Edwards AFB hosts first-ever hybrid air show

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing

The 412th Test Wing held its first air show in more than 10 years at Edwards Air Force Base California, Oct. 9 and 10.

Dubbed the “Aerospace Valley Air Show 2020,” the event was the first of its kind, so-called “hybrid” air show. The base featured interactive 360-degree photo showcases of the various aircraft assigned to the base. The base also conducted a parade of aircraft in the skies over the local community including Antelope Valley, Bakersfield, the Victor Valley, Barstow and Fort Irwin.

“We’re agile, we’re innovative by nature,” said Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, 412th Test Wing and Edwards Air Force Base Commander. “Our organizations are dynamic and this air show is just another example of how we pivoted when our nation needed us to and led the way.”

The air show was originally conceived to be a standard air show. However, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social-gathering guidelines that arose from it, show organizers retooled and reorganized the event to allow for virtual showcases and flyovers. The pivot also allowed organizers to put Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education at the forefront of the event.

“The best part about this hybrid solution is it allowed us to do an entire week of STEM, all of that’s been recorded. We had STEM for elementary school, middle school, bilingual (students),” said Command Chief Master Sgt. Ian Eishen, 412th TW Command Master Chief. “We had NASA and our test pilots and engineers; experts in their field that were able to actually bring students through curriculum learning physics, engineering, aerodynamics; and those things are still going to be available for anybody who wants to use them as part of their online curriculum at home.”

The first four days of the air show week featured online classes which featured hands-on experiments, lectures and personal testimonials from subject-matter experts who utilize STEM every day at the Aerospace Valley.

More than 7,000 students and educators had signed up prior to the start of the STEM expo, with numbers rising after the first day.

Edwards AFB has a legacy of firsts in aviation such as the first supersonic flight and the first space shuttle landing, now it can add the first-ever hybrid air show to its history books.

“This hybrid air show is just one more example of what we’ve done here despite what we’ve all gone through in the last six to eight months,” Higer said. “This is a special place; the air we breathe, the dirt we walk on has so much history and so much potential.”


Aerospace Valley Air Show Coverage Day 1, part 1

Aerospace Valley Air Show Coverage Day 1, Part 2