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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Red Flag, Checkered Flag

NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500, takes place this weekend. And in racing, nobody wants to see a red flag before the checkered flag. But in the realm of aviation, it’s a different story.

From late last month into February, Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada has hosted one of several major exercises that take place every year under the name Red Flag. With thousands of miles of airspace on hand, Red Flag offers pilots, crews, and many other personnel the opportunity to hone their skills under realistic air combat conditions.

While there are Red Flag exercises restricted to United States military only, the iteration that has just concluded brought together international partners to team up with our aviators. Which means our skies hosted a number of aircraft rarely seen in the United States. Yesterday a flight of four Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft and a large Airbus Voyager KC tanker/transport plane took off from Las Vegas headed home on the long flight back to England.

Fortunately, these planes took a break after flying across the US, landing at Dover Air Force Base late yesterday. And with Dover located just down the road from Aerospace Perceptions headquarters, I made it a point to be on hand to welcome these special visitors to Delaware as the sun set. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos. 

Click each image to see larger sizes…

All photographs: Frank Moriarty/Aerospace Perceptions

For more on Red Flag visit:

For more on Eurofighter Typhoon visit:

For more on Voyager KC visit:

In a stroke of luck, in the moments between the Typhoon flight and the Voyager landing, a beautiful Boeing 747-400 on a freight mission for Atlas Air also arrived on the scene. I can’t let that majestic sight go undocumented!