The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Thomas Morris

2018 Los Angeles County Air Show


Photo provided

Our newest and most sophisticated multi-service aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II.

On March 24-25 the 5th annual Los Angeles County Air Show took place at Fox Field in Lancaster. The staff and editor at The Loop honored me for the third consecutive year to attend and report on the aerial and static demonstrations of the old, new and future aircraft which were at the event. Before doing that let's go back and recall the shows of 2016 and 2017.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels were the highlight of the 2016 show. Media day was held several days prior to the show and I was able to meet and interview the pilots and support crew. The Navy flies the F-18 Hornet. The following day I took a ride in Fat Albert, the Blue Angels' support C-130 and what a ride it was. Up 45 degrees, level off at 4,000 feet then bank 90 degrees then dive at 60 degrees; I have flown many hours in C-130s during my service years but never like that. The weekend show was unbelievable, which included stunt flying with planes streaming colored smoke as they rose, dove and twisted through the air. An enactment of the Pearl Harbor attack with authentic looking Japanese aircraft was very impressive as were an abundance of WWll warbirds that performed in flybys. The feature of the day was the Blue Angels with their thrilling maneuvers at very close range, which was a fitting ending for a great performance by all.

Last year the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team came to Fox Field. I interviewed several of the support crew which included several female sergeants. Both the Navy and Air Force have the highest standards in place for selecting the volunteers for support crews. In most cases it is a two year assignment. I was given a tour of their support aircraft which is a C-17 but there was no ride this time. The Air Force flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon during their show. There were quite a few 1930 and 1940 beautifully restored civilian aircraft which flew by in formation and were available up close for picture taking. Once again, the stunt fliers did their hair-raising acrobatics. Just like the Blue Angels the year before, the Thunderbirds put on a fantastic show.

Photo Provided

USAF Thunderbirds Master Sgt. Chris Lanning and USAF/USMC Thomas Morris Sgt. with service C-17 aircraft in background.

This year's show was slightly different. Neither the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds were performing at Fox Field, but the U.S. Air Force did show up with two F-22 Raptor jet fighters. The aerial demonstration performed by these aircraft was something to behold. As of this date 183 F-22s are in the Air Force inventory and are combat ready. Several other new military aircraft were on display which included the F-35 Lightning ll and the V-22 Osprey. It was obvious to me that a message was being sent to the public to show just how our dollars are being used to defend our country. One of the highlights was a beautiful WWll B-17 which had been restored as brand new, other period warbirds were equally meticulously restored. Just as in the previous two years, the 2018 air show was an exciting weekend for the aviation enthusiast. During media day I was able to interview some of the military and civilian pilots. They told me that things to come in aviation are unbelievable. I was stationed up the road at Edwards AFB in the early 1960s and what went on then was unbelievable; today those aircraft are in museums. It makes one wonder what is going on at Edwards today that we may see in future air shows at Fox Field.


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