Last couple of weeks we have been serenaded by Brood 2 offspring of the 1996 round of 17-year cicadas.  With a background noise like a bad 50’s special effects soundtrack, they’ve been pretty constant but this weekend, overcome at times by the sound of Merlin and Wright piston engines as the CAF brought a P-51, Vultee BT-13, Beech C-45, and the only flying examples of the Boeing B-29 and Curtis SB2C-5 Helldiver.  The B-29 announced its presence to me yesterday as it passed overhead (low overhead) on final into Manassas Regional.  Pretty awesome sight at that, I have to confess.  So – calling cards sent, we headed off this AM to spend a little time collecting photos and composing, what my explanation would be for blowing some 1500+ bucks for a short ride in the Helldiver or B-29.  Alas, ‘twould have been a fruitless endeavor as the  Appropriations Committee would have frowned mightily at an off-budget expenditure of that magnitude without prior testimony and justification.


Continuing observations from today – upon returning home I noticed that the cicadas had finally emerged from the forest in front of our house en mass and the birds were having a field day (Turkey Shoot?).  Flying LOCAP, the much faster and more maneuverable birds were so focused on chasing the cicadas that they were close to running onto trees, buildings – and me at one point.  All in all, an interesting early summer’s day with a different kind of aviation tone to it.



  1. Bob Mel

    Hi SJS………………….those are really ugly bugs, remember that old saying….(these bugs) are really for the BIRDS…..never truer than right now…….thanks for the a/c pictures…..glad to see some of those old treasures still fly…………

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