Arizona-Based Air Force Jets Filled The Sky Over Phoenix For Jaw-Droppingly Huge Flying Salute

The impressive display of support for those on the front lines of the pandemic was the largest of its kind so far.

byTyler Rogoway|
U.S. Homeland photo


What started with the Air Force's Thunderbirds flying over their hometown of Las Vegas in a show of support for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, has spread across the nation. Although the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels have gotten the most attention with their massive 12 ship, twin-formation flyovers, flying units throughout the country are doing the same with a wide mix of aircraft, from jet trainers to B-2 bombers. Air Force airpower based in Arizona, namely F-16 and F-35 fighters from Luke Air Force Base's 56th Fighter Wing, along with a KC-135 tanker from the 161st Air Refueling Wing based out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, executed what just may be the biggest 'hold my beer' moment imaginable by putting an absolutely massive formation into the air that included 15 core aircraft, with as many as 18 being involved for portions of the flight. 

The formation morphed as it flew over the Phoenix area, roaring over hospitals that are ground zero of the outbreak. 

55th FW
55th FW

Videos from the flyover are downright remarkable and look more like something out of a major air campaign than a hometown flyover:

Video thumbnail
Video thumbnail

The sight of a sole KC-135 leading such a large number of 'chicks in tow' will be tough to top, but seeing how fast this trend within the Pentagon's flying communities has blossomed, anything is possible. 

We will update this post when more images and videos from the event come available. 

A big thanks to Jonathan Navarro for letting us use his shot for the banner image. Check out more of his work here

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