75 Years of Airpower: the 2016 Aviation Nation Air Show highlights

Aviation Nation Air Show

As explained by Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum, 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs in his article Aviation Nation highlights “75 Years of Airpower,” Aviation Nation, Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) air show and open house, took place on Nov. 12-13, showing off numerous acts from past and present while giving the community the chance to interact with Airmen.

“Nellis, Creech and the Nevada Test and Training Range have enjoyed decades of support from the communities across Southern Nevada,” said Col. Paul Murray, 99th Air Base Wing commander. “The open house and air show is just one way to give back and show our gratitude for all the support the community provides to our Airmen.”

Noteworthy the air show offered members from the community and those who travelled from abroad for a chance to view multiple acts and experience the unique aspects of what occurs at Nellis AFB.

An RV-6 lands after an aerial demonstration during the Aviation Nation air show on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 11, 2016. The aircraft was one of more than 60 acts and static displays showcased during the two-day event. More than 300,000 spectators came from around the world to watch the performances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum/Released)

75 Years of Airpower

“Ranging from Vicky Benzing’s 1940 World War II Stearman, to present day 5th Generation fighters like the F-22 and F-35, variety and heritage are showcased this year,” explained Murray. “With more than 100 static displays bringing in everything from a DC 10 water drop, to a smoke and thunder jet car, and of course our Nellis capabilities featuring air-to-air and air-to-ground demos.”

By means of these acts and air shows static displays, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) strengthens its bonds with the surrounding community.

Lt. Col. Ron “Elvis” King and Jim Harkins, pilots from Holloman AFB, N.M., perform aerial acts in QF-4 Aerial Targets during the Aviation Nation air show on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Nov. 11, 2016. The event brought more than 295,000 spectators to view one of their final performances before retiring the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by A1C Kevin Tanenbaum/Released)

“There are many aerial acts and static aircraft during the Nellis Air Show which are snapshots of aviation history,” pointed out Murray. “The air show gives Nellis AFB an opportunity to demonstrate the Air Force’s mission and military capabilities, as well as the skill and professionalism of the Airmen assigned here.”

A B-25 Mitchell World War II bomber aircraft flies in front of the crowd during an air-to-ground demonstration at the Aviation Nation air show on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 13, 2016. The many aerial acts and static aircraft displayed during the Nellis Air Show are snapshots of 75 years of aviation history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum/Released)

Biennial open house

Actually the biennial open house included demonstrations from many exciting aircraft including F-18 Hornet, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, F-86 Sabre, C-17 Globemaster, and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

The airshow also featured static displays of aircraft such as A-10 Thunderbolt, C-5 Galaxy, B-1B Lancer, CH-47 Chinook, HH-60 Pave-Hawk, KC-10 Extender, P-51 Mustang, MV-22 Osprey, MQ-1 and MQ-9 drones and many more.

Staff Sgt. Kenneth, 432nd Wing MQ-9 sensor operator, stands in front of an MQ-9 Reaper during Aviation Nation Nov. 11, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Kenneth, along with many other maintenance, intelligence and aircrew members of Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, briefed spectators about the capabilities and basic functions of the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predator. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christian Clausen/Released)

To strengthen this relationship, the 2016 Aviation Nation “75 Years of Airpower” Air Show played host to a record number of attendees from all around the globe, and also featured the final performance of the year for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.

“This event also marks the end of the air show season for the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron ‘Thunderbirds’ who will thrill their hometown crowd with precision and professionalism,” said Murray.

According to Jones, Aviation Nation played host to more than 300,000 spectators from the community.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron performs in the last show of 2016 during the Aviation Nation air show on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 13, 2016. Aviation Nation hosted spectacular aerial demonstrations, static displays and featured the Air Force Thunderbirds.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum/Released)

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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