Weapons of Mass Attraction

Screw the Blue Angels. When it comes to air-show cool, the C-17 Globemaster III takes top honors at the Wings Over Homestead Air Show this Saturday and Sunday. Don’t let its girth fool you. This behemoth makes for better watching than its speedy brethren. The C-17 takes off and lands in a mere 3,000 feet — that’s ten football fields. And once it gets airborne, it goes close to vertical so fast you’ll be sure it’s some kind of military hoax (like the moon landing). Though you can barely make out the F-16s when they whiz by, the C-17’s amazingly slow run over the tarmac has audience members commenting on the pilot’s 5 o’clock shadow and half-expecting the floating school bus to belly-flop right there on the airstrip. Now in its second year, the air show at Homestead Air Reserve Base is chock full of flying steel, including new appearances by mammoth B-52 and B-1 bombers. Here’s hoping the bombardier doesn’t have an itchy trigger finger. Tote comfortable shoes (there’s a lot to see, and it’s spread out), portable chairs, and earplugs if you can’t stand noise pollution. And don’t forget to bring a healthy dose of blind patriotism as you try to ignore why these weapons of mass destruction were built in the first place.
Nov. 6-7, 9 a.m., 2010
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Sebastian del Mármol