Monday, 26 October 2015

Visit to Tsuiki Air Base

Yesterday, I woke up at 6 am to go to Tsuiki Air Base. Apparently, there was some sort of open-house day thing going on, and my zemi gave me the opportunity to go there for free. Obviously, I opted to go.

The first thing I saw on the bus was this sign:

I'm guessing this is normally used for non-civilian purposes
And then, I realised that I forgot my camera. And to think that I charged the battery the night before and everything. And then my seniors realised that none of us brought a camera. I guess we would have been a bit sadder about it, but then we all fell asleep, because it was a three hour ride.

When we got to the place, the first thing we did was to walk around and look at the airplanes!


It was actually pretty cool, although I was really curious as to why people were marking out spots. I would find out the real reason later.

So after we made one round, we decided to go queue at the cockpit area. We honestly thought that we were going to be able to sit in the plane, but then we found out the queue was to just climb up and have a close look at the cockpit.

...

We still queued.

The cockpit
 The plane we queued to see was the F-2, a plane that was jointly developed by America and Japan. And it costs a lot of money. It's really fast though.

F-2
The other plane that we did not queue up for (the queue was fine, because we all started reading, but we agreed - no more queues) was the F-15. I think that was the more popular plane because:

1. It's apparently popular with ladies
2. This is its last year at Tsuiki Air Base. It's moving to Okinawa soon.

The F-15. Apparently, it reminds me senior of an eco-car? 
 By the way, have a look at the queue:


After that, we sort of wandered around the place a little, and saw a few demonstrations (missed a few though), and got to handle these: 

The English name escapes me, but they were heavy! 

After that, we went back to the square, and I realised all the people who were lying down weren't just taking a nap, they were reserving their spots for the airshow. But it wasn't too crowded, so we found a spot at the back and sat down to eat and wait.

The show was totally worth the wait. It kind of reminds me of Singapore's NDP parades, only these planes fly way, way closer to the ground. I really wished I had my camera.


These planes are the T-4, and they can release smoke. So they actually drew a few pictures, like Mount Fuji:


 And a heart:

A star, and a few others, if I remember correctly. But what I found really cool would be the 'stunts', flying really close to each other, and flying upside-down, and doing both at the same time.


I think it was a really good thing that we had clear skies, although I felt it got a little cloudy by the end of the performance.

By the way, although it was really cold in the morning, it got hot by noon. This weather... it's so confusing.

So after the airshow, which was the main attraction, we had about 40 minutes left. We went to see the VADS drill, but I figured since I had about 10 minutes, I would go look for....


NEKO BUS!

Unfortunately, I couldn't ride it, because I'm not a primary school kid. Also, I uploaded this photo to Facebook, and as proof of the power of Ghibli and Totoro, it got way more likes and comments than my normal instagram photos. Then again, I would probably pass over a picture of planes for this. LOOK AT ITS SMILE XD

Too bad it couldn't fly.

By the time I got back to the VADS location, the drill was already in progress. Since I'm still not sure about what VADS is, I won't comment on anything. But once the drill was done, we sort of slowly made our way back to the bus, stopping to get a hashimaki on the way back.

And then, another three hour bus ride back.

I still don't really get why this was offered as part of my zemi (although only three of us went), but I don't regret going. The show as really cool, and I got to see the nekobus! Plus, I talked to two of the senpai's that I don't really talk to, which is always a fun experience.

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