Planes, aviation legends, highlight 70th anniversary

  • Published
  • By Kenji Thuloweit
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

The celebration began with aviation legends on a stage and ended with Ferraris on a ramp. Edwards held its 70th Anniversary of Supersonic Flight event Oct. 13-14. Famed test pilots, retired Brig. Generals Chuck Yeager and Robert Cardenas, were on hand for the celebration that honored their achievement Oct. 14, 1947.

That’s when Cardenas’ B-29 launch aircraft released the X-1 experimental rocket plane in which Yeager, a captain at the time, became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, giving birth to supersonic flight.

Yeager and Cardenas were joined on stage during the opening ceremony by the commander of Air Force Material Command, Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, and 412th Test Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Carl Schaefer.

Following the opening ceremony, several flyovers took place over Ramp 6 where the celebration was held. The first two formations did not stop there. A formation of a B-1B Lancer and two F-16s headed out to Kern County to fly over several schools. A second formation consisting of an F-16, F-22, F-35 and F-15 headed toward Southern California to do the same. The flyovers were part of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics promotion that coincided with the 70th anniversary events.

About 8,000 members of Team Edwards and their guests were treated to a display of planes from all ages, music and demonstrations from units around base. The first day of the celebration ended with Edwards AFB’s 2017 Air Force Ball held in Hangar 1600.

On Saturday, the base held its third annual Run with History Walk, 5K and 10K on the lakebed. The fun run was accompanied for another year by the presence of exotic cars, which were invited on base.