Boom! Boom! Boom! Wait... I won't hear that again.

I lived near NAS (now MCAS) Miramar when I was a child. Even if we didn’t go to the annual air show, I could hear it. There would always be a point where there was a series of loud booms. Looking up, I could see a vertical ring of white smoke clouds. I always thought it was neat.

What was happening is that an RF-8 Crusader was demonstrating photo reconnaissance. In action, it would fly over a target at night and eject flash bombs to illuminate the target for its cameras. At the air show it demonstrated this in the daytime by flying a loop and ejecting the charges. It occurs to me that I’ll never hear or witness this again. Nowadays we don’t need to use the technique.

I don’'t suppose anyone has a video of it?