Watch This F/A-18 Hornet Torch The Night Sky With Its Afterburners

The MCAS Miramar Air Show features a lot of nighttime afterburner, like A LOT. It is traditionally one of the biggest air shows in the United States and imagery from it never disappoints. One of the unique things about this show is its gratuitous display of fighter jet afterburner action after dark.


Traditionally a Hornet (or the Tomcat back in the day) takes off after dusk and proceeds to convert thousands of pounds of prehistoric dead dinosaurs and plants into massive plumes of fire, accented by shock diamonds. It is great times for all and a always a highlight of the air show weekend, but in the past you really had to be there to get the just of it. Now, as digital video cameras have come a long way when it comes to low-light action photography, we can now enjoy this display of engineering and raw power from home.

This video really does bring us pretty close to being at the actual event, but it does not replace that rumbling deep in your chest as the F/A-18's twin GE-F404 turbofans come to life, and it can't replicate the uncontrolled smile that creeps across your face as you see a twelve ton, pointy nosed contraption hurl itself through the night sky on fire.


Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address

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The J58 was truly the king of shock diamonds