report by: Sebastien Mousty
The Los Angeles County Air Show presented by Lockheed Martin was held on both Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25, 2018 at General William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster CA. This was the fifth consecutive year of the Show, honoring the long history of aeronautical “First, Fastest and Farthest,” and the third consecutive year our event hosted an amazing line-up of iconic speakers, whose deeds and true-life tales are known around the world,” Los Angeles County Air Show President Ronda Perez said. Jack Gordon, Former President, Lockheed Skunkworks 1994 to 1999, heavily involved in the development of the SR-71 and Steve Justice, Former Director Advanced Systems, Lockheed Martin Skunkworks were the Guests of honor of this year edition of Los Angeles County Air Show.
USAF and NASA provided the vast majority of the modern Military Airfighters taking part to the Show. And Commemorate AirForce went with the iconic WWII Bombers and fighters to take part of both Static and Dynamic Display. Leading the Langley-based F-22 Raptor Demo Team is Major Paul “Loco” Lopez II who begins his first of two seasons as the demo pilot. Major Lopez, the team’s first African-American pilot, will fly a nearly 30 minute performance at the air show sites demonstrating the handling characteristics of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. On March 24, the Raptor team performed at two popular air show sites east of Los Angeles which lie about 90 miles apart. “It is an honor to be selected as one of the 2018 sites for the ACC F-22 demo team” Ronda Perez said. A single USAF 461 FLTS F-35A took part to the static display. The F-35A will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations. The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A gives the U.S. Air Force and allies the power to dominate the skies – anytime, anywhere. The F-35A is an agile, versatile, high-performance, 9g capable multirole fighter that combines stealth, sensor fusion, and unprecedented situational awareness. The F-35A’s advanced sensor package is designed to gather, fuse and distribute more information than any fighter in history, giving operators a decisive advantage over all adversaries Coalition irregular warfare and major combat operations. F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, AF-01 and AF-02, arrived at Edwards AFB. First F-35 to pass 1000 flight hours on June 11th, 2014.
The 416th squadron was reactivated for flight testing of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon in 1989, after an inactivity of 43 years. The unit inherited the role of the 6516th TS that was also based at Edwards AFB. As the 6516th, the 416th was tasked with testing different weapon systems and specialized equipment on the F-16 in different production versions (blocks). Weapons testing forms only a small part of the unit’s task. . In the 1990s the 416th helped in the development of the MLU upgrade package for older (mainly European NATO countries’) F-16A/B models.The USAF U-2 provides high-altitude, all-weather surveillance and reconnaissance, day or night, in direct support of U.S. and allied forces. It delivers critical imagery and signals intelligence to decision makers throughout all phases of conflict, including peacetime indications and warnings, low-intensity conflict, and large-scale hostilities.
The U-2S is a single-seat, single-engine, high-altitude/near space reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft providing signals, imagery, and electronic measurements and signature intelligence, or MASINT. Long and narrow wings give the U-2 glider-like characteristics and allow it to quickly lift heavy sensor payloads to unmatched altitudes, keeping them there for extended periods of time. U-2s are home based at the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. U-2 pilots are trained at Beale using five two-seat aircraft designated as TU-2S before deploying for operational missions. Plans to retire the U-2 were cancelled in 2012 so we might enjoy the Beale AFB 9th RW U-2s untill at least 2040.
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, was named in honor of Neil A. Armstrong, best known as the commander of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, during which he became the first person to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. Previously known as the Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center, the center was renamed in 2014 to reflect Armstrong’s contributions to aeronautics. NASA operates two Lockheed ER-2 Earth resources aircraft as flying laboratories in the Airborne Science Program under the Agency’s Science Mission Directorate. The aircraft, based at NASA Armstrong’s Building 703 in Palmdale, CA, collect information about Earth resources, celestial observations, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, and oceanic processes. The aircraft also are used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation. NASA acquired its first ER-2 aircraft in 1981 and a second in 1989. They replaced two Lockheed U-2 aircraft, which NASA had used to collect science data since 1971. Armstrong currently flies F-15D Eagle aircraft for research support and pilot proficiency. The F-15Ds have a two-seat cockpit and like the 2 seat Support Aircraft. The F/A-18 Hornet are normally used for photo or video support. They will be transmitting live video from the air back to Armstrong so engineers can visually monitor the mission as it is being flown. Three F/A-18 Hornet aircraft are flown at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, California, for research support and pilot proficiency.
Commemorative Airforce : Lloyd Nolen and a small group of ex-service pilots from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang in 1957. By 1960, the group began to search seriously for other World War II aircraft but it quickly became apparent that few remained in flying condition. In 1965, the first museum building consisting of 26,000 square feet was completed at old Rebel Field, Mercedes, Texas. The CAF created a new Rebel Field at Harlingen, Texas. The CAF fleet continued to grow and included medium and heavy bombers such as the B-29, B-25, B-17 and B-24. The organization was originally known as the Confederate Air Force. Following a membership vote in 2001 and made effective on January 1, 2002, the organization is now called the Commemorative Air Force. Several plane from Commemorative Airforce were sent to Fox Field. The major part of the public attention was kept by the iconic B-17G “Sentimental Journey” that was built in November, 1944. Globalairpower was really satisfied to participate to Los Angeles County Airshow 2018 and we would like to thank all the poeple that helped to create this report.