The Golden Air Tattoo
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the United States Airforce
Nellis AFB Las Vegas Nevada April 25th-26th 1997

"This was going to be our first taste of an Airshow outside the UK and what a way to start!

Like a lot of other UK enthusiasts, Paul and I had read with increasing interest about the proposed
Golden Air Tattoo to be held at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nevada
and knew that this was one of those events that would not be repeated and therefore just could not be missed!
  We therefore both took the plunge and booked with George Pick Tours to make the trip via LA to Vegas...
Neither of us knew the other before this trip, but a conversation whilst queuing at security in LAX made us realise
that we had both opted to share a room with an unknown 'someone else' on the trip.Would you believe it we both were the 'someone else'!
  What's more, it also turned out that we lived within 10 miles of each other in Kent ,
and both had Biggin Hill Airshow to thank for our common interest!
 It was definitely one of those 'small World' moments and we have been good friends ever since.

Not only were we to gain access to one of the most famous airbases in the US, but we had the extra bonus of staying
in the unique atmosphere of Las Vegas! It really was the stuff of dreams.
The day before the show was spent watching arrivals and practice displays from outside the perimeter fence
and included a memorable moment when an elderly lady emerged from her motorhome
brandishing a pistol and yelling at us all to get off her land!
  Needless to say, I have never seen such a variety of different sized enthusiasts move so quickly in all my life! 

The Air Tattoo itself lived up to all expectations, the weather was glorious and the variety of aircraft mouth-watering.
  We will let our pictures speak for themselves, but highlights included 2 airworthy Lockheed Constellations,
a couple of passes by the fantastic SR71 Blackbird (plus another on static display),
P-51 Mustangs restored in the colours of those flown by Chuck Yeager and Bud Anderson and actually displayed by them,
plus displays by the national teams of Brazil, Canada, Chile and Japan
(the latter, 'Blue Impulse' were displaying outside their home Country for the first time, having arrived in San Diego
via container ship just a couple of days before the show!).
This was also the first time we had seen the Thunderbirds display and experienced their style of commentary!
  The whole trip convinced us both that we just had to come back to the States again to sample some more of this! 


We hope these pictures bring back some happy memories to others who made the trip,
it has been great bringing the show back to life through the magic of film scanning!"
Mark Preston.

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