Sixty F-16s taxiing at Kunsan air base in one of the greatest show of force ever: that's a record-breaking Elephant Walk!

Mar 06 2012 - 16 Comments

If I was able to correctly translate what the Chosun website says, the ones below show 60 U.S. F-16s and South Korea’s ROKAF KF-16s taxiing down the runway at Kunsan airbase during an exercise.

This kind of collective display of capability and teamwork, with military aircraft taxiing in close formation right before a minimum interval takeoff, in what is referred to as an “Elephant Walk”, is often performed at airbases all around the world to prepare squadrons for war time operations: what’s important is to test crews capability to quickly and safely prepare fully armed aircraft for a mass launch.

However, even if all the wartime operational procedures are conducted, the aircraft don’t take flight and it’s a pity because I would be curious to see how they would sequence departures to achieve proper separation considered the take-off weight and wake turbulence.

Anyway, an interesting show of force, that will surely impress Pyongyang.

Image credit: bemil.chosun.com

  • http://www.milavia.blogspot.com Alex

    They take off or not?

    • http://theaviationist.com/ David Cenciotti

      No, they usually don’t take off.

  • http://adventuresinmikeslife.blogspot.com mike pearson

    Has anyone checked to see if Francis Ford Coppola is re-making “Apocalypse Now”…this could be his doing.

    I bet he is just off camera yelling at the F-16 pilots over the radio. Come on…Martin Sheen Is still around…Robert Duvall too. I’m thinking that Russell Brand could play Dennis Hoppers part.

    “Special effects?…we don’t need no stinking effects”

  • Jared Soergel

    Here’s the official USAF story: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123292658

  • Jared Soergel

    Also, I only count 42 of them in the picture.

    • http://theaviationist.com/ David Cenciotti

      Google Translator translated the Korean website giving 60 planes. Then, in the pictures I count four rows, the first of which is made of 15 F-16s giving a grand total of 60.

  • http://adventuresinmikeslife.blogspot.com mike pearson

    ok…a couple of snarky emails later…I’ll explain my Coppola comment.
    During the filming of Apocalyse Now…the director hired helicopters from the Philippine military…painted them U.S. colors….filmed…then stripped off the paint jobs and sent them back…on a daily basis.

    On some days he couldn’t get any helicopters because they were away fighting insurgents

  • Phred

    That image oughtta make Kim Jong-un’s sphincter tighten up around his neck. Just because a boy’s been to college don’t make him smart. He can fool his countrymen, but he don’t fool the rest of the world. Let’s roll!

  • http://www.facebook.com/vladimir.sereda Vladimir Sereda

    Oooh. So nice photos. They needed be in hi-res!

  • http://vvsphotography.wordpress.com Sebastijan Videc

    has anyone else noticed yellow bands on the bombs? looks like they were fully armed with live weapons

    • http://theaviationist.com/ David Cenciotti

      Yes, the yellow banner means they had live ordnance. Maybe that’s another reason for not taking off…

  • http://apron6.wordpress.com apron6

    Amazing pictures. Seen some other pretty impressive ones, like Stratotankers

  • storretti

    I am happy the pictures came out as good as they did. The weather that day wasn’t all that good.

  • josh

    no they did not take off

  • josh

    and the night before was worse than the weather

  • Jim

    Wolf pack-1979-1981-1985!! Security Police LE…