EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE -- The 412th Test Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, announced the 2020 Aerospace Valley Air Show in October will be a “hybrid event.” Higer announced the change to the airshow during a live-stream town hall, June 19.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Higer made the decision to morph to a hybrid airshow with virtual aspects instead of hosting a traditional airshow.
“We are not going to a have a whole bunch of people on the installation … boots on the ground, static displays, buses, all that over Columbus day weekend,” he said. “We are, however, going to have a bunch of ‘iron’ on our ramp, and potentially on the ramp on Fox Field (in Lancaster, California) … It’s going to morph into something that would be like a parade of planes.”
Higer explained the airshow planning team is going to put together a hybrid event where they will have airplanes in the sky over the Aerospace Valley as well as a widespread social media presence. The airshow team will be looking at ways to utilize social media to post pictures and videos of the aircraft, and possibly 360-degree views as well. The airshow team is planning to host virtual interview opportunities between performers and guests as well
Higer said continuing the airshow in this modified fashion accomplishes two things: visibility on the Aerospace Valley and STEM (science, technology engineering, and math) outreach.
“That’s an important weekend for the Aerospace Valley, and we need to cement it this year,” Higer said. It’s a time that we need to tell the nation, and frankly the world, that if you want to come see awesomeness on the cutting edge of aerospace, that’s the weekend to do it, and Fox Field and Edwards Air Force Base are the places to do it.”
“What we are morphing to preserves a lot, maybe more, of the learning and motivational experience of science, technology engineering, and math that airshows, airports, airplanes and Air Force bases do,” he added.
The airshow planning team promises to provide a memorable experience, and true to Edwards fashion, maybe trailblazing a new way to conduct air shows in the future.
“The style and the venues are going to morph, but there’s still going to be a lot of exciting stuff to look at potentially leading up to, but certainly, over the Columbus Day weekend this year,” Higer said. “I’m super excited about what we’ve got.”
The next traditional airshow at Edwards is scheduled for October 15-16, 2022. The show will celebrate the 75th anniversary of supersonic flight, a historic event that took place in the Aerospace Valley on October 14, 1947 and put Edwards on the map as “the center of the aerospace testing universe.”