Nellis Open House 2014 – Aviation Nation


Nevada’s largest free event, (and my personal favorite show of the year) was back this year at Nellis AFB from November 8-9. After a one year hiatus, this incredible show roared back to life with the celebration of America’s military might. Aircraft from World War II through the present were on display both on the ground and in the air throughout the 2 day event. With gates opening to the public at 1000, the show officially opened each day at 1100 with the singing of our National Anthem and the presentation of our colors. Perfectly choreographed each day, seemingly on the final note of our anthem, was a flyby from behind the crowd of America’s fifth generation fighters, the F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II in full afterburner. Along with the airshow demonstrations, air show fans were treated on Sunday to the afterburner departure and recovery of 3 B-1 Lancers from the 34th Bomb Squadron, Elsworth AFB, which were participating in a ‘Green Flag’ exercise being held at the Ft. Irwin ranges in Barstow, Ca.

Civilian acts were performed by:
• The Horseman in 3 F-86 Sabres
• a ‘BitCoin’ sponsored L-39
• A6M Zero
• AT-6 Texan
• F8F Bearcat
• F4U Corsair
• C-45 Expeditor
• CJ-6 Yak
• B-25 Mitchell
• 2 P-51 Mustangs
• T-33
• Mig 15

Airshow military demonstrations were conducted by:
• The F-22 Raptor
• A heritage flight with a F-22, and 2 F-86s
• A Simulated dogfight between 2 F-15Cs and 2 Aggressor F-16Cs (complete with flares!)
• A CSAR demo by A-10Cs, F-15Es, and HH-60Gs (complete with pyro)
• Nellis’s first public display of the Air Force’s new F-35A Lightning II
• and the home based United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, ‘The Thunderbirds’

There were several aircraft on static display for the show goers to look at with crew members and pilots there to answer any questions they had. Most notable were the mammoth C-5M Super Galaxy, a B-1 Lancer, a B-52 Stratofortress, a RC-135 Rivet Joint, 2 QF-4 Phantoms, a Royal Air Force Typhoon, and a German Tornado. In all the years I have been to Nellis’ show, I have never been disappointed, this show has something for everyone. One of the reasons I love this show so much is that they have only a few ‘sponsored’ civilian acts, putting most of their focus on showcasing America’s military might, old and new. With Nellis AFB leading the way in America’s tactics and training, it’s easy to foresee continued excellence in the planning and execution of their shows.

I’d like to thank MSG Miller and the entire 99ABW Public Affairs Office for their hospitality throughout the show weekend. It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly hard this department works to make so many things available to the general public and media alike. My hat really goes off to them!

Steve Lewis

Steve is a Southern California based photographer living in the Los Angeles area.

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