NEWBURGH, NY — The Air Force Thunderbirds and F-35 Demonstration Team are just a few of the military aircraft scheduled to perform this weekend during the New York Airshow.
To keep the few remaining air shows alive, air show organizers and the Air Force have adopted the “drive-in airshow” format. Surrounded by forests and the Hudson River, Orange County Airport will host the two-day air show.
The F-22A Raptor, GEICO Skytypers, and civilian aerobatic planes are also scheduled to perform.
The F-35A Lightning II, a fifth generation stealth attack jet, will demonstrate high speed passes and loops over the air field. This show will mark their fourth drive-in show this summer.
“We’re excited to see air shows adopt this (drive-in) presentation style,” F-35A Demo Team spokesperson Capt. Kip Sumner told AvGeekery. “It’s been great to get on the road and share our love of aviation, engineering, and photography with the public and we know it’s going to be an amazing show.”
The F-35 Demo Team is based at Hill AFB, Utah, and will perform on Saturday and Sunday. The team’s commander and pilot enjoys two things when she flies, vapor and the crowd’s excitement.
“We’re really excited to be back on the East Coast to perform for the people of New York,” Air Force pilot Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe told AvGeekery on Wednesday. “It’s awesome to be able to bring some aviation excitement to a state that’s been heavily impacted by this pandemic.”
The F-35A will perform a special flyover of Orange County Airport. The patriotic Heritage Flight, flown by historic and new Air Force aircraft, is scheduled each day.
“We are planning on performing our full demonstration routine along with a Heritage Flight with the F-22 and a warbird,” Capt. Wolfe added.
The Thunderbirds six F-16 Fighting Falcon jets will display both slow and high speed precision maneuvers.
“We are honored and excited to perform our second show of the year,” Thunderbird 12 Capt. Remoshay Nelson told AvGeekery.com on Wednesday. She expressed that the entire squadron is ready to begin their second air show of the year.
“We look forward to putting on two great shows for New York residents who are able to enjoy the drive-in show,” Capt. Nelson added from the flightline. “New York has been hit hard by COVID-19 so we hope this can bring a bit of hope, inspiration, and entertainment as we continue to battle this virus.”
The Thunderbirds’ red, white, and blue jets will close out each afternoon. The pilots and logistic crews have worked long hours this summer to sharpen their 42-minute demonstration.
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)