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Jet thunder rolls this weekend at Edwards AFB for the 2022 Aerospace Valley Air Show

USAF Thunderbirds
Posted at 8:42 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 23:42:21-04

MOJAVE, Calif. (KERO) — The 2022 Aerospace Valley Open House, Air Show and STEM Expo comes to Edwards Air Force Base in Mojave this weekend, and if you like jets that can reach speeds of 600 miles per hour, it’s where you want to be.

“It’s a great time post-covid for a lot of people to get out to spend some time with the community and get out to the air show,” said Air Force pilot Ian Lee. “It should be a good weekend.”

Lee is the left-wing pilot in the USAF demonstration squadron popularly known as the Thunderbirds. He says his favorite part of flying with the Thunderbirds is the teamwork required to fly the airplanes, and that while flying the jets may look dangerous, it’s actually not as bad as it looks.

“It’s not as wild as people may think. We train a lot, so if our heart gets racing, then something is probably wrong. It’s probably not a good thing,” said Lee. “We have immense trust in each other and all the maintainers that take care of these aircraft.”

Lee also says that building the skills of the Thunderbird pilots takes a lot of time and effort for the whole team.

"It takes about a hundred flights for them to become show-worthy," said Lee. "It takes months and months of flying twice a day, 12, 14 hour days that we actually practice behind the scenes before we could actually showcase in front of a crowd."

And if anyone is wondering just how fast these jets can get, the answer is "really fast."

"We're subsonic, so we are going below Mach 1," said Lee. "Tops? I don't know, maybe 600 miles and hour at any point in the show is probably the fastest that we go."

The open house this weekend will be the first in 13 years that will be open to the public.

"People should come out," said Lee. "We actually haven't been out here in over a decade, actually. 2009 was the last air show that we had at Edwards Air Force Base."

The USAF Thunderbirds and many other aerial performers will be giving demonstrations at the air show. Admission is free to the general public, but box seats for premium viewing are available starting from $75.00. Tickets for the box seats are available at the Aerospace Valley Air Show website.