I stopped by the local airport on Sunday, January 13 to see what was flying. Mostly regional jets and business jets including a small fleet of Honeywell Corporate jets.
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 paid a visit to Santa Barbara over the weekend of January 12 - 13.
Raytheon's Convair 580 N580HH arrived at Naval Air Station Pt Mugu From Tucson, Arizona on February 25, 2008.
The Saline Valley is home to a great deal of military jet training and testing. I photographed several Super Hornets and Fighting Falcons during a recent visit.
Saline Valley Birdwatching: Slideshow of Boeing-McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornets from NAS Lemoore and NAWS China Lake and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons from Fresno ANG and Edwards AFB flying at low altitude in the Saline Valley in March 2008.
I spent five days in the Saline Valley photographing scenery and jets in the wild. Two days after I returned home, the winds were gusting to 48 miles per hour where I was camping.
Panamint Valley and Saline Valley Slideshow: Slideshow of scenery in Panamint Valley and Saline Valley in March 2008.
A Minuteman III missile was launched on a suborbital trajectory toward Kwajalein Atoll from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:01 A.M. on Wednesday, April 2.
The last four Lockheed-Martin F-117A Nighthawks from the 49th Fighter Wing flew from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico to Air Force Plant 42 at Palmdale, California on Monday, April 21.
The last four Lockheed-Martin F-117A Nighthawks from the 49th Fighter Wing departed from Air Force Plant 42 at Plamdale, California for Tonopah, Nevada on Tuesday, April 22. Their wings will be removed and they will be stored in their old hangars. The four Stealth Fighters took off from Runway 25 at 2:00 PM.
Slideshow of the visit of the last Stealth Fighters at Palmdale.
Over seventy vintage airplanes were displayed at the Planes of Fame Airshow at Chino over the weekend of May 17 - 18. The sky was uncommonly clear blue and the heat was record setting.
Flying displays page 1: Silver Wings Stearman Biplane Wing Walking, B-25 Mitchell Bomber Formation Flight, Steve Hinton Bearcat Aerobatics, and Hollywood Goes to the Pacific.
Flying displays page 2: Korean Air War, The Horsemen, Baa Baa Blacksheep, and Brian Sanders Sea Fury Aerobatics.
Flying displays page 3: Airpower Formation Flight and USAF Heritage Flight.
Slideshow of the flying displays at the Planes Of Fame Airshow.
The Jason 2 satellite was launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Delta-II rocket at 12:46 A.M. on Friday, June 20.
A sequence of thirty-second exposures of the Delta-II launch.
The Gap Fire started burning on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 1 near West Camino Cielo on the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains above Goleta.
A pair of Sikorsky Skycranes lifted slurry from a station on Bishop Ranch to the hot spots on the ridge and in Elwood Canyon Sunday. A few Santa Barbara County Fire Department UH-1H Hueys lifted water from local reserviors.
Slideshow of the helicopters fighting the Gap Fire.
The Camarillo Airshow was held over the weekend of August 16 - 17. It featured numerous experimental aircraft and warbirds but no aerobatics. They put up ten warbirds at the end including four twin engine warbirds.
The Santa Maria Airport and the Santa Maria Museum of Flight hosted the annual Thunder Over the Valley show over the weekend of August 23 - 24. In addition to a variety of warbirds and trainers, there were several military helicopters on static display. Performances by a Navy McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet and an Air Force Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II were marked by clouds of condensation and contrails.
The annual Independence Day fireworks show over Goleta was held on Labor Day this year.
The Geoeye 1 satellite was launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Delta-II booster at 11:50:57 AM on Saturday, September 6, 2008.
A Target Launch Vehicle, a modified Minuteman ICBM, was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at midnight on September 24, 2008 as the Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE) satellite passed overhead off the coast of California. NFIRE imaged the rocket and its plume in infra-red for the Missile Defence Agency.
The first Lockheed-Martin F-35A Lightning II, AA-1 completed air-start and noise tests at Edwards Air Force Base on Thursday October 23. It returned to Fort Worth on October 24.
The Airship Ventures Zeppelin N704LZ cruised high over the Santa Barbara Channel on its way from San Bernardino to Salinas on Friday, October 24. It will be based at Moffett Field and give aerial tours.
The COSMO-3 satellite was launched into polar orbit on a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:28 and 12 seconds on the evening of Friday, October 24. In order to place it in the same orbital plane as the first two COSMOS-Skymed satellites, the launch window was only one second long. This time exposure captures the launch from ignition to burn out of the first stage main engine, 4 minutes 36 seconds after launch. The second stage is too faint to register in this image. I used two cameras with 18mm lenses to capture the launch from ignition through burnout of the first stage. The lights of the City of Buellton can be seen on the lower right. The planet Venus is the brightest astronomical object to the left of center. This picture was taken in the Santa Ynez Mountains about 35 miles east of the launch pad.
The Tea Fire started burning in the vicinity of the Tea Garden near Westmont College on the afternoon of Thursday, November 13. High winds drove the fire through the hills of Montecito and burned several dozen homes. The next day several helicopters and fixed wing tankers, including the DC-10 tanker, attached the fire in the hills above Santa Barbara.
The crescent Moon joined Venus and Jupiter in conjunction on December 1. Venus is in the middle and brighter than Jupiter. The Moon is about 240,000 miles away. Venus is a bit over 100,000,000 miles away. It is setting later each evening and will reach maximum elongation on January 15. Jupiter is almost 600,000,0000 miles away. It is setting earlier each evening and will be in conjunction with the Sun on January 24.
The crescent Moon moves away from Venus and Jupiter between 6:34 PM and 7:20 PM PST. I animated six frames taken between sunset and moonset.
Bad weather caused the Space shuttle Endeavour to divert to Edwards Air Force Base at the conclusion of STS-126 on November 30. It was the 52nd Space Shuttle mission to land at Edwards. It will return to the Kennedy Space Center on a 747 Carrier Aircraft. On Friday, December 5 Endeavour was suspended under the Mate/Demate Device at the Dryden Flight Research Center being prepared for mounting on the 747.
High winds hampered the effort to mount it on the 747 Carrier Aircraft, so the departure was postponed until Wednesday, December 10.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour was suspended under the Mate/Demate Device as it was prepared to be loaded on the 747 Carrier Aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Canter at Edwards Air Force Base at sunset on Friday, December 5, 2008.