NAF / JMSDF Atsugi Airshow

I have been attending Atsugi open house ever since I was in high school.
This was a great show that the carrier based aircraft of CVW-5 performs various demo flights.
Beyond the U.S. Navy demonstration, world class aerobatics pilots like Sean Tucker showed their performance to Japanese audience and the show has been considered "the most exciting airshow, so much like U.S. airshows held in Japan."
I found it also very interesting that I can "feel the air of U.S." without visiting, as there are many shops that serve U.S. style foods and drinks (of course, frankly, not all of them are good...)

Atsugi was an imperial Japanese navy fighter base to defend Tokyo and its suburbs from B-29s.
For this reason, it was located close to metropolitan Tokyo.
After the war, as Japanese economy grew, more people moved to Tokyo and its suburbs and Cities like Yamato and Ayase, where the base is located, were no exception.
(Note: Although named Atsugi, the base is a little far away from the city of Atsugi)
Residents of these cities complained the noise from jets for many years.
Many of the complaints included the noise and low flying of the aircraft for the "Wings" airshow.
In the year 2001, these voices of the residents were honored, and flight demonstration was not held.
It is most likely there will be no flight demonstration during the open house in the future.

So, if you like to see a flying aircraft, don't go to the Wings airshow.
If you are not keen on seeing aircraft action, but instead would like to take a close look at the parked aircraft and check its serial number, you should still enjoy the Wings airshow (... or groundshow, I should say)

If you want to see planes flying, visit the base the day before or after the airshow when most of the static display aircraft arrive and depart.
You may also visit Atsugi on weekdays when the aircraft carrier is in port, for the pilots of CVW-5 will do a massive practice flights.

If you are interested in visiting this airshow or any other Japanese Airshow featured in this site, please refer to the page "Guide to Visiting Airshows in Japan"

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USAF U-2S of USAF 9RW 5RS approaching Atsugi on the day before airshow.
Note the high stories aparatment buildings very close to the base.

Diamonds of Diamonds - A-6, F-14, F/A-18

"Diamonds of Diamonds" - a formation of 4x F-14, 4x2x F/A-18 and 4x EA-6.
Because flight display will no longer take place at the Wings Airshow (so it will be an Groundshow?) the beautiful formation like this will be missed forever.

E-2C Hawkeye NF-602 of VAW-115 makes a great photo pass.
A-6 and EA-6
A-6E Intruder NF-511 of VA-115 fuels EA-6B Prowler NF-624 of VAQ-136.
F/A-18 formation
4x F/A-18C Hornets of the CVW-5 in formation flight.

A-6 retired from service soon after this photo was taken.
This is an A-6E of VA-115 (NF-507).
Photo taken during regular training, from outside the base.


Most of the time, CAG birds are on static display during the airshow.
This photo of F/A-18C NF-300, CAG aircraft of VFA-192 was taken during regular training from the road just north of the runway.

Another F/A-18, NF-200, CAG aircraft VFA-27 in colourful markings
CVW-5 based in Atsugi is known to operate very colorful CAG birds.
Perhaps the most famous is VFA-195's CAG bird, F/A-18 Bu.No.163758 / NF-400 "Chippy Ho"
Not only the fighter jets but also a support aircraft like this C-2A NF-430 of VRC-30 has very attractive CAG colors, too.
Atsugi is also home to Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF)'s P-3Cs.
This aircraft, 5072 belongs to VP-6.
This photo of P-3C 5090 of VP-6 is taken from outside the base.
YS-11M-A logistics aircraft #9042 of JMSDF 61 Flt. Sqn. on final approach.

Copyright 2001 Morimoto, Makoto : All Rights Reserved.