Monday, November 14, 2011

Aviation Nation 2011

Overcast skies and a little breeze did not dampen the patriotic spirit at Nellis Air Force Base as Aviation Nation, Nellis’ Open House and Air Show entertained and awed thousands of spectators with remarkable air demonstrations and static displays over Veterans Day weekend.

Nellis celebrates 70 years of airpower in the Las Vegas area and it was very fitting to feature aircraft and displays from the early years of fighting for liberty to showcasing present day marvels in warfare and defense. Aircraft spanning from World War II to present day exhibited the sights and sounds of freedom including a flyover from the imposing B-1 Bomber, aerial reenactments and heart thumping passes from F-15’s. The daunting C-17 Globemaster flew gracefully over the southern Nevada desert and after landing she demonstrated her full reverse capability at air show center.

The Thunderbirds performed with their usual breathtaking precision at their final air show performance of the season. The Korean air war was reenacted with an exciting dogfight of a MiG 15 and an F-86 Sabrejet The California- based-Patriots Jet Team electrified the spectators with their awesome aerobatic maneuvers in their L-39’s.

Reenactments such as the aerial gunnery and bomber demonstration, the air to ground demo by the A-10, F-16, F-15 and the, HH-60 showed us the might of the United States Air Forces.

A most imposing and impressive site at Aviation Nation was that of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. The B-2 debuted in combat operations in Kosovo in 1999 and was the first aircraft to deploy GPS satellite guided JDAM "smart bombs" in combat use there.

Other static displays included the F-22 Raptor, the MQ-1 Predator, F-16 Aggressor and the B-52. Visitors had the opportunity to visit the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) ‘Rise Above exhibit which honors the Tuskegee Airman-America’s first black military pilots and their crew support crews. The exhibit features a beautifully restored P-51C Mustang and shows the stirring an informative movie ‘Rise Above’. The CAF’s display was one of many on the ramp at Nellis there to share in the celebration of America’s airpower last weekend. Aviation Nation was a great way honor our Veterans and celebrate our active armed forces, and hearing the sound of freedom...

Contributed by:  Connie May

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