Military Aviation

Cool video shows US Military fighter jets flying through Sidewinder low level route

The Sidewinder low level route is a massive low altitude military training complex in the California desert, of which the famous and now defunct Star Wars Canyon was just a small part.

Filmed by our friend Dafydd Phillips the cool video in this post feature US military fighter jets flying through the Sidewinder low level military flying area.

Phillips explains;

‘A couple of hours hike up some hills in a remote location within the Sidewinder low level military flying area bagged some interesting aircraft. Three days in total and we had approximately thirty passes although some were a little over the ridge line in front of us to count.

‘The aircraft we managed to capture were:

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  • 0:18 F-35A Nellis AFB
  • 0:40 F-35A Nellis AFB
  • 0:56 EA-18G NAWS China Lake
  • 1:12 F-15E Mountain Home AFB
  • 1:29 F-15E Nellis AFB
  • 1:48 F-16 Edwards AFB
  • 2:14 F-35A Nellis AFB
  • 2:43 F/A-18F NAS Lemoore
  • 3:05 F-15E Nellis AFB
  • 3:13 F-15E Mountain Home AFB
  • 3:35 F-15E Nellis AFB
  • 3:51 F-35C NAWS China Lake

The Sidewinder low level route is a massive low altitude military training complex in the California desert, of which the famous and now defunct Star Wars Canyon was just a small part. Rainbow Canyon, nicknamed “Star Wars Canyon,” was closed in 2019 after a fatal accident involving the crash of a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet.

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The Rainbow Canyon, officially called “Jedi Transition” is located at 282km (more or less 3h drive) from Las Vegas International Airport.

It was one of the most famous “low-level” flying training areas in the world and was mainly used by the US military aircraft. The traffic came from Nellis AFB, NAWS China Lake, Fresno Air National Guard Base, Edwards AFB and NAS Lemoore. The area was used by foreign air forces too.

Photo credit: Dafydd Phillips

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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