Great Tennessee Airshow Triumphs Over Tropical Rains

Military and civilian performers flew during the two-day Great Tennessee Airshow June 8 and 9, 2019. (Charles Atkeison)

SMYRNA, Tenn. — Periods of rainfall did not stop the heartbeat of The Great Tennessee Airshow as large numbers of guests turned out and pilots navigated a wet airport runway to keep the show on course this weekend.

Periods of rain did not dampen the guests enthusiasm for watching up close top military and civilian aircraft. The performers did not disappoint either as vapor clouds enveloped along many of the aircraft thanks in part to the high humidity.

Meteorologists and airport officials aided the Air Show Boss with keeping the two-day event on schedule.

The GEICO Skytypers soar in their 4v2 maneuver. (Charles Atkeison)The Navy’s Blue Angels created vapor during the Great Tennessee Airshow. (Charles Atkeison)The F-16 Viper Demo performs over Smyrna, Tennessee. (Charles A Atkeison)Rain showers did not stop the Great Tennessee Airshow for long on Saturday. (Charles Atkeison)The Blue Angels begin their taxi out to perform on Saturday. (Charles Atkeison)The DC-3 performed during the Great Tennessee Airshow. (Charles Atkeison)

Photographers and crowds alike gasped in awe as the aircraft wing tips created long vapor trails. The humidity also caused at times huge vapor clouds over the wings and fuselage.

Blue Angels officials explained on Sunday, “Those vapor trails around our jets are caused by a rapid drop in air pressure and temperature around the wing and flight surfaces. This causes the water molecules in the air to quickly condense into vapor.”

The Navy’s Blue Angels and the F-16 Viper demonstration team provided the high speed turns and climbs each day. Civilian performers included the GEICO Skytypers, Rob Holland, Sean Tucker, and Mike Wiskus performing aerobatics across a cloudy sky.

“We can fly all the way down to a thousand feet ceiling and three miles visibility,” Blue Angels slot pilot Major Jeff Mullins said prior to Saturday’s show. “We will always try to push to make a show happen, as long as we do so safely.”

(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)