Vvvvvwoooooshhh! The magnificent sound of World War II aircraft filled the warm air over Paso Robles, California, during the 2013 Warbirds Over Paso airshow. I think what made is such a great show is that it was a teamwork of the excellent Estrella Warbirds Museum and the Planes Of Fame Air Museum
Among the dozens of WW2 planes, there were some notable exceptions, such as a RAF C-130 Hercules that dropped by for the show. My dad and I got a kick out of seeing the crew members watching the show from the top of the wing! Also, there was a Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a Hawker Sea Fury, and, my personal favorite, Planes of Fame’s Northrop N9M Flying Wing.
At the show, I was surprised to see a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber, as I didn’t know that there were any flying Avengers doing airshows on the West Coast. Chuck Wentworth, noted WWI aircraft restorer flew it too!
The show featured mostly warbirds, with the exception of a small Extra that did aerobatics at the beginning. 5 time Reno Air Race unlimited pilot Steven Hinton was giving rides in the Planes of Fame P-40 Warhawk and a P-51B Mustang was also giving rides throughout the day, as was a helicopter. The warbirds went up in flights all day, doing passes and more. In the first flight, an SBD Dauntless, the TBM Avenger, the A-1 Skyraider, and a D3A Val circled over the runway while an F4U Corsair, a P-51D Mustang, and a P-40 Warhawk made repeated low level, high speed passes across the field, much to the crowd’s enjoyment. Separately, Eddie Andreini Jr. went up in his Yak-9, Dennis Sanders in his Hawker Sea Fury, Greg Colyer in the T-33 “Ace Maker” and Eddie Andreini Sr. doing aerobatics in his beautiful P-51D “Primo Branco”.
Flying in the next flight was a P-51B, Brant Seghetti in his P-51 “Sparky”, Planes of Fame’s razorback P-47 (my dad's favorite warbird and one of only two airworthy ones left), another 2 P-51D’s, and the B-25 Mitchell “Photo Fanny”. In later flights, the P-38 joined which, for some reason, has a completely different sound and is much quieter than any of the other fighters, even those powered by Allison’s just like it. Still, every single plane sounded just beautiful!
I also loved the atmosphere of Warbirds over Paso. It seemed so relaxed and low-key, and not just because there were no FAA inspectors present because of the stupid government shutdown. There wasn’t an overflow of people there, and the show wasn’t huge either. It just had a great vibe that almost no other airshow has.
The 2013 Warbirds Over Paso show was a fantastic show that amazed not just me, but everyone who was there. Of all the incredible planes there, each one was very unique and amazing in its own way, making the show a huge hit. I hope to see you all there next year!