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Iruma Air Base is near Inariyama Koen Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line (40-50 min. from Ikebukuro). This is the crowd leaving the train platform at around 9 am.
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Inariyama Koen Station is a small train station, but only on the day of the annual Iruma Air Show, they set up this huge train station exit.
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A record-breaking 280,000 attended the Iruma Air Show on Nov. 3, 2010. The festivities started at 9 am and admission was free. This was also a super sunny day.
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They inspected our bags and even had a German Shepherd dog.
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It would take maybe only 5 min. reach Iruma Base from the train station, but it took us at least 25 min. with numerous stop-and-go crowd control.
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Trying to cross the train tracks. Another bottleneck as trains always pass by.
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Finally getting nearer to Iruma Air Base, the Japan Air Self-Defense Forces' largest air base.
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The first thing I saw was this YS-11 flying around. They had a parade and Miss Air Show contest, but I was too late for that.
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This was the 42nd Iruma Air Show on Nov. 3, 2010.
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YS-11 landed.
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This is a U-125 plane which was also flying and had landed when we got to the air base.
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Even at around 9:30 am, a huge crowd.
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At the front line in front of the Blue Impulse Aerobatic planes.
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Blue Impulse jets parked front and center.
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Blue Impulse jet
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More photos of the Blue Impulse later on below.
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Next were three Kawasaki C-1 transport jets taking off.
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C-1 flying over Blue Impulse.
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Another Kawasaki C-1 military transport jet taking off. It has the Japan Air Self-Defense Force livery.
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Kawasaki C-1 has been around since the 1970s.
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The three Kawasaki C-1 in formation during a fly-by.
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The Kawasaki C-1 return to release parachute troopers.
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Kawasaki C-1 for a parachute drop at Iruma Air Show in Saitama.
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The three Kawasaki C-1 jets dropped parachuters onto Iruma Air Base.
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I've never seen so many parachutists in an air show before.
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C-1
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A squadron of T-4 trainer jets perform semi-aerobatics.
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T-4 trainer jets
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They didn't release any smoke.
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T-4 trainer jet lands.
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UH-60J rescue helicopter demo.
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CH-47J Chinook helicopter demonstrates cargo transport. They had something flying in the air almost non-stop all morning until around lunch time.
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The crowd. Behind is a large hangar where they had aircraft displays.
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The crowd waits for the Blue Impulse.
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As 1:15 pm approaches, the crowd gets bigger and more eager to watch the Blue Impulse, seen here in the background.
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I waded up to near the front row at around 12:30 pm to await the Blue Impulse to take off. Blue Impulse is Japan's foremost aerobatic team belonging to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
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The Blue Impulse flies Kawasaki T-4 jets since 1995. They were established in 1960, inspired by the Thunderbirds of the US Air Force.
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This ground crew of a Blue Impulse T-4 includes a woman.
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Pilot putting on his helmet. This year in 2010 happens to be the 50th anniversary of the Blue Impulse team established in 1960.
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Seven Blue Impulse planes were on display, but only six of them flew. Blue Impulse is based at Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi Prefecture. They have a busy performance schedule from April to Dec. ブルーインパルスの曲技飛行
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Ready to leave for the runway.
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As the jets taxied off, the pilots waved to the crowd.
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Blue Impulse Kawasaki T-4
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Blue Impulse Kawasaki T-4
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The jet blast from the T-4 wasn't so bad, but it did blow away a few caps on our heads.
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Blue Impulse head for the runway at Iruma Air Base.
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And now here they come in all their glory, the Blue Impulse Aerobatic Team.
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All these formations and aerobatic maneuvers all have a name. This is the Diamond Formation.
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Two more Blue Impulse jets later took off.
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Spectacular formations.
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Blue Impulse Aerobatic Team at Iruma Air Show.
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Flying upside down.
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The smoke color was either white or gray.
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Thrilling show, but the element of danger is always present. The Blue Impulse have had a few fatal accidents.
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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Star Cross: Smokey star in the sky. They also drew a Valentine heart, complete with an arrow. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Blue Impulse official Web site here.
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This Tack Cross has one jet flying straight while the other is spiraling around it. Quite spectacular.
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The crowd cheers wildly as the Blue Impulse returns. They performed until around 2:30 pm. The festival ended at 3 pm when many of the planes on display took off for home.
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Iruma Air Show Blue Impulse video 2010.
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Sikorsky SH-60J Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopter
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Sikorsky SH-60J Seahawk
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UH-60J rescue helicopter is based on the Black Hawk copter.
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This U-125A plane is for search and rescue operations. A good number and variety of planes were also on display. Some of them were flown during the air show.
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U-125
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T-7 trainer plane
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F-2 fighter plane.
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Tail of F-2 fighter plane.
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F-2 fighter
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RF-4E reconnaissance plane based on the McDonnell F-4 Phantom.
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RF-4E reconnaissance plane is equipped with cameras for photographing disaster areas, etc.
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RF-4E reconnaissance plane
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Why is Woody Woodpecker on the tail?
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YS-11
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U-125A search and rescue plane
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One interesting display were these Patriot missile launchers.
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Patriot PAC-3J
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MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system
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Engagement Control Station (ECS) for the Patriot missile system.
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The Iruma Air Show also had a VIP section for invited guests here at one end of the site. Prime view of take-offs and landings on the runway.
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More helicopters.
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Grumman E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft with wings folded back. It can serve on an aircraft carrier.
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U-4 is based on a Gulfstream IV.
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C-130 Hercules in sky blue.
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C-130 Hercules for the Japan Air Self-Defence Force
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The cockpit of this F-15J fighter plane was open for public viewing.
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T-4
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Chinook helicopter
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Kawasaki C-1 military transport plane
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Kawasaki C-1 military transport plane. We couldn't go inside any of the planes.
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Fire dept. at Iruma Air Base.
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Helicopter insignia
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Iruma Air Base control tower
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This aircraft hangar had a entertainment stage.
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Entertainment stage inside a hangar.
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Another aircraft hangar had aircraft displays and other things.
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T-4 trainer jet suspended above ground.
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This aircraft is suspended so that the wheels don't touch the ground.
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They held demonstrations of the T-4's landing gear going up and down.
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Display of aircraft engines.
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Aircraft engine
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Aircraft engine
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Pilot's ejection seat
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Ejected pilot's parachute
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Ejected pilot
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Trying on parachute.
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Life vests
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Life rafts
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Life rafts
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Shopping area was also very crowded with food booths and souvenir shops.
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Souvenir shop
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Crowd going home. It's a good idea to buy a round-trip ticket at Ikebukuro Station so you don't have to buy a return ticket here.
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Train station entrance.
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Crowd heading for the train station as seen from the train. Also see my YouTube video here.
 
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