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May 19, 2008: The First Flight From the New 12,000-Foot Temporary Runway at Edwards Air Force Base

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The first flight from the new 12,000-foot temporary runway at Edwards Air Force Base took place when an F‑16 Fighting Falcon took off piloted by Air Force Flight Test Center commander Maj Gen David J. Eichhorn. The milestone marked the beginning of the refurbishment of the base’s main runway 22.

As a military airbase, civilian access is severely restricted. There are three lighted, paved runways:

  • 05R/23L is 15,024 feet × 300 feet, and an extra 9,588 feet of lakebed runway is available at its northerly end. It is equipped with arresting systems approximately 1,500 feet from each end.
  • 05L/23R is 12,000 feet × 200 feet and was constructed to temporarily replace 04R/22L while it was being renovated in 2008.
  • 07/25 is 8,000 feet × 50 feet (this runway is technically part of the South Base) and an extra 10,158 feet × 210 feet of lakebed runway is available at its easterly end.

There are 13 other official runways on the Rogers lakebed:

  • 17/35 is 39,097 feet × 900 feet. Imagery from the 1990s show an extension another 7,500 feet to the north, including a visual cue and centerline markings that extend about 15,000 feet down the currently declared portion of the runway. In 2017 Google Maps imagery, the runway is all but faded away except for the southern end where the Runway 35 indicator is still visible.
  • 05L/23R is 22,175 feet × 300 feet
  • 05R/23L is 14,999 feet × 300 feet and is next to 05L/23R at the 23L (easterly) end.
  • 06/24 is 7,050 feet × 300 feet. Not to be confused with the south base 06/24 paved runway (which also extends onto the lakebed), or the north base 06/24 paved runway.
  • 07/25 is 23,100 feet × 300 feet 
  • 09/27 is 9,991 feet × 300 feet
  • 12/30 is 9,235 feet × 600 feet. It is actually marked as two adjacent 300 feet -wide runways (L and R). Runway 30 rolls out onto the compass rose, so its corresponding, unmarked, runway 12 is never used.
  • 15/33 is 29,487 feet × 300 feet
  • 18/36 is 23,086 feet × 900 feet. It is actually marked as three adjacent 300 feet-wide runways (L, C, and R).

The Rosamond lakebed has two runways painted on it:

  • 02/20 is 20,998 feet long
  • 11/29 is 20,998 feet long

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