BZ's 2010 Chino Airshow

Picture Gallery

Chino Planes of Fame Airshow - May, 2010

The Planes of Fame's annual airshow at Chino Airport, CA has got to be the premiere place to be for warbird enthusiast on the West Coast! They have a different theme every year, with this years' being "A Salute to the Greatest Generation". The Greatest Generation refers of course to the men and women who fought in WWII, and those that supported the war effort at home.

Brought with me my Nikon D300 and D200, with the Sigma 150-500mm OS lens, 70-300mm VR lens, 18-105mm VR lens, and 11-16mm Tokina Lens. Which was total overkill and really complicated my life... but that's what happens when there isn't a 11-500mm do it all lens that I can slap on the camera! There was so much going on there, that it was all too easy to shoot thousands of shots each day. That's all well and good, but it sure was a pain to go through them all afterwards to pick out the good ones!

So it's taken me a while, but here they are, broken up by general categories to make it more manageable. Hope you like the show!

P-51 Mustangs

The main theme for this year's Chino air show can be summed up by one word - Mustangs! From the Opening flights, to the 3 ship P-51 aerobatic Horsemen team, and the massed Mustang flybys at the end, the wonderful musical notes of the Mustang's Merlin engine thrilled the crowd all day long!

Navy Warbirds

This was a huge category, and contains planes like the F4U Corsair, SBD Dauntless, TBF Avenger, A6M zero, F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, A-1 Skyraider, Fairey Firefy, and T-28 Trojan. This is actually not the way they were grouped at the show, but if it said 'Navy' on the plane, I added it here!

Army Warbirds

This was the other main category, and showcases the P-40 Warhawk, Supermarine Spitfire, P-38 Lightning, B-25 Mitchell, P-47 Thunderbolt, and B-17 Flying Fortress. Some nice formation flying in this group as well.

Static Displays

Before the flying started show goers had a chance to look at the warbirds up close. In addition to the planes that flew at the show, there were a few that were on static display only. These are some of the more interesting photos (well, at least from my point of view!).

Reno Air Racers

In attendance were some of the planes that particate in the Reno Air Races. This included the highly modified P-51 Strega, Sea Furies, F8F Bearcat, and a Yak-9. They put on a simulated air race, followed by a beautiful Sea Fury Aerobatic routine with smoke from the wingtips.

Korean Jets

There was a segment showcasing the Korean Air War. This included the T-33 Shooting Star, F-86 Sabre, Mig-15, and a T-6 Texan. The best pictures were of the F-86 and Mig-15 flying in close formation.

Nose Art

I could go crazy here and post a shot of every plane at the show... but I'll keep it shot! These are some of the more interesting nose art found at the Chino show. Some of it isn't even on the nose!

WWII Reenactors

One of the more fun things to see at Chino would be the WWII Reenactors. Not as many troops and equipment compared to years' past (most were at a different reenactment event in Northen CA), it was still an enjoyable and interactive part of the show!

Taxiing Planes

In between flying and being stationary, the planes were taxiing on the hot ramp. Since there were quite a few of these kind of shots, I thought I'd make a separate category for it!

Various Acts

In addition to the Warbird flybys and Military Demos, there were a number of air show acts which performed at Chino. These include Silver Wings Wing Walking, Rob Harrison as 'The Tumbling Bear', Clay Lacy in a LearJet Aerobatic demonstration, and the Planes of Fame Flying Wing demo.

F-16 and Heritage Flight

The F-16 Fighting Falcon was there to step the noise level up a notch! Flying their usual energetic routine, the West Coast Viper Demonstration Team really put on a great show! The F-16 is then joined by a pair of P-38 Lightnings, and a P-51 Mustang for the Heritage flight.

C-17 Demo

The show concludes with a demonstration of the C-17 Globemaster III. Easily the biggest plane there, and probably the easiest to photograph in the air!


As usual, I took way too many pictures, and ended up posting more than I should! The challenge with warbirds is getting a picture of them at a slow enough speed to get the propellers nice and blurred. This requires a relatively slow shutter speed, which brings with it all sorts of issues. Not only is it tough to get a nice crisp shot without blurring the subject due to camera shake, there's also the problem of motion blur due to inaccurate tracking, and dust spots due to shooting at a very small aperture. Beyond more practice, my solution is to shoot burst and shoot a lot! Once in a while, I do something right, and get a nice picture. The bad ones, as well as the also rans get recycled and the bit storage reused! So that's my secret - if you can call it that. :-)

Hope you liked the presentation. If you have any comments, drop me a line at:
Bernard Zee