I had a house 2.5 miles due south of the runway at the Skunkworks (about 20 minutes south of Edwards by car) and you could see planes going back and forth all the time. My 2nd floor bedroom window faced the runway. I actually put a pair of binocoulars in the window sill. It was pretty cool. With Binoculars I could actually look right onto the runway. At night it was fun trying to figure out what was taking off and landing.
I've been here so long I've grown acustomed to it. You're right though, you never know what's next. The current list is impressive:
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
F-15 Eagle (only the NASA bird though)
F-18 (yes, we let the Navy borrow our facility)
Space Shuttle (but only occasionally)
SR-71 (very rarely now)
I'm sure I've forgotten a plane or two and that doesn't count the visitors or comercial aircraft either. :shock:
I love to watch the shows on TV about airplanes. I can't remember a show that didn't have at least one shot of Rodgers Dry Lakebed in the background. Since the advent of the jet engine Edwards has been a focal point for aviation developement. Edwards is about 301K acres and Rogers lake bed can be seen from spaceI drew a little box around it)
It's really a fun place to work and live. But, it gets really hot in the summer. :shock:
My sister-in-law grew up at Edwards during the mid-50's thru the 60's. Her dad was some kind of hot shot helicopter test pilot. He even tested a ejection seat in a helicopter. They had charges on the rotor to blow the blades off then the seat would come out. I think they chalked that up as non-feasible! She said she spent more time watching out for rattlesnakes than looking at planes!