The 2003 Edwards Air Force Base Air Show
October 25, 2003
These photos were taken by me, Fred Bruenjes, at the 2003 Edwards Air Force Base Airshow, near Mojave Californa. Edwards is also known as the Air Force Flight Test Center, and is where virtually all new U.S. aircraft are first flown. It is located on dry lakebeds in the middle of the desert.
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John Collver's AT-6 Texan War Dog flies in front of a massive raging wildfire.
The A-10 Thunderbolt was pretty much built to fit around that gun.
The A-10 flying in formation with a P-51 Mustang.
A C-17A Globemaster III cargo plane.
A U.S. Army Golden Knight checks the wind direction before jumping.
B-1B Lancer Bomber screams overhead.
The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Spirit of New York above the rocket test stands.
The B-2 has sleek rounded shapes to deflect radar.
The small N9M flying wing is the predecessor to the B-2.
A C-130J demonstrates a cargo drop. The bottom of each pallet is made of foot-thick crushable cardboard.
The C-130J idles two engines after landing.
An F-86 Sabre.
An F-16 Falcon demonstrates in-flight (mid-air) refueling with a KC-135 Stratotanker.
An F-16 with the larger F-15 Eagle.
The F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter takes a look at the crowd.
I think a lot of UFO sightings can be explained by the stealth. Doesn't this look like a flying saucer?!
The brand new F/A-22 Raptor, this is the FIRST TIME one has flown a scheduled performance at a public air show!
The F/A-22 is monitored by an F-16 chase plane.
I have a feeling that the F/A-22 will become a staple of future air shows nationwide.
The finale of the show is the Thunderbirds, but the second to last display is a formation flyby of all manner of EAFB aircraft.
From left to right is a B2, C130, B1B, KC135, F117A, F15, F16, C17A, L39, T38, another F15, and another F16.
Note: They are flying a very loose right echelon formation, so planes to the left look much smaller than they really are.
The F117A, F15, and F16.
An L39, a T-38, an F16, and an F15.
An F16 on the ground in AFFTC colors.
The B-1B makes a pass over the flightline before landing.
The finale is the Thunderbirds, a high performance jet team flying the F16. Only five of the seven planes flew.
I wonder why the '5' is painted upside down?
There was some sort of problem - they sat on the runway for an excruciatingly boring half hour before starting the show.
Finally, the show begins!
Oh, THAT's why the '5' is painted the way it is!
We could see the Star-Wars-esque YAL-1A Airborne Laser in its' hangar across the way.
NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, used to ferry the Shuttle across the country.
One of the three posts the shuttle sits on. The prank instructions say: ATTACH ORBITER HERE. NOTE: BLACK SIDE DOWN.
If you didn't get that joke you need to pay more attention to the space program!
A mockup of the shuttle used for training rescue crews, an 80% scale model of the X-37, and the world's first laser-powered airplane.
A UAV fitted with missiles, made famous in Afghanistan and Iraq.
CH-53E Super Stallion Marine helicopter.
C-46 China Doll WW2 cargo plane has... um... nose art.
WW2 B25 Executive Sweet.
The FAA's DC3 N34, soon heading to the Smithsonian.
The parking lot was on the dry lakebed, complete with runway striping.
I guess I was one of the last people to leave!
I used Canon D60 and 10D digital SLRs, with 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS and 17-40mm F/4L lenses to shoot the show, and Phase One's Capture One DSLR LE software to process the images.