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Blue Angels take to the skies Thursday

Members of the Blue Angels soar over the Ridgecrest sky Thursday during practice maneuvers.

The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration team, took to the skies Thursday afternoon over Ridgecrest as they practiced maneuvers for the upcoming China Lake Airshow Saturday and Sunday.

Spectators lined their cars up along Inyokern Road near the fence line to check the show, while other residents watched from shops or front porches of their homes.The gates open at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Flying starts around noon and ends at 4:30 p.m. The gates end at 5 p.m. General admission is free.

In addition to the Blue Angels screaming in the sky above spectators this weekend, several military and civilian acts will be part of the show. The Black Daggers, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s demonstration parachute team, the Spitfire MK XIV and F8F Bearcat. Civilian acts include Spencer Suderman, Jacquie B, famous hang glider Dan Buchanan, and Anna Serbinenko.

The airshow will include a variety of vendors and static displays, including three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: the U.S. Navy, the Royal British Air Force and Netherlands Air Force versions. Other static displays include the Navy’s T-39 Sabreliner, F/A-18 Super Hornet, F/A-18 Hornet, EA-18G Growler, E-2C Hawkeye, the Marine Corps and AV8B Harrier and MV-22B Osprey; the U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon; the British Royal Air Force’s Typhoon and Tornado, the MQ-9 Reaper Drone, the Douglas C-47 Dakota, the PV-2D Harpoon and the California ANG MC-130P.

Vendors are cash only, and while there will ATM machines onsite, lines may be long so show-goers may want to plan accordingly.

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