Twenty Years of Andrews AFB Air Shows Aircraft 1987 to 2007


US Air Force F-111.

Andrews Air Force Base is located in Camp Springs, Maryland. Sitting just east of the busy I-95 highway today, the site was first used as a military camp during the Civil War. In 1942, work began on an airport for the Army Air Corps. Beginning as a training base, it became home for Washington D.C.’s special air mission aircraft and crews.


US Navy DC-130A drone – carrying Hercules.

It became a true “Joint Base” before the term was adopted by the U.S.. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps all had their own places on the sprawling airfield – which boasted parallel runways. In fact, the Navy side of the airport had its own location ID – KNSF, while the Air Force side was known as KADW.


US Coast Guard TG-8A.

During the 1980s through to the New Millennium, the annual Open House and Air Show featured all full-time branches of the U.S. military on the big Air Force ramp. Add to that Coast Guard (Dept. of Homeland Security or US Navy at times), Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Civil Air Patrol and other American and foreign military organizations’ aircraft and one would see scores of diverse types of aircraft. Some years dozens of warbird aircraft would be invited. Other years, special ceremonies and/or anniversaries limited the aircraft (flying and static displayed) to mainly active military examples.


US Air Force SR-71A.

Many of to the nation’s cutting-edge military aviation programs – both well-known and seldom seen – were assembled. In other years, the Joint Chiefs of Staff assembled, with all of the pomp and pageantry of high military honors which were paraded past spectators to open the shows. 

A sun – soaked Andrew AFB ramp during an Open House.

Weather at Andrews AFB was quite diverse for the annual shows. Normally held over the Armed Forces Day weekend in mid-May, the skies would bring heat, humidity and thunderstorms one day, severe clear and comfortable conditions for the next day, and cold and low overcast the last day. You’ll notice that in these photos! I’ve assembled a bunch of views from the past here… you can hover over a photo (below) to see the type if you want, some are preceded with the year the photo was taken in too.

A different view of an Andrews AFB ramp during an early Air Show Saturday morning.

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