It’s tight turning capability at speed produces a signature vapor cloud at negative pressure areas.
In order to maintain stealth capability, the Raptor has internal bays for missiles and bombs,
although other configurations are possible.
For the final show each day, the Air Force Thunderbird team did their demonstration.
I found the whole thing interestion, including the pre flight drill, here it is.
The F16 Thunderbirds lined up
The pre flight walk around.
There are 12 officers and 120 enlisted personell assigned to the Thunderbird team in total.
Pilots into cockpits
A symbolic point to the sky, then dropping the arm in perfect sequence
Pilots seated ladders down
Taxiing out in pairs
A salute and thumbs up as each passes by.
Note the names on this side of the aircraft are personell responsible for keeping the aircraft flight ready.
Now the flight demonstration
Tight 4 formation
Arrowhead with all six
The low speed, high angle of attack pass
Standing on a wing tip
During the demostration, a poem was read over the loudspeakers.
It was written by Father Dennis Edward O’Brian, USMC
The reading had a modification in that instead of saying "soldier" each line it specifically called out each branch of service, a nice touch I thought. Here is the original poem.
It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.
All photos of flight during this event were taken with my Pentax K20D, a Sigma 50-500mm lens outfitted with a rotating polarizing filter, and using a monopod for stability. The static displays in Part 1 were with an 18-55mm lens, handheld.
The final estimate of attendance was 152,000 people for the two day event.
The most people I have been around that’s for sure, can hardly wait to go back for the next show in 2010!