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Category Archives: Aviation Photography

Century Circle Airpark – Edwards AFB – Rosamond, CA

Address:  Edwards AFB, West Gate (Lat 34.871325, Lng -117.991140)  [ Map It ]

The Century Circle Airpark is located just in front of the West Gate of Edwards Air Force Base. Here you can find all of the jets that make up the Century Series of military fighter jets, from the F-100 through the F-106. Also on display is a YC-15 transport plane.

Displayed around a shortened control tower for effect, you can capture some great up close shots of some military fighter jets without bother or the wandering public. Open 24/7, this place is off the beaten path and seems to be rarely visited by the public.

The road there runs past a dry lake which can also produce some interesting shots, especially on warmer days when you can capture a mirage for effect.

While this location doesn’t have a physical address, getting there is easy. Simply take the Rosamond exit from Highway 14 and head East. The roads ends at the West Gate of Edwards Air Force Base but a few hundred feet before the gate lies the Century Circle. You can’t miss it.

Make a day of it and also plan to visit the Blackbird Airpark and the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark which are both just 30 minutes away. Admission is free at each location.

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Joe Davies Heritage Airpark – Palmdale, CA

Address:  2001 East Avenue P, Palmdale, CA 93550  [ Map It ]

Joe Davies Heritage Airpark is an outdoor aircraft museum with nods to Plant 42 in Palmdale where all were produced or modified.

While aircraft of all kinds can be found on static display, more aircraft are slated to be added, making this a growing museum.

Here you can get up close and personal shot or some great aircraft, from military fighter jets to the NASA Boeing 747 Space Shuttle transport plane. All eras are represented from World War II to the the Korean War to Vietnam to the present.

Like the Blackbird Airpark next door, the Heritage Airpark is only open Friday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and closed on weekdays. Admission is free.

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Blackbird Airpark – Spy Plane Museum – Palmdale, CA

Address:  2503 East Avenue P, Palmdale, CA 93550  [ Map It ]

A while back I was looking for a movie set out in the desert using Google Maps in satellite view. As I was looking around I spotted what appeared to be an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane on the ground. As I zoomed in, sure enough, it was an SR-71 Blackbird, a long known about but super secret military spy plane that was recently declassified. As I moved into Google Street View, I saw the plane was even visible from the street. Upon further investigation, I found that it is an aircraft museum. This I had to visit.

Blackbird Airpark is a spy plane museum like no other aircraft museum. Here, they have several historical spy planes on display, including the infamous U-2 spy plane and the precursor to the stealthly SR-71, the A-12 single seat spy plane. Also, the ultra top secret SR-71 looking D-12 stealth drone.

If you want to get a close up shot of an SR-71 Blackbird, according to their website, this is the only place in the world to do so.

Staffed by volunteers, Blackbird Airpark is only open Friday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, but closed on weekdays. Admission is free but donations are appreciated..

Capturing the Shot: Because the planes are free standing and your head comes up to the landing gear, I mounted my camera atop a monopod and using my camera’s intervalometer, I set it to automatically snap a shot every 5-seconds, I then lifted the monopod high up in the air for a bird’s eye view of the planes for that unique shot.

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