Edwards AFB Air Shows of the Early 1990s

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During the early 1990s, the main focus of the U.S. Air Force was still centered on countering the U.S.S.R., although that union was beginning to unravel.  The first Gulf War was just around the corner, and most of the Air Force’s tactical arsenal was still painted in the camouflage  colors that would be the most effective in Europe (occasionally referred to as the “Lizard”,  “Euro 1” or “European 1” color scheme).

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At the Air Force’s Flight Test Center, located at Edwards AFB in the Antelope Valley region north of Los Angeles, a white and orange scheme was common, as aircraft wearing this scheme were normally test aircraft.  Ultimately, a mix of camouflaged and brighter aircraft were on hand for the yearly Open House and air show at Edwards. Some wore tactical camouflage, some test colors, others non-combatant schemes, and others (like the SR-71, U-2 and F-117) wore black for different reasons. Looking back at the 1990 and 1991 colors on display, not to mention the types of aircraft still used for tests of systems and aircraft modifications, some newly minted “Classic Warbirds” are sights to behold!  Here’s a quick look at some long-retired types and color schemes, plus a few more test aircraft at Open Houses that took place more than a quarter of a century ago.

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