An Aeroshow in the Garden City of UAE

I have been a resident in Al Ain City of the United Arab Emirates for nearly six years now, but I never had an opportunity to watch the Al Ain Aerobatic Show, not until this year when I have won complimentary tickets by joining their online promotion. The tickets were actually affordable that anyone can buy and watch the much-awaited yearly event in the Garden City of UAE. Perhaps my growing interest in photography was the reason why I have finally decided to watch this year's event. And with the kids around, it wasn't only a shooting opportunity for me but it was actually a family leisure time and activity. Unfortunately, we were late for two hours but I still managed to capture some of the highlights of the event.

Let me share some of the photos that I snapped last February 5, 2011 at Al Ain International Airport. I have written some notes that you can read along if you'd like to. By the way, according to the Al Ain Aerobatic Show report, this year's event ended up with 71,000 visitors in just two days.

Let me start with Wasp from Scandinavia. This aircraft made some awesome aerobatic show with lots of loops and inverted flying. Initially, I thought the smoke were contrails in the sky, but I was wrong. Wasp was really capable of creating smoke just like the other fighter jets.
Right after the performance of Wasp, these Skycats delighted everyone especially the children with its playful act. They were not just playful and beautiful, they were also friendly that even most of the photographers asked them to pose for an extra shot and still they were so accommodating. Skycats were part of the Scandinavian Team.
Another beauty that anyone couldn't ignore was Miss Demeanour. According to the commentator on that day, this aircraft is a classic British jet fighter in a paint scheme, owned and flown by the former Royal Navy instructor pilot Jonathan Whaley. It scorched the skies high and extremely low around the heads of the crowd. This Hunter Hawk was undeniably a crowd pleaser with its eye-catching bravado performance. She was actually "dancing" in the air.
Miss Demeanour
Another crowd pleaser was PYRO, a jet powered truck with rip roaring brutally-bombastic performance. I wanted to cover my ears as the truck engine fire with its ear-breaking sounds, especially when the bombs were finally dropped into the desert and created a blast. I can say that it was really an olfactory and acoustically unpleasant experience but it was a superb visual treat at the same time.
Another team that has been featured in Al Ain Aerobatic Show 2011 with spell binding skills in the air was the Turkish Stars. The Turkish Air Force national aerobatic team joined this season for the first time. According to the commentator who presented the team in a humorous manner, their aircrafts were eight supersonic Northrop F-5. I specifically liked the combination of red, white and black colors. They have delighted the crowd with their fleeting maneuvers, air drawings, inverted flying and high octane formation displays. As per the commentator's report, they were flying at the speed of  370-960 km/hr. with only a meter between each smoke-capable jet (that was quite narrow!). 
The Turkish Stars
One of the jaw-dropping and breath taking aerobatic performances on that day were given by the Saudi Hawks, my favorite team(stating the obvious hahaha!). Their team is led by the 88th Squadron Commander Major Abdullah al Ghamdi. According to him, their aircrafts were British-made Hawk Mk65. All of those were smoke-capable jets and I liked the white and green colors. Saudi Hawks is a perennial feature of Al Ain Aerobatic Show for many years but they always bring and perform something new each season, making the spectators look forward to watching them every year.
The Saudi Hawks
The biggest jet that I have ever seen during the event (maybe because we were late for 2 hours) but less with aerobatic display was the Dassault Mirage 2000-9, a multirole fighter jet from UAE Air Force. At the time of its thundery performance, my son JM was a bit cranky and I ended up snapping few photos at the beginning and at the end. Though its performance was quite devoid of aerobatic display, this aircraft left the spectators spellbound because of its size.
UAE's Mirage 2000
Another crowd pleaser was the Baltic Bees Jet Team from Latvia. It amused the spectators seeing these jets  put on a superb display of lightning-quick precision flying. According to the commentator, they were flying at the speed of 570 miles per hour. I can say that their performance was utterly fantastic and breath taking considering that the team was created just two years ago. I really liked the yellow and blue colors of these twin-shaft jets as well the bee-inspired design.
Baltic Bees
And for those with passion for luxury and sports car, I am pretty sure that the nail-biting on-ground stunt display presented by two professional drivers was really amusing and hit the core of their interest. This awesome Mercedes-Benz latest model was  presented by Emirates Motor Company, one of the official sponsors of the event.
Mercedes SLS AMG...yours for a cool  US$ 200K
There were some death-defying motocross stunts and skydivers from Fazzaa Sky Team based in Dubai with truly impressive skydiving skills. Another crowd favorite was the RC jets and helicopter performance with their "pilots".
It was a marvelous and one of a kind experience for my family. And what made it more special was the opportunity to capture these aircrafts for free. I must say that it was such an adrenaline-pumping and a challenging experience for a photo hobbyist like me considering that the subjects were fast moving. It took a lot of my patience changing the camera settings in just one event while my neurons were busy taking note of the important information about the teams and their performance. My fingers, arms and neck were aching after watching the event because of nonstop shooting but I have no regrets. With this sundown scenery at the parking lot, our day ended up with a smile on our faces.
Just in case you are interested to see some more of my photos, you can click here.

► About the Author:
Jocelyn is also known as Misalyn in the blogosphere. Born and raised in Daet, Camarines Norte, Philippines. She is an OFW  and presently working as a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse in one of the government hospitals in Al Ain, UAE. Misalyn is an active member of Pinoy Forumers Society, a photo aficionado, and a mother of 2 kids. When she's not busy, you can find her wandering around the city of Al Ain taking photos for the Al Ain City Daily Photo blog, a member of the City Daily Photo Community. You can check out her monochrome photos at the Monochrome Splendor photo blog.

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