American Queen – Air Shows


One great part of the July 4th celebrations in St. Louis was, not one but two, airshows over the Mississippi River – right where the American Queen was docked.  I took nearly 1000 photos, mainly in ‘burst mode’, as it was difficult to track some of the planes in the air and get a decent shot.

I (sort of) recognized a number of these aircraft but I’m no expert so anyone who can give more definite identification, please add a comment and I’ll  update the ID’s in the post. (As usual, clicking on a thumbnail will take you to a larger version of the picture in another window or tab.)

Here a group of sky divers have jumped from above the Arch and are trying to pass through it before landing.  Most of them made it.


This is (I believe) a B-17 with its fighter escort.  I don’t recognize the fighters for sure.  This was really quite a sight and got a lot of attention from the viewers.


Another airplane I couldn’t identify.  It was a graceful and zippy little jet that appeared like a glider with a jet engine attached.  He/she did some incredible maneuvers quite close to the water.


Another shot of the same jet showing it was no slouch when it came to the speed department.  You could tell the pilot was having a lot of fun showing off.



There were a number of biplanes in this show.  Again my identification skills are lacking.  The only ones I know of (by name only) are the Setabria and the Stearman.  Anyway, this one sure was peppy and maneuverable.


For the size of this twin engine plane it certainly did some spectacular flying.  I would not have wanted to be a passenger on this flight!


A biplane in an inverted loop.  Made me queasy just to watch!





Because of length I’ll split this post here:

A Vietnam era A-10 “Warthog” which was very hard to catch in a photo.  It was also the strangest sounding plane in the airshow.  Hard to describe, but you sure knew when it was approaching.

A pair of biplanes flying in close formation.  These pilots really had the right stuff.  It was somewhat frightening how they did such maneuvers in tight formation.


These are the fighters which accompanied the B-17/B-24 shown earlier.  Really nice looking airplanes.


This is another shot of the B-17 showing more of the structure underneath with the gun turrets in the front, belly and tail.


A B-52 (Not sure which model) which is still in active service after first flying in 1952!  Originally built to carry nuclear weapons, they have only carried conventional munitions in combat.

Another shot of the B-17 fighter escort.




A Harrier “Jump Jet”.  Probably the AV-8B but there are many variants.  This plane is capable of Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing  (V/STOL) operation.  Here it is in hover mode – note the downward exhaust.