop anyone from putting together a 2007 show, and the Blue Angels decided to add Millville to their shows for the year. The entire weekend ended up being very hot and hazy, which hindered chances of getting decent pictures of anything. The Blue Angels, fresh off a short break in the action as a result of losing LCDR Kevin Davis, were present, as well as LCDR Craig "Merlin" Olson flying the #6 position. The Blues flew a high show on Saturday (I was at Jones Beach on Sunday), with Merlin flying all of the solo maneuvers but not joining up for the delta, as he had not yet been cleared to fly in the delta during airshow days (he did so during the practice show and for the Naval Academy flyover).
New to Millville this year were Rob Holland, the Red Eagle Aerobatic Team, and Greg Poe. Rob Holland had sold his Ultimate biplane to purchase an MX-2 (they are the hot new ticket in aerobatics nowadays), and since Greg Poe was in attendance with his MX-2, Rob decided to fly a performance in the Pitts Model 12, which resembles an older biplane and fitted with a Russian engine - quite an unusual combination. A B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth AFB provided three thunderous passes, as two aircraft were temporarily based at John F. Kennedy Airport for the two airshows (Jones Beach got the other Bone).
However, the real story belongs to Jim Beasley Jr. Millville marked the United States airshow debut of Jim's newest acquisition, a P-51C Mustang nicknamed Princess Elizabeth. The Princess was purchased from England and shipped over to the United States in February, having been crated and slated to be rebuilt by none other than Steve Hinton. Jim's original plan was to have the Princess for the Heritage Flight Conference in early March, but the FAA prevented that. The aircraft was built, ready to fly, but not according to the FAA. For any aircraft that was registered in, say, Canada or anywhere else in the world, it must be reregistered for its new owner in the United States, and for that, a new airworthiness certificate must be issued. It took over two months for the paperwork to get properly documented, signed, and approved, and Jim had the plane in his hangar the Thursday before Millville's show.
The Princess' first airshow performance was on the Friday practice show, as Jim put her through his standard aerobatic routine just prior to joining up for the Heritage Flight with Baron in the F-15. On Saturday's show, Jim had to fly home because of a "gear sequencing valve" problem, which resulted in the clamshell doors not closing upon retracting the landing gear. The problem was fixed that night and the plane was test-flown, and flown to Millville the next morning and in the afternoon without any problems. I should make a mention that a gentleman by the name of Ed Small took time out to check out the P-51C before any flying took place. Jim escorted Mr. Small (as well as myself, my dad, and another ASBer) out to the plane for pictures and a walk-around. Mr. Small was a P-51A pilot during World War II was very delighted to see a razorback Mustang at Millville that weekend.
Overall, this year's show was not too bad. David Schultz and his team put on a very nice show that ran pretty well throughout the entire day and I look forward to next year's show.
Static Display Listings for the 2007 Wheels and Wings Airshow
|B-25 Mitchell||MAAM||Reading, PA||43-27638||Briefing Time|
|B-25 Mitchell||Rag Wings and Radials||44-30734, N9079Z||Panchito|
|B-25 Mitchell||Millville, NJ||NL9456Z|
|BT-13 Valiant||Cumberland Belle|
|BAE Strikemaster||NX2146J||Striking nose art|
|Beechcraft Bonanza||Fagen Air||N6066S|
|C-54E Skymaster||BAHF||Queens, NY||N500EJ|
|C-130E Hercules||New Castle, DE||64-0206|
|CF-18B Hornet||425 Sqn||3 Wing Bagotville, PQ||188921|
|Convair 580||FAA||Atlantic City, NJ||N39|
|E-2C Hawkeye||NAVSTA Norfolk, VA||165304|
|F4U Corsair||Millville, NJ||Marine's Dream|
|F/A-18A+ Hornet||VMFA-312||MCAS Beaufort, SC||163102|
|F/A-18A+ Hornet||VMFA-312||MCAS Beaufort, SC||163129|
|F/A-18D Hornet||VMFA(AW)-533||MCAS Beaufort, SC||164874|
|F/A-18D Hornet||VMFA(AW)-533||MCAS Beaufort, SC|
|F/A-18E Super Hornet||VFA-115||NAS Lemoore, CA||165791|
|King Air 350||FAA||Atlantic City, NJ||N70|
|L-39 Albatross||Millville, NJ||N9016N|
|O-1 Bird Log||N715DT|
|P-47 Thunderbolt||Millville, NJ|
|SH-60 Seahawk||VX-1||NAS Patuxent River, MD||166406|
|UH-1 Huey||Andrews AFB, MD||96669|
|Unknown||Possibly a Breezy||N119CK|
Military Demonstration Teams
Tentative Military Demonstrations
Note that Greg and Tim will be doing a two-ship aerobatic performance, quite possibly a fly-off.
Announcer: Howdy McCann
Gates Open: 9:00 AM Saturday and Sunday
Showtime: 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM Saturday and Sunday