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Edwards AFB Bird's Eye View

While browsing the GIS at work today, I came across some great aerial shots of Edwards AFB. The shots were dated "2008" and claim a 1-foot resolution. While I seriously doubt the res, the pics are nonetheless interesting.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Edwards was my second home. We flew nearly all of our low-level air drops in the Edwards range and performed the actual drops on a DZ located on Buckhorn Lake near the southern boundary of the Edwards property, in between Rogers and Rosamond dry lakes. While flying these routes, I was treated to a widespread and fantastic display of old and rare aircraft that had been scattered throughout the range. Whether they were put there for a specific reason, i.e., to simulate an enemy airfield on the ground for some kind of test purposes, or whether it was convenient just to haul them out there to rot, I don't know. I recall all types of 50's era aircraft: BUFFs, F-84Fs, B-66s, F-86s, you name it. Some seemed have been hauled miles from the nearest runway or parking spot to their remote locations in the desert. I also recall simulated airfields and SAM sites out there as well. My memory, which I admit is starting to fail me, recalls those aircraft behing located in the north range, the one between Highway 58 and China Lake (which contains Cuddeback and Three Sisters Dry Lakes), but the GIS reveals that some of them were (and obviously still are) located on the east side of Rogers Dry Lake and south of Leuhmann Ridge. Well, wherever they were, they showed up on our GIS and I thought I'd share them with you.

(Above) First, there are these three aircraft located on a deserted runway about a mile south of South Base. The two southernmost aircraft are obviously a C-123 and a C-119, but I'm unsure of the north aircraft. At first I thought it was a B-47, but comparing its size to the 123 and the "Dollar Nineteen" convinces me it's too small to be a B-47. A B-66 maybe? Whatever, if it is by chance a B-47, it needs to be shipped to a museum post haste before it rots completely away. I have been spending time at Eddie regularly for decades, but I never knew these aircraft were out there. Looking at the geometry of the layout, it seems to me they would be visible from the main base with a good pair of binoculars, but since people with binoculars looking toward the flight line at Eddie are frowned upon, maybe we'll never know. Anyway, if anyone has any gouge on what that jet may be, please let me know here.

The photos below look like the derelicts I remember flying over two decades ago. But the location still bothers me. I remember them as being much farther north, in the vicinity of Cuddeback Lake and maybe even as far north as the Panamint Valley. Whatever, I don't claim to have a perfect memory. Each of these jets seen in the photos below were located east of Rogers Dry Lake and south of Leuhmann Ridge (a.k.a. "Rocket Ridge").

(Above) A BUFF, maybe?

 

(Above) You tell me. A B-66? A T-39? Could have been anything. If you know, let me know here.

 

(Above). An F-100, obviously. The square just to the north of it may be some kind of optical calibration target. These squares with their odd linear markings seem to be scattered quite liberally across the range. Again, if you know, please tell me here.

 

(Above) Again, you tell me. A B-66? T-39? Let me know here. Anyway, if I can locate any more of these museum pieces, I'll share them with you right away. In the meantime, if anyone has any gouge of what these jets are and why they are scattered throughout the Eddie range, please let me know. Thanks!

Above posted 11-25-09.

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