Cool video shows wide variety of Military aircraft (including a huge C-17 Globemaster III) flying through Sidewinder low level route

Cool video shows wide variety of Military aircraft (including a huge C-17 Globemaster III) flying through Sidewinder low level route

By Dario Leone
Oct 18 2023
Share this article

Rare visitors flying in the Sidewinder low level military flying area

Filmed by our friend Dafydd Phillips the cool video in this post feature some unusual military aircraft flying through the Sidewinder low level military flying area.

A huge C-17 Globemaster III

Phillips explains;

‘Five days spent hunting fast jets in the Sidewinder, US, came up with a great variety of aircraft. As ir can be seen, some rare visitors included a Fouga CM-170 Magister, Vandy 1 (the gloss black F/A-18F Super Hornet operated by VX-9), as well as some RAF F-35B’s and my highlight, a C-17 Globemaster III which dropped in twice just to be sure.’

C-17 Print
This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. C-17A Globemaster III 60th Air Mobility Wing / 349th Air Mobility Wing, 21st Airlift Squadron, 06-6160 – Travis AFB, CA

A jointly operated AV-8B Harrier II

Among the aircraft featured in the video (at 0:41) there’s also a cool US Marine Corps (USMC) AV-8B Harrier II+ (although the aircraft could be operated by VX-9 “Vampires” or by VX-31 “Dust Devils,” joint US Navy/USMC Squadrons from Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake).

The 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.

F/A-18F model
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Rainbow Canyon, nicknamed “Star Wars Canyon,” was closed in 2019 due to a fatal accident involving the crash of a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet.

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

Share this article

Dario Leone

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.
Share this article

Share this article
Back to top