Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making History

Edwards AFB opens up their restricted airspace for a first-ever Lakebed Fly-in

Originally called Muroc Field, the airfield’s name was changed in 1949 to honor test pilot Glen Edwards after he was tragically killed in the famous Northrup flying wing bomber when it crashed during a test flight. The key mission of the base today is to evaluate aircraft and airborne weapons systems to ensure that they meet operational combat support and training requirements. The Edwards test airspace covers about 20,000 square miles that includes three supersonic corridors and four aircraft spin areas. Between the Rogers and Rosamond lakebeds there are runways of up to 7.5 miles in length—long enough to handle just about any emergency.

The original idea to hold a civilian fly-in was first presented by Flight Safety Officer Bill Koukourikos for the purpose of discussing airspace safety. In a general briefing for all participants, Koukourikos also provided tips for landing on a dry lakebed.


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