Edwards Air Force Base has a history of uncorking some of the fastest-flying, highest-climbing, goose bump-inspiring aircraft the world has ever seen.
And once a year or so, the secretive home of cutting-edge flight tests and gee-whiz technology opens its gates to thousands of goggle-eyed visitors.
The annual experience is coming again this Saturday as the eastern Kern County air base kicks off Flight Test Nation, a full day of thrilling demonstration flying and jaw-dropping performances by an award-winning parachute team, a flaming re-enactment of the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, and dozens of other attractions.
And it's free.
Headlining the day's events are two performances: the famous Army Golden Knights and "Tora, Tora Tora."
The Army Golden Knights have performed at more than 15,000 shows in all 50 states and 48 countries.
In the last three years alone, the Knights earned 17 gold medals, 80 silver medals and 61 bronze medals. These achievements have won the Knights acclaim as the most successful parachute team in the world.
The Pearl Harbor reenactment known as Tora, Tora Tora traces its beginnings to 1972 when six replica Japanese aircraft were donated to the Commemorative Air Force by 20th Century Fox, the studio that produced the movie of the same name.
Since then, the team has gained an international following, performing hundreds of times at the nation's top air shows. Tora has won acclaim by the International Conference of Air Shows as one of the best air show acts in the industry.
Amazingly, everyone in the organization is an unpaid volunteer.
Gates open at 7 a.m. and flying begins at about 10 a.m. The open house is expected to close at 6 p.m. to allow guests ample time to enjoy the more than 40 static displays on the flight line.