Day 5 of 5 from a steaming hot Rainbow/Star Wars Canyon in the Summer of 2019.
As well as F-18s we were lucky enough to get WA and OT tail coded F-15Cs from Nellis as well as a load of F-35C Lightnings on this day. A stunning end to an already awesome trip to the U.S.A.
Known locally as Rainbow Canyon, this staggeringly beautiful location lies in the northeastern reaches of the Mojave Desert at the western side of the Death Valley National park in Inyo County, California. The canyon is 5.5 miles long and sits at the end of the Jedi Transition, a route between point C and point J of the Sidewinder low level training route. Fighters and other military aircraft use this route to enhance their low level flying skills as they thread their multimillion dollar jets through this tight valley. The Jedi transition allows pilots to miss out a section of the Sidewinder from Owens Lake, just south of Lone Pine (Point C), and drop into Panamint Valley at Point J. The area is teaming with military aircraft activity including air-to-air practice, mid-air refuelling and other training taking place throughout the day and night.
RIAT 2016 saw the debut of the F-35B demo in the UK, and the US Marine Corp jet did his practice first on the Wednesday before the show. We had both A and B models into Fairford for the 2016 show, and types from the USAF, RAF and Marine Corps – quite a selection.
This demo was very tame compared to where we’re at with recent F-35 flying demos, but it was still awesome to see (and hear) these jets in action for the first time. Check out the haunting engine sounds when the jet is in the hover and the dust and debris this jet kicks up at 5:59.
For more information on the 2016 show – https://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/visiting/lookingback/looking-back-at-2016/airshow-aircraft-confirmed-aircraft