Washington’s skies will be bursting with color on New Year’s Eve for a new show by NASA. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds are now calling a fireworks show early New Year’s morning called the NORADTT F-22 Raptor. The show will be hosted at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
The Thunderbirds are going to invoke the Mothra, Swordfish and T-38 maneuver, a stunt where a twin jet fighter dives through the sky before one of its pilots fires a rocket launch capsule to build up momentum for a tandem launch. The rocket lifts the gunship to 10,000 feet, where a second rocket launches the remaining jet fighter. As the second jet is launched into a perpendicular line, the lower pilot’s jet is propelled at speeds up to Mach 3 and depending on the damage, up to the altitude of the older jet.
The above clip shows the T-38 takeoff to give you an idea of the power that it can produce. The rocket releases the two fighter jets at 1:02:56 in the video below. The effects of the rocket also come through in a “Fireworks at the Ridge” shot from USGS National Weather Service’s Tokyo region at 10:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.