A Delta-II booster launched the Wide-Field Infra-red Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite from SLC-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 6:09 AM on Monday, December 14. The upper stage climbed into sunlight shortly before burnout leaving a brilliantly lit exhaust trail.
It's hard to beat the remarkable variety of airplanes and helicopters displayed at the Edwards Air Force Base Open House and Airshow.
The day before the Edwards Air Force Base Open House, flight crews rehearsed for the airshow.
A quarter of a million people assembled on a hot, cloudless, and windless day at Flight Test Nation 2009, the Edwards Air Force Base open house and airshow on Saturday, October 17. They were treated to performances by the US Army Golden Knights, John Collver, and Julie Clark. The Air Force demonstrated a Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II, Boeing-McDonnell-Douglas C-17A Globemaster 3, and Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor. The Tora, Tora, Tora show reenacted the attack on Pearl Harbor. All three of the Air Force heavy bomber types, B-52H Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer, and B-2A Spirit, flew past the crowd. It was the first public appearance of the Lockheed-Martin F-35A Lightning 2. Orbital Sciences displayed White Knight and White Knight 2. The Flight Test Center assembled a formation of ten airplanes from the 412th Test Wing for the finale.
An Atlas-V booster launched a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite from SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:12 AM on Sunday, October 18. This version of the Atlas-V is not equipped with solid fuel boosters, so the exhaust contrail is much less visible than a Delta-II launch. The Lonmpoc Valley was filled with dense fog, forcing me to photograph the launch from the mountains west of Santa Barbara about 35 miles from SLC-3.
A Delta-II booster launched the Worldview 2 satellite from SLC-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 11:51 AM on Thursday, October 8.
A fleet of Aero Tech Air Tractor AT-802A turbo-props is dropping hydromulch on burned areas of the Santa Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara and Goleta. They are serviced at the old tanker station at the west end of the flightline.
Boeing 747 Carrier Aircraft N911NA took off with the Space Shuttle Discovery at 6:20 AM PDT on Sunday morning for the ferry flight to the Kennedy Space Center. The first stop will be at Amarillo, Texas. The pair stopped at Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Texas and continued to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana later in the day. They will complete the flight to Kennedy Space Center tomorrow.
Each year five test pilots are honored at the Aerospace Walk of Honor in Lancaster. New plaques honoring Lieutenant Colonel Harry Andonian, USAF, John A. Fergione, Brigadier General James A. McDivitt, USAF, Jack Fraser Woodman, and Jean L. "Skip" Ziegler were unveiled at the Aerospace Walk of Honor at 10:30 AM on Saturday, September 19, 2009. The Walk of Honor is located at the intersection of Lancaster Boulevard and Sierra Highway.
Two of my Gigapan panoramas are on display at the Antelope Valley Allied Arts Cedar Center Gallery in Lancaster as part of the Aerospace Walk of Honor event. They will be displayed through next weekend. The gallery is located at the intersection of Lancaster Boulevard and Cedar Avenue, across from the library. It is open from Noon to 4:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. I have been invited to put on a one-man show at the Cedar Gallery in December.
The Space Shuttle Discovery was suspended from the Mare/Demate Device at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center as it was prepared for loading aboard the Boeing 747 Carrier Aircraft on Thursday. The 747 is scheduled to take off on Sunday morning for the flight to the Kennedy Space Center.
Bad weather over Florida forced the Space Shuttle Discovery to wave off from its primary landing site and land at Edwards air Force Base in California at the conclusion of mission STS-128.
Wings Over Camarillo featured a variety of general aviation, homebuilt, and replica airplanes. The show wrapped up with an action packed warbird flyby that included a pair of Lockheed P-38 Lightnings and a replica Supermarine Spitfire. North American B-25 Mitchell Executive Sweet provided rides for aviation buffs.
Boilerplate Orion Crew Module PA-1 was loaded aboard an Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center on August 18, 2009. It will be flown to Holloman Air Force Base and then trucked to the White Sands Missile Range for the first Launch Abort System (LAS) Pad Abort Test.
The Mojave Airport hosted another Plane Crazy Saturday fly-in on August 15. It showcased the local air racers that will be participating in the reno Air Races next month. The next Plane Crazy Saturday is scheduled for September 19.
A flyover by a Lockheed C-130T Hercules of VR-55 based at Santa Clarita marked the beginning of the Fiesta Equestrian Parade at noon on Friday, August 7.
The Mojave Airport hosted another Plane Crazy Saturday fly-in on July 18.
The Airship Ventures Zeppelin N704LZ Eureka cruised across Santa Barbara County on its way from Long Beach to its home base at Moffett Field on Wednesday, July 8, 2009. It is seen here over Isla Vista at 1:22 PM PDT. It was cruising at an altitude of 2,800 feet and a speed of 37 knots.
While I was at Edwards Air Force Base to photograph the Space Shuttle Atlantis, I also photographed a number of the airplanes displayed on the base as thunderstyorms rumbled through the area.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for delivery from Edwards Air Force Base to the Kennedy Space Center. Preparations were interrupted by thunderstorms moving through the area on Friday afternoon, forcing its departure to be postponed from Sunday to Monday morning.
The Airship Ventures Zeppelin N704LZ cruised across Santa Barbara County on its way from Long Beach to its home base at Moffett Field on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. It is seen here over Buellton at 1:30 PM. It was cruising at an altitude of 1,900 feet and a speed of 29 knots.
Over seventy vintage airplanes were displayed at the Planes of Fame Airshow at Chino over the weekend of May 16 - 17. The theme of the show was the Grumman Iron Works. The show featured five Grumman F8F Bearcats, three Grumman F7F Tigercats, three General Motors TBM Avengers, three Curtiss P-40 Warhawks, two North American B-25 Mitchells, two Mitsubishi A6M "Zeroes", several North American P-51 Mustangs and a host of others.
The Mojave Airport hosted the Plane Crazy Saturday fly-in on May 16. Over three dozen airplanes and helicopters participated in the fly-in.
The Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour: Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, N93012 Nine-O-Nine, North American P-51C Mustang NL251MX Betty Jane, and Consolidated B-24J Liberator Witchcraft arrived at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on Friday, May 8, 2009. The warbirds made a number of revenue generating flights, taking aviation enthusiasts aloft for about a half hour.
The plume of smoke from the Jesusita Fire drifted slowly on relatively calm winds on the morning of May 8. The speed of this time lapse video has been increased by a factor of 30.
The Jesusita Fire broke out in San Roque Canyon above Santa Barbara about 1:30 PM on May 5, 2009. Two Bell Huey helicopters and many County and City Fire Crews responded in short order.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency STSS-RTRR satellite was launched from Vandenvberg Air Force Base on a Delta-II rocket at 1:24:25 PM on May 5.
NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale was dedicated on April 9, 2009.
Fillmore hosted Railfest 2009 over the weekend of March 28 - 29. The Sespe #1 0-4-0 steam engine was running on live steam for the first time in years. A pair of EMG F7 diesels pulled an excursion train on runs to Santa Paula. A Metrolink train pulled by a MotivePower MPXpress locomotive was on display. They demonstrated the operation of the Canadian turntable. A miniature live steam 2-4-0 locomotive made runs along a short stretch of scale tracki.
The Mojave Airport hosted the second Plane Crazy Saturday fly-in on February 21. This is planned to be a monthly event. The number of visiting airplanes was nearly 1/3 of the number of visiting people. A documentary film crew and actors for a National Geographic show were also present on the flightline. Put the event on your schedule for March 21.
A Taurus booster launched the orbiting Carbon Observatory from SLC-576E Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:55 AM on Tuesday, February 24, but the payload shroud faiiled to separate. It ascended on a trajectory that arched higher above the horizon, as viewed from from my position, than other orbital launches that I have photographed.
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