This beast flew directly overhead while we were outside having coffee, low enough to see the stars on the underside of the wings, but unfortunately I didn't have my phone on me to take a picture. It was impressive.
Previously we've had F-16s or somesuch flying in formation (complete with colored smoke) right past our window (well, a bit above, thankfully).
(edit: sorry, I know the photos aren't great. It was definitely more impressive in real life)
I used to live near Eaker Air Base in Arkansas which was a SAC B-52 facility. There was a public road that passed behind the end of the runway to where I would often take my kids out to experience the sound and vibration of a Stratofortress take off right above our heads. Exhilarating!
Hiking the Cotswolds Way in '92: daily sightings of NATO jets doing low level training. I recall a Jag, Tornado, a pair of Hawks and, most impressive, an Eagle so close I waved at the pilot (I can't imagine the residents of that little town enjoyed it as much as I).
Years back I'm standing at my kids soccer practice next to a remarkably lovely German mom who's kid was on the team as well. We had a guest coach who had the kids doing a drill called German U-Boat where the kids had to shoot the ball and hit him, "torpedoing the troop ship." You get all sorts in a navy town. If they glanced one off him he's say "hit me again! finish me off! put me out of my misery!"
I asked the woman "are you okay with this?" and her answer was "not really" but she was keeping her sense of humor. It was a very weird moment.
Half an hour later a DC-3 flies over with D-Day paint, arriving for the anniversary of D-Day at Andrews Air Force Base. I looked at her and asked again, "are you okay with this?" and she replied "if anyone asks I'm Dutch."
After all, gas can is my middle name. Eh, not really.
Twenty years ago, cyclng on a local bike trail, I heard a loud throaty roar coming from behind ... and knew immediately it was radial engines, and the locally based B-25 coming in low, paralleling the Missouri River ...
Actually almost every day we see some old aircraft flying overhead at work, especially old biplanes and such. I think the museum offers rides in some of the planes, so it's not uncommon for them to be in the air. And we almost never see anything modern. But when there's an air show coming, it's especially nice. It's really cool but I wish I knew more about the aircraft so I could say more about it...
I was just reminiscing with a former co-worker of airshows past. All the really good ones happened during the cold war and went downhill thereafter.
The London (Ontario) International Airshow of 1988 featured the 30th anniversary of the F-4 Phantom. There were a lot of Phantoms (at least 20) on the static display.
After the airshow one of the departing Phantoms took off and did a really wide circuit and looped around out of sight. When he came back he was behind the crowds heading to their cars, about 200-300 feet up, and coming in at high trans-sonic speed. Scared a lot of people, but it was awesome.
I'm just impressed that they're still getting these beasts up in the air.
Seriously, how do they maintain a reliable workforce of people who can repair and maintain these things?
A friend of mine who had a very minor part in the restoration of the Vulcan (XH558) said the biggest problem wasn't people but parts.
Skills are quite transferable but there's trouble when an aircraft needs a particular part that used to be made from asbestos or similar and no modern equivalent exists, or it does but isn't certified by the authorities who audit all the maintenance work.