MCAS Miramar hosts annual air show

An F/A-18 Hornet makes a high-speed pass. (Photograph by John Battey)

The annual MCAS Miramar air show had a special surprise this year, when the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force aerobatic team the Red Arrows performed.

The team flew their trademark nine-plane diamond shape, performing many spectacular maneuvers with their red, white and blue smoke. The Red Arrows have performed more than 5,000 displays in 57 countries, with their first performance in late 1964. The team flew a very dynamic performance in their nine T1A Hawk trainer aircraft.

The United States Navy flight demonstration team the Blue Angels also flew, giving the fans in attendance a rare chance to see two elite aerobatic show teams at the same show on the same day. The Angels demonstrated their precision aerobatics in six F/A-18 legacy Hornets. Since 1946 the team has flown for more than 505 million spectators. This year they will perform 61 shows at 31 locations.

The air show, advertised by the Marines as the largest military air show in the world, showed off the Marine air-ground task force demonstration. The four-element firepower demonstration featured a simulated combat assault attack from the air as well as on the ground. The demonstration shared almost everything in the Marine Corps inventory including F/A -18 fighter jets, MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor-wing aircraft, helicopters, tanks and ground troops with the final act being a hovering demonstration by the F-35B Lightning II 6th generation fighter jet.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights taking aim for a precision landing. (Photograph by John Battey)

The United States Air Force flew its F-16 Fighting Falcon and the U.S. Army parachute team the Golden Knights did a full skydiving demonstration. Civilian acts included Sean D. Tucker, John Collver, Vicky Benzing, John Melby, and the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter team and a Fire Department Waterdrop. The flight line included dozens of static display aircraft included the F-35A, F-35B, F/A-18, MV- 22, C-17, T-38, C-130, A-10 and a rare visit from one of only two flyable B-29 Superfortress the last of 3,970 that were built.

The 2019 MCAS Miramar open house gave the Marine Corps a chance to show off their tactical capabilities and gave the public a rare opportunity to meet the courageous men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps and get a close up look at how they train and perform their mission.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels making a diamond pass. (Photograph by John Battey)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon shows off its afterburner. (Photograph by John Battey)

Two U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform the Fortus maneuver. (Photograph by John Battey)

The U.S Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey prepares to land. (Photograph by John Battey)

An Erickson Skycrane performs a water drop. (Photograph by John Battey)

 The U.S. Marine Corps 6th Generation Fighter hovers above the crowd. (Photograph by John Battey)

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Red Arrows fly towards the crowd. (Photograph by John Battey)