Aerial art: Stunning collection of Air Force photographs

Aerial art: A helicopter silhouetted against the sun, jets flying in formation and explosive displays of firepower are captured in a stunning collection of Air Force photographs

  • Collection of photographs show U.S. Air Force planes, jets and helicopters in recent years
  • Images showcase skills of  U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds
  • One shows 500 drones performing a light show in the sky during an Independence Day celebration

These jaw-dropping photographs showcase the amazing skill of the pilots in the U.S. Air Force.

The pictures, collated by Airman Magazine, the official publication of the Air Force, who describe the images as ‘aerial art’. 

The gallery features recent highlights, include the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds, training over Nevada, and performing a pass by New York’s Freedom Tower last September. 

Another stunning shot shows 500 drones performing a choreographed light show against the evening sky during an Independence Day celebration at Travis Air Force Base in California.

Airman Magazine describe the photographs as ‘aerial art’, and explains: ‘Since its early days as a service, the Air Force has embraced technological advances in air and space capabilities and played an integral role as a global airpower. ‘ 

The collection, including this photo of a C-17 Globemaster III, were collated by Airman Magazine, the official publication of the Air Force, who describe the images as ‘aerial art’

Showing off: This picture of a F-15E Strike Eagle was chosen as one of the top photos by Airman Magazine

The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds, perform the Diamond Roll maneuver over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a training flight in February last year. During the training season, each pilot masters their position and maneuvers, while developing trust within the formation

A view of the Intel Shooting Star Drone light show at  Travis Air Force Base, California, where Travis families were shown the choreographed capabilities of over 500 drones during an Independence Day celebration in July. The drones conducted a show consisting of various designs meant to highlight both the U.S. Air Force’s and Travis’ history

An HH-60 Pave Hawk returns from an exercise mission in July, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as part of Red Flag 16-3. The exercise is one of four ‘Red Flag’ aerial combat training exercises held at Nellis Air Force Base, with this iteration focusing on air, space and cyberspace operations

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A U.S. Air Force F-15D Eagle flies above the Mariana Islands in support of exercise Valiant Shield, carried out in September. The exercise helps enable real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas

The Thunderbirds fly past the Freedom Tower in New York, in September. The Thunderbirds were returning home to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, from New York, where they performed two air shows the weekend before the flyover of the city

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress leads a formation of aircraft including two Polish Air Force F-16s, four U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, two German Eurofighter Typhoons, and four Swedish Saab JAS Gripens over the Baltic Sea, in June, 2016. The formation was captured from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana as part of exercise Baltic Operations 2016

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft simulates its air to ground capabilities during the 2011 Aviation Nation Open House on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in 2011

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, F-16 Fighting Falcon and a Commemorative Air Force P-51 Mustang fly in formation Sep. 6, 2018, while flying over areas of Alabama. This dissimilar formation flight, honoring the Tuskegee Airmen past, present and future, included the 301st Fighter Squadron F-22, 100th Fighter Squadron F-16 and Red Tail P-51. The 100th Fighter Squadron was one of the Tuskegee Airmen squadrons during World War II, a famous all African-American squadron from the 332d Fighter Group, activated on Feb 19, 1942 at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama. It was returned to duty in 2007 as a replacement of the Alabama Air National Guard’s 160th Fighter Squadron so the state could honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen

An Air Force Reserve pararescueman from the 920th Rescue Wing jumps out of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during the second annual Salute to American Heroes Air and Sea Show, in Miami Beach, Florida in May last year

Two U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber and two Royal Moroccan air force F-16s fly in a formation during Exercise African Lion April 20, 2018. Various units from the U.S. Armed Forces will conduct multilateral and stability operations training with units from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in the Kingdom of Morocco. This combined multilateral exercise is designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures while demonstrating the strong bond between the nation’s militaries

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds practice their performance over Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico in May last year.The Thunderbirds practiced to perform twice over the Memorial Day weekend for the 2018 Cannon Air Show, Space and Tech Fest

F-15E Strike Eagles with the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, form up behind a KC-135 Stratotanker with the 121st Air Refueling Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, June 15, 2018. The Stratotanker had just finished refueling the Strike Eagles

Captain Jonathan Bonilla and 1st Lieutenant Vicente Vasquez, 459th Airlift Squadron UH-1N Huey pilots, fly over Tokyo after completing night training in April, 2016. The 459th AS frequently trains on a multitude of scenarios in preparation for potential real-world contingencies and operations

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) leads a formation of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 ships as Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft and Navy F/A-18 Hornets pass overhead for a photo exercise during Valiant Shield 2018. The biennial, U.S.-only, field-training exercise focuses on integration of joint training among the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps

AKC-135 Stratotanker connects with a B-52H Stratofortress from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, during an aerial refueling mission over the Alaskan coastline as part of exercise Amalgam Dart 15-2, which took place in 2015. The annual North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise affords American and Canadian forces field training aimed at improving NORAD’s operational capability in a binational environment. The exercise spanned two forward operating locations in Canada’s Northwest Territories, two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska, and a mobile radar site in Resolute, Nunavut, as well as the sky over much of NORAD’s area of responsibility

Captain Andrew ‘Dojo’ Olson, F-35 Heritage Flight Team pilot and commander, performs a high-speed pass during the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto in September last year

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform an aerial demonstration during the Cannon Air Show in May, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. The air show highlights the unique capabilities and qualities of Cannon’s air commandos and also celebrates the long-standing relationship between the 27th Special Operations Wing and the local community

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II, P-51D Mustang and VS Spitfire perform a USAF heritage flight during the 2018 Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom last July. The RIAT is the world’s largest military air show, and last year it celebrated the 100th anniversary of the RAF and highlighted the United State’s alliance with the UK

U.S. Air Force Major Paul ‘Loco’ Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team commander and pilot, performs during AirPower Over Hampton Roads JBLE Air and Space Expo at Joint Base Langley-Eustis,located adjacent to Hampton and Newport News, Virginia in May last year. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force

A KC-135 Stratotanker with the 121st Air Refueling Wing, Ohio refuels an F-15E Strike Eagle with the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina in August last year. The aerial refueling was an exercise to keep pilots and crew proficient and mission ready

An E-3 Sentry departs after receiving fuel from a 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker during a refueling mission over Syria in April 2018. The 340th EARS supports various operations in countries such as Iraq and Syria

The Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, soar over a sold-out crowd at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before the NASCAR UAW-Dodge 400 Sprint Cup Series race in 2008

Maj. John Waters, F-16 Viper Demonstration Team pilot, performs precision aerial maneuvers in an F-16 Fighting Falcon ‘Viper’ during the Cleveland National Air Show at Cleveland, Ohio, in September

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