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ISSUE 103 - February 2010
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2009 Edwards AFB Open House Part 2

By Bernard Zee, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Fremont, California

Last week we brought you Part 1 of the Edwards AFB open house event. Edwards is the main Air Force flight test center for the U.S. with a rich aviation history behind it. One of the more famous exploits there was Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in the X-1. Edwards is also known for being the alternate landing site for the Space Shuttle.
Julie Clark in her Chevron T-34.

Not much wind that day. Everyone landed 'in the target center'!
That's what the announcer kept saying... :-)

In service longer than I've been alive, the venerable B-52 Stratofortress,
or as some may call it...BUFF!

This Bone is from Edwards (note the ED). The official name for the B-1B is Lancer.
But Bone is so much cooler. By the way, B-1 = B-One = Bone. How about that!

After a short break, it was time for TORA TORA TORA!

A T-38 trainer taxis by as their airfield is being bombed by Japanese replica planes!

The Kate required a lot of work. It started as an AT-6 airframe, rear and tail removed
A 7 ft extension added to rear of cockpit, then the tail of a BT-13 grafted on. A longer
section added to the front of the firewall. Canopy redone into a 5 section piece.
Wingtips extended and reshaped. Fin and rudder reshaped. 3rd seat added facing rearwards. In the end, it really does look like a B5N Kate!

That torpedo the Kate is carrying opens up and doubles as storage space!

Love the shots with the smoke in the back.

The Japanese formation regroups for one last flyby. I happen to catch them
with the B-17 in the foreground. Man, that's just like Pearl Harbor!

Oh my! They dropped another load as a parting gift!

The P-51 swings around afterwards for a victory lap.

Strangely enough, it's the Edwards AFB Raptor that's flying. Turned out the demo
F-22, AND the backup F-22 both developed some technical problems.
Good thing Edwards had a plane ready to fill in!

The Edwards plane in a high speed pass in afterburner.

The F-22 joins with the P-38, F-16, and A-10 to form the Heritage flight.

The finale is the Edwards Air Force Test Center flyby.
It had 2 F-16s, a T-38, a B-1, B-2, B-52, C-17, KC-135, and C-130!

A unique bomber formation of B-2, B-52, and B-1B.

B-2 Spirit of New York. That's an Edwards bird too.

These kids had a field day with this contraption. I would puke after 5 seconds myself!

NASA X-48 flying models, and a NASA Global Hawk version in the back. There is this
chain mail going around with photoshopped Boeing X-48s talking about this ne
Boeing super jet. Well, this is the real thing folks - only about 20 ft. wide! :-)
I was very happy with the way the pictures turned out. It was a really nice show! Too bad I left my hat in the car - the desert sun totally fried me! Though the morning started out really cold, it was downright hot by 10am! Only got worse from there. At least I had sunglasses (racoon face) and sunscreen. I thought it was very considerate for Edwards to provide free drinking water - in the form of 500 gallon water buffalos. (More) people would have passed out with heat stroke if not for that! For maximum enjoyment, remember to get there EARLY, keep your cool, and don't be in a hurry to leave! Thanks to the Air Force and all the volunteers who made this event possible!

View my complete Photo Gallery here.
By Bernard Zee, Contributing Editor & Photographer

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