|Coming to Yuma Airshow|
yuma airshow from MCAS:Coming to Yuma...TORA...TORA..TORA
yuma airshow from MCAS:THE IDEAL RAPID RESPONSE The MCAS Marine Air-Ground Task Force Demonstration displays the coordinated use of close air support, armor, artillery and infantry forces.
|Great Wall of Fire Record|
yuma airshow from MCAS:Record to be broken for MCAS 50th anniversary
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MCAS Yuma Air Show record-breaking in many ways
Since this year's Yuma Air Show is also the 50th anniversary of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, organizers say it will be bigger and better than ever before.
In addition to the unique opportunity to see military pilots at their finest, as well as stunning aerobatic performances of numerous civilian aviators, the March 14 air show will feature three attractions that have never been seen here before.
According to MCAS marketing director Roger Lopez, one of those attractions will be an attempt to set a Guinness Book world record for creating a pyrotechnic extravaganza known as a "Wall of Flame."
"You can really feel the heat from it," Lopez said. "It is really difficult to do because it takes a lot of planning and coordination."
Lopez explained that the current record for a "Wall of Flame" is held by the Indianapolis Air Show, which it set last year with a wall that stretched 6,700 feet.
The previous record was set in 1997 at the Miramar Air Show held at Miramar Air Station in San Diego.
Lopez said not only does MCAS plan to shatter the current record, with a "Wall of Flame," the base is planning on setting the record so long that it won't ever be outdone.
"We want to make sure the record will belong to the Marine Corps for a long time. We are going to try and create a wall that is 8,700 feet long and 140 feet tall."
If successful, MCAS' wall, which would be nearly two miles long, will beat the current record by 2,000 feet.
"It has to be a continuous five second burn," Lopez said. "We have an advantage over most places because we have one of the longest runways in the country so we have the room to do it."
Another attraction at this year's air show will be a re-creation of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor called "Tora, Tora, Tora" and put on by the Commemorative Air Force.
"They do pyrotechnics and have explosions from bomb drops," Lopez said. "The Japanese planes they fly were refurbished for the 1969 movie by the same name, and the studio donated them to the CAF afterwards."
Lopez said the attraction involves 15 Japanese fighters and bombers simulating the Pearl Harbor attack using breathtaking smoke, fire and explosions set up by its pyrotechnics team.
In addition to doing their own pyrotechnic displays, the CAF pyro team of experts will be helping the MCAS Yuma ordnance unit set up the Yuma Air Show's attempt at breaking the work record.
The final never-seen-here-before attraction will be a Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration.
"I saw them in Miramar last year and it was amazing," Lopez said. "The demonstration displays the full capability of the Corps."
Lopez said the demonstration displays the coordinated use of close air support, armor, artillery, infantry forces and paratroop drops.
"You can pretty much run an air show with any of these attractions, but we are going to have all three."
As helicopters, Hornets and Harriers fill the sky, paratroopers drop and infantry platoons move in on their make-believe objective, Lopez said in describing the attraction.
He added there still could be a "couple more surprises" at this year's air show, but he wasn't able to discuss them yet.
The MCAS Yuma Air Show averages 25,000 to 30,000 in attendance. The 2009 air show attendance is expected to be over 50,000 due to it being MCAS Yuma's 50th anniversary.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.