Vandenberg Air Show
Nearby Vandenberg AFB hosts a periodic air show when they can schedule the
Thunderbirds. This page details some of Aerospace Show '98.
|The show consisted of static displays on the flightline and hangers
along with the flying show highlighted by the Thunderbirds. One of the
most popular of the static displays was the F-117A "stealth"
fighter, seen here from the rear.
||The displays fascinated everyone. Kids were given the chance to sit
in cockpits or, in this case, at the instrumentation station on a data-gathering
|The flying show featured many different planes. One of the most acrobatic
turned out to be this biplane that did everything except turn itself
||History was made at the show. This was the first time that the two
different aircraft named "Thunderbolt" actually flew together
at a show. Thunderbolt I is a P-47 which flew during World War II and
Thunderbolt II is an A-10, the current aircraft with a specific ground-support
|But, the highlight of the show was a performance by the Air Force
demonstration team: Thunderbirds. The Thunderbird show is a mix of formation
flying (four and six F-16s) and solo performances that often interact
with the formation.
The six demonstration pilots perform about 30 maneuvers during a
typical show; although shows may be tailored for the display area
||Precision flying is a hallmark of the team. Above you see a close
diamond and to the left two solo pilots flying cockpit to cockpit. The
show climaxes with the famous bomb burst formation where four pilots
fly up and spread while one of the solo pilots corkscrews through the
middle of the formation. The four making up the bomb burst all then
circle back and cross in four different directions at show center.
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Copyright © 2002
Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved