Edwards airshow 2006

October 29, 2006. The flying starts with a sonic boom from an F-15 at 50,000 feet. A few years back it was Chuck Yeager flying. So high altitude, it's hardly more than a double rifle shot. This year I was stuck in traffic getting onto the base and missed it entirely.

This old MiG often performs at the start of airshows.


Air Force shows are fond of "heritage flights" of different era aircraft. Flying dissimilar aircraft in formation is said to be very difficult. Waiting for this formation to make many orbits at P-51 speed gets tedious.



F-22 in a steep climb. Designed for stealth, its supercruise engines in afterburner are anything but stealthy.


The greyhound-like snout of the B-1B.

The B-1B is a supersonic bomber with variable swept wings, sort of like a giant F-14. The four engines make a stupendous noise in afterburner.


Main landing gear of the B-1B, two bogies with 4 wheels. Maximum gross weight is around 400,000 pounds I think -- is that about twice the weight of a 737?





People always flock to large planes at airshows, forming organic shadows of the planform to roost in the shadows.

Wonder what kind of brakes it has?

The plate protecting the nose gear has these buttons for the crew to start the plane before even entering it. Useful for getting WWIII under way on time.





B-2 subsonic stealth bomber. I read these cost $2 billion. You're not allowed near it, and there's an armed soldier walking the perimeter.

"Ad Inexplorata"? Air Force logos often sport Latin phrases.

Your basic F-117. JBL speakers not included.

Research F-16.

A jet trainer.



Wingtip gear on the B-52. The main gear are mounted on the body instead of the wings, and are actually steerable to allow landing in a crab; however there isn't much lateral stability.

F-18 demo ship.




Female wing walker.

A military plane with sectional charts? (This is privately owned).



Russian markings!












Cruise missile.

F-16 with foreign markings.

Is that inviting bad luck for the enemy or the pilot?



B-1B making a slow pass, giving maximum dwell for the NOISE. For a better sense of it, see the B-1 links here

Big formation flight.





Thunderbirds taxiing.




The active runway at Edwards is actually really far from the flightline. Maybe half a mile. That reduces some of the drama of the passes, which I imagine are tracking the runway. Here you see how far it is, as the jets are using a taxiway directly away from the flightline.


Point and shoot cameras aren't suited for small, fast-moving jets. Here is what you could do with proper equipment. Sigh.




A forest of wheels from a large transport. It's painted white, so probably not a C-5.




The special 747 that carries the Space Shuttle from its landing site (often in California) to the pad in Florida.




JSF engine.

JSF mockup.

Predator UAV.



Sunset on the Mojave desert.

There's sufficient parking space for a change.


New wheels.