Aviation Nation, Nellis Air Force Base's annual open house, is a huge air show for a number of reasons—it's in Las Vegas, it comes as a bookend to the air show season, it's the last demonstration for many pilots and teams, and Nellis AFB is so diverse in its inventory that it could put on its own major air show without any help. Part of the festivities includes pretty much the latter, in which all the base's types take to the sky in a mock 'combined arms' air combat scenario meant to show off the various capabilities and missions that the base supports. Marauding aggressor F-16s, an alert launch of F-22s, 'dogfights, attacks runs by F-35s and F-15Es, and a pilot rescue scenario with A-10s and HH-60G Pave Hawks are all part of the show. It is an impressive and ruckus spectacle to behold and don't kick yourself too hard for not being there, you can experience it through the lens of our pals at Airshowstuff.com!
Crank up the sound and enjoy roughly a half hour's worth of burned kerosene by some of the world's most advanced and iconic tactical aircraft on earth:
Considering the aircraft used in the display cost anywhere from $17,000 to $59,000 per hour to operate, that half-hour show cost more per minute than anything playing on the strip! As to the flares, in my experience, only two air shows in the U.S. have included them, those at Nellis AFB and Naval Air Station Fallon, but most years, Nellis is the only show in the U.S. that includes flare releases.
Aviation Nation truly is one of the greatest air shows on earth. If you have never been, make it a point to go. It's not exactly a destination event either, all of Vegas is right there for your enjoyment, as well.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com