Report from Portsmouth Air Show 2011
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Written by John O'Sullivan and Mary Jo Brown

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NH HISTORY

Last year’s Boston-Portsmouth Air Show was a trial by fire with not enough water, long food lines, blistering heat, ear-splitting engines, and traffic snarled for hours. So this year we stayed home and sent our intrepid webmaster John O’Sullivan into the fray. John filed the following report that is illustrated with photos by Mary Johanna Brown. (Continued below)

 

 

Report from Boston-Portsmouth Air Show
August 13, 2011

From the very loud PA system at Pease during the Thunderbirds performance: "Folks, that's the sound of freedom." Gosh I hope not.

Because of our media passes, we were able to exit the Pease Tradeport in 10 minutes. [Editor’s note: That’s down from three hours last year.] We left at 4:20 pm and were on the highway by 4:30 pm. Excellent. My nephew wasn't so lucky. He parked down the street at the VISA Center where he works and, by the time he walked back to his car and got into the traffic, it took him about an hour to get off the Tradeport grounds. Still better than last year.

The event was really much easier to get into and get around in 2011. We had an easy time getting into all the planes without the lines of last year. There were also plenty of vendors for food, drink, and souvenirs. They were hawking their items by yelling out what they had to offer. Last year the vendors were too busy with the long lines to advertise their items. I saw two large beer areas that were being well used.

Media benefits? Aside from the privileged parking, not much. We went to the media area and found a special spot for photographers that was maybe 30 yards closer to the planes than the rest of the VIP chalets. I asked for a program, but was told that the media was not being given anything. That was a surprise.

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This year's event was so much better than last year's event. Aside from the heat (about 10° cooler), the pace was less frantic. Last year people were jumping in lines for bottles of warm water until the water ran out… and then searching for the next line where the new water supply was. This time people had all the water they wanted. There were plenty of barrels full of ice with bottles of water, lemonade, iced tea, Coke, and Diet Coke. And the supplies lasted all day Saturday.

We hung out in the Service Credit Union chalet that was actually was three chalets joined together. Plenty of cold hot dogs and cold macaroni salad supplied by Fosters Clambake. Yes, cold hot dogs. But you hardly even notice when you have ketchup and relish on top. Actually cold hot dogs can make you gag… did you know that? Me neither -- until Saturday. But aside from that snafu, it was so much more enjoyable and relaxing.

So we enjoyed it and will return next year since my wife and her brothers love planes. I even had my eye on a Beech King 200  that costs a cool $1.29 million so, to get this new toy, I’m afraid I may need to raise my webmaster rates.

Submitted by John O’Sullivan

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Photos (c) Mary Johanna Brown. All rights reserved.