Sunday, February 24, 2008
Sizzling Hot Show
Yes, Singapore Airshow 2008 was a triple-rating hot show indeed.
Hot. The weather was perfect, bright and sunny.
Hot! One hour queue in an open field for the shuttle service.
Hot. Newly built exhibition centre, huge and lots to see.
Two out of three hot stuff is not bad, but the waiting in the hot sun melting, almost spoiled our day out.
We were expecting crowds, lot of people, but did not expect the queue to be out in the open field under the hot sun... what happen if it rains instead?
For S$20.00 per adult, I believe the organizers would definitely be able to afford large tents and a better organized queue holding area... rain or shine.
For that ticket price, I was expecting a goodie-bag given out at the entrance of the show-grounds... or at least a bottle of mineral water, but I was silly to think so. No door-gift, no souvenir.
Fortunately, like any commercial exhibition, there were free gifts from some of the exhibitors up for grabs... and the people grabbed as many.
Seriously, there were about 90,000 people who came to the air-show as the newspaper reported and those who gulped down and eat overpriced drinks and food. Some tents at the pickup point would do justice.
The highlight of the show with most visitors was definitely the Airbus A380. Wifey was so excited that as soon as the aerobatics display ended at 1:45PM, she rushed us to see the static exhibits especially a chance to board the A380.
There it was, a flying giant grounded for all to awe at the human marvel to successfully realize a humongous flying machine... and that was about it. To witness in awe at it and never get a chance to board the plane at all... unless you are a paying passenger to Sidney, Australia or London on SIA.
The sign inside the barrier stated "By Invitation Only."
"What?!" Wifey exclaimed, "Why can't we get to see inside?" puzzled, but sounded mostly disappointed.
"Yeah!" I agreed in support, "I wanted to try the bed..." I joked, "swipe some cutleries..." No respond. Yep, a very disappointed Wifey.
So, she got to stand at the middle of the tarmac and had her photo taken with the Airbus... from the outside. Good enough. Next!
One bright orange helicopter exhibit from Advance Aviation was particularly inviting. No barriers!
So visitors got to view it up close, touched it too but short of going into the cockpit. Timely enough, everyone was asked to moved outside the yellow line as it was taking off just after Wifey and Sonny got their photo taken with its door opened.
Another was the Republic Of Singapore Air Force Hercules Helicopter exhibit. We got a chance to board it and I got to explain to Sonny my heyday as a medic in the army.
Several times in our live exercises, we got to load casualties into the copter and taken for a ride to another location in a casualty evacuation-simulation exercises.
I could go on describing the static displays one at a time, but even I do not want to bore myself to sleep, so I will not.
Basically, I was happy to be there and ogled at the human marvels up close. The photo opportunities were more than satisfy me for the day.
Wifey redeemed her disappointment when she got to bag as many insignia badges, nylon carriers, pen-holder sleeves made from the same material as with mouse-pads... and a dozen different colored pens from different exhibitors there.
She enjoyed collecting them so much, it was scary. She made it sure, it was worth the 48 bucks spent on the tickets on three of us.
Nonetheless, she could not resist but to buy a S$16.00 Aviator Teddy Bear with a Singapore Airshow 2008 pin on it.
Sonny was a little disappointed he did not get a signed autograph poster from any of the aerobatics display pilots... but soothed when we get to buy the Airbus A380 1:200 scale model for S$60.00.
The queue for the shuttle bus home was another long-drawn-out story all together.. expectedly so, since there were an exodus of thousands of people going home at the same time.
One thing everyone would agree with... everybody had lots of sizzling hot pictures and sharp tan lines.