Japanese Air Force Stunt Pilots Put On "Wheel" Great Show

Air shows are popular around the world and for people living in small, isolated towns they can be a good source of entertainment. For the military, an air show provides a great chance to do a little PR and at the same time, show off the soldiers' know-how.

When the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) decided to entertain the locals at their Shimane prefecture radar base, they called upon the elite Red Club to display their finely honed formation flying skills! At some point, however, it was noted that the radar base doesn't actually have an airfield. The solution the pilots came up with was innovative, fun, cool and entertaining: they adapted to meet the local conditions.

Using cardboard, styrofoam, tape and glue, the pilots fashioned jet fighter style fairings for... bicycles! Even more surprising, the modded bikes are amazingly consistent in their construction and feature a number of fine details few would notice, such as NO PUSH tabs on the faux wing flaps.

Check out this short video of the Red Club in action performing some daring formation fly, er, biking. Viewers should note the unexplained (but odd) lavender-haired woman at about 2:20 and the neato speeded-up overhead view from 2:30.

Onlooking kids seem to enjoy the show the most and that's no surprise: kids can't fly fighter jets but they can ride bikes with the best of 'em. What red-blooded kid wouldn't want a bike like the ones "piloted" by the Red Club? 

The All-Japan Super Terrific Bike Squadron (my term, not theirs) prides itself on being environmentally friendly. This is something other air forces should note since someday, when the planet's oil runs dry, ALL air shows might look like this. When that day arrives, the JASDF will be ready! (via Japan Probe)