Air Power Expo 2010 (Videos and Pics)

Smoke, check! Upside-down, check! Person standing on the wings while smoking plane is upside

Though a modern-day airshow may not, on the surface, appear to be Steampunk in the strictest sense, powered flight was one of the driving goals of the genre. Even without elegant zeppelins and hot-air balloons, the biplanes, propjobs, and rotocopters managed to make a glorious showing this weekend at the Air Power Expo 2010 at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, TX. It was made all the more impressive by demonstration from a 50-year old female Wingwalker. That is to say, someone who literally walks, surfs, rides, dances, and does acrobatics on the wing and body of the plane as it flies. Just watch…


When you consider there’s actually someone performing acrobatics on that plane as it’s doing those loops and turns and barrel-rolls, it gives one pause to consider the history of this crazy sport. Wingwalking as a hobby dates back to the 1920’s, when powered flight allowed mankind to find even newer, more incredible ways to commit suicide. It originally started with a pilot named Ormer Locklear who not only flew a fighter plane, but when it needed repairs, he simply climbed out of the cockpit, on to the body or wings, and performed repairs mid-flight. Oh, and this was while he was in the middle of fighting Ze Germans in World War I. Apparently the Allied forces let him fly a plane because it was the only thing capable of transporting his enormous balls across a battlefield. Oh, and he totally wore Steampunk goggles.

Everything below the chest is just balls.

More like SteamPIMP, am I right?

Of course, the legacy of Locklear aside, there were other pretty interesting things at the Air Show, that scored a win for Mad Science and Steampunk in particular. Behold, the power of the Mysterious Cloud of Steam (or something white that resembled steam…)

What it turned out to be was this…

Are rocket-cars the ultimate compensation cars, or are they just plain awesome? It’s hard to decide, but either way, I want one. The air show finale ended with a tremendous display by two F35 fighter jets blasting the fire out of a runway in a wall of fire that would have made Michael Bay jealous.

If huge explosions of fire and smoke involving rockets, munitions, rotocopters, biplanes, and propjobs didn’t suit your fancy, perhaps some of these photos will…


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. nice pics and videos! You ever figure the name of the pilot of this plane and the wire walker. I think her name was Margret something.

    • Thank you very much! You know, I was talking to a customer on the phone the other day who had attended the same airshow, knew the name of the Aviatrix, and I’ll be blasted if I can’t remember it now. I forgot to write it down. But I’ll see if I can’t find out once more and remember to record it next time.

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