Arctic Lightning Air Show

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Arctic Lightning Air Show
The Blue Angels performing over Eielson Air Force Base near North Pole, Alaska | Purchase Print

This weekend, the Arctic Lightning Air Show at Eielson Air Force Base is going on. Cat and I spent the day there on Friday watching and photographing the awesome displays put on by the airmen. The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels were the headliner, but there were stunning performances from the F-35 demo team, F-22s, an F-16, a C-17, a T-33, a KC-135, and not to mention the Wings of Blue, the U.S. Air Force Parachute Team.

The show is going on Saturday, July 31 and August 1 as well, so if you are in the Fairbanks area, it is well worth the visit! You can find more info at the Eielson Air Force Base website here: Arctic Lightning Air Show.

The United States Air Force Wings of Blue flying the America Flag for the National Anthem at the Arctic Lightning Air Show
The United States Air Force Wings of Blue flying the America Flag for the National Anthem | Purchase Print

There are some great static displays from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and the Royal Australian Air Force with the opportunity to see many of the planes up close and talk to the pilots.

T-33 Acemaker in flight at the Arctic Lightning Air Show
T-33 Acemaker Demonstration – Developed in 1948, it is one of the first subsonic jet trainers | Purchase Print
C-17 taking off
C-17 performing a max-performance takeoff | Purchase Print
F-16 in flight
Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration | Purchase Print
F-16 afterburner
F-16 Afterburner
F-22 Raptor in flight
F-22 Raptor | Purchase Print
-35a Lightning II with condensation cloud forming over the wings
F-35a Lightning II with condensation cloud forming over the wings | Purchase Print

This was the first air show I’ve been to in over a decade and the first U.S. Air Force show I’ve ever seen. The maneuverability of these aircraft is absolutely unbelievable! The C-17 doesn’t even look like it should be able to fly, it is so massive. So to see it take off in 3500 feet and fly at a crawling speed overhead just seems wrong.

This was also my first time seeing the F-35 flying close-up. Past videos I’ve seen just don’t do it justice. It’s another aircraft that just seems to defy the laws of physics.

F-35 in a vertical climb
F-35 in a vertical climb | Purchase Print
F-35 top profile in flight
The gorgeous top profile of the F-35 | Purchase Print

The Blue Angels are just as jaw-dropping as they always are. There was a minor technical delay halfway through the demonstration and one of the planes had to drop out, but the others were back after only a few minutes. I can’t imagine the amount of training these amazing pilots must go through to be able to fly so closely in formation!

The Blue Angels breaking away
Blue Angels flyby | Purchase Print
The Blue Angels in aerial manuevers
Blue Angels FA-18s fast pass | Purchase Print
The Blue Angels flying in close formation
The Blue Angels flying in close formation | Purchase Print
Unlimited Photo Storage

It’s likely going to be a couple of weeks before I have all the photos posted, but there are already quite a few uploaded here: July 30, 2021 – Arctic Lightning Air Show.

F-16 in hanger
F-16 in hanger | Purchase Print
F-35 Lightning II in hanger
Royal Australian Air Force F-35 | Purchase Print
F-22 Raptor in Hanger
F-22 Raptor in hanger | Purchase Print
155 mm Howitzer

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