New York Air Show; August 2019
Stewart International Airport held its big Air Show for 2019 on Saturday and Sunday, August 24th and 25th. Officially called the “NEW YORK AIR SHOW”, Stewart, located west of Newburgh, New York, in rural Orange County, 70 miles north of New York City, and right near the United States Military Academy at West Point, has played host to the mostly military show for five years now; 2020 will be the sixth year when it does it all over again on August 29th and 30th. Three outstanding high-performance military demonstration teams and beautiful “CAVU” weather – Clear Air Visibility Unlimited – with clear crisp blue skys contributed to what some estimated to be the largest crowd of crazed plane chasers ever to attend an air show at Stewart, probably nearing 100,000 folks on Saturday soaking up the planes and the sun. The big draw this year was surely the Royal Air Force “Red Arrows” Aerobatic Team, based at RAF Scampton, UK, and visiting Stewart with 12 bright red BAE Systems Hawk T-1 advanced jet trainers, 9 of which that do the actual formation flying in their aerobatic “Display”. The T-1 Hawk is the same airplane as the McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk that the US Navy uses as an advanced trainer. The British are here at Stewart as part of their 11 week, 22 city Flying Display Tour of Canada and the USA.
Adding to the collection of demo teams at Stewart were three equally famous groups: The US Air Force F-35A “Lightning II” Demo Team based at Luke AFB, Arizona; our local favorites, the “Skytypers”, out of Republic Airport in Long Island, coming in with their six SNJ-2 Texan WW2 trainers and still the Star of the Show, even with competition from the Brits today, the US Navy Flight Demonstration Team, the “Blue Angels”, out of NAS Pensacola, Florida, coming in with seven F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet jets. “Fat Albert Airlines”, that usually joins the “Blues” with “Fat Albert” (“Bert” to his friends), the brightly colored blue Marine Lockheed C-130T Hercules logistics support aircraft, that usually does a short opening demo, did not attend this weekend’s performance. The current “Bert” (BuNo 164763) was retired from service recently this year in May of 2019, with 30,000 flight hours. Surprisingly, the Blue Angels will soon be replacing it with an ex-RAF C-130J Herk with low hours — quite an appropriate move considering they are teaming with the British “Red Arrows” today at Stewart. We assume the Blues borrowed another Marine C-130T done up in plain ol’ combat grey to bring all their stuff in, that is probably tucked away over at the nearby 105th AW C-17 ramp on the other side of the airport today.
THE STATIC LINE:
Stewart Airport (SWF) uses Taxiway “A” that is parallel to the 12,000 foot main east-west Runway 09/27, as their show Static Line. The A6 egress ramp near Show Center is where the Brits were able to park their 12 bright red Hawk T-1 jets right near the show line fence and next to the B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Panchito” that was offering rides to the public for $425 per person. Later in the day all the stunt planes came over to the other egress ramp A4/A5 to park right in front of the Announcer’s Stand. For security reasons, the F-35 Demo Team and the Blue Angels and some of the show planes were parked at the 105th AW C-17 NY Air Guard ramp on the east end of the airport, well out of view of the public. The Skytypers and some other show planes were also parked away at the FBO hanger near the Terminal. But there was still almost two miles of concrete on Taxiway “A” for not only planes, but also the “Big Bucks” corporate and VIP chalets to the west, and the “Cheap Seat” bleachers to the east, two big multi-stand food areas and all kinds of vendors selling everything from new gutters for your house to new cars and even helicopter rides in a Robinson R-44 helicopter for “only” $95.
But “A” also had some pretty good planes for the “Plane Crazed” folks to see up close and personal with air crews nearby to answer all your technical questions on the aircraft. It was not as many planes as were on the show ramp in previous years, but still a good mix of front line heavy military metal to see. The star of the static line was the Royal Air Force Airbus A-400M “Atlas”, the logistics support heavy cargo airlifter for the Red Arrows, that brought all the supplies and crews that kept the “Reds” up and flying. This plane was parked at Show Center and up close looked like a combination of a C-17A and a C-130J. It had the thinnest of 6-bladed props for its four turboprop engines that remarkably had a slight downward tilt to them on the wing mounts. Like the T-Birds, the Red Arrows A-400M support planes rotate out of three A-400 units based at RAF Brize Norton in the UK – 206 Squadron; LXX Squadron and XXIV Squadron. The RAF have 20 A-400M aircraft currently with 2 more on order.
Stewart had 12 military planes on the open Static Ramp on Taxiway “A” that you could get close to and talk to the aircrews. The first plane at the west end of the ramp was the biggest, the RAF A-400M “Atlas” cargo plane that is used by the Red Arrows for their logistics support. Next to it was our own “Heavy Metal”, a C-17A “Globemaster III” that taxied over from the nearby 105th AW, NYANG ramp at the far east end of the airport. It had a cool nose art of “Duty – Honor – Country”, the same words that General Douglas McArthur said at a graduation ceremony speech he gave at West Point many years ago. It had an eagle and an Army soldier on his knees paying homage to a fellow fallen trooper at a pitched M-16 with a helmet resting on the rifle stock. Next to this plane was a KC-130T “NY” Marine Refueler over from the nearby VMGR-452 “Yankees” Squadron from
MAG-49 that is based across the way at the Air Guard Ramp adjacent to the 105th AW C-17 ramp. Then we had a couple of F-16C Vipers from the 157th FS “Swamp Fox”, that came up from the 169th FW, South Carolina ANG, located at McEntire JNGB at Columbia, South Carolina. In 2010 the 157th FS began a full time Air Sovereignty Alert Mission at the nearby Shaw AFB. That Alert Mission has now been relocated to its home base, McEntire ANGB, SC.
Next to F-16’s were some local guys over from Massachusetts: two F-15C Eagles, whose airframes were almost 40 years old, out of Barnes ANG Base, Westfield, Mass, near Springfield, from the 104th FW, “Barnstormers”, coming in with some special nose art – “Town of Southwick” and “Town of Deerfield”, to match their “MA” tail codes. Then we had some Mean Machines that took a cross-country hop all the way from Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona: two A-10C Hogs with gutsy-looking Rhino shark teeth on the nose. They has tail codes that were not in the book – No, not “DM”, but rather “DP” for “Dog Patch”, with matching “Dog Patch” tail bands. (Do you kids out there remember the comic strip “Li’l Abner”? Probably not). Don’t forget the ladder door panel art on the Hogs. These had “Bad to the Bone” (Rock ‘N Roll anyone?) and “Old Man Mose”. Then we had a Robinson R-22 “Beta II” from Independent Helicopters with its brother, an R-44, down at the east end of the ramp offering rides for $95 a head, still cheaper than the NYC Hudson River helo rides. Finally two additional helos: a 1975 Bell 206B from Hudson Valley Helicopters, still looking brand new, and a “US Army” restored 1970 Bell OH-58C Kiowa light observation helicopter done up in olive drab colors and marked up as from B-Co/101st Airborne Division from Desert Storm and now owned by Air One Mobility out of Wilmington, Delaware. And right on the other side of the wire was “Panchito”, the local favorite, a North American 1944 B-25J “Mitchell” light bomber from the Delaware Aviation Museum, offering rides for $425 a head. Panchito is actually up for sale by Courtesy Aircraft, if you have a spare $1,400,000! They’ll even throw in a whole bunch of spare parts if you just send them the check and can drive a B-25!
(F-35 pilot’s $400,000 helmet)
If you had some friends over at the NY Air Guard ramp to get you in, you would have seen some interesting military planes parked there. The F-35 Demo Team had two “Lightning II” birds safely tucked away there. The Blue Angels had their seven F/A-18 Hornets there also, actually with quite a mix of Hornets that they brought in: one A; one B; three C’s; and two D’s. The D is the two seat version used for VIP and Press flights. And they had strange numbering: two BA-7’s; two BA-1’s; a BA-4, 5 and 6; and no BA-3. The team number 7 is the Narrator’s personal mount and he had two No.7 birds to pick from today on this trip. Our sources told us that the team is currently scheduled to receive an initial pair of Super Hornets in late-summer of 2020 and will introduce the full Super Hornet team possibly in the 2021 season. Rumor has it that the Blues will cancel both the 2020 and the 2021 seasons due to the transition. We hope not!!! And the Blues blue Marine “Bert” Herk was not here this year either. We assume a substitute grey “Bert” was over on the Guard ramp somewhere.
Other air show aircraft were camped out over at the Atlantic FBO Shed and at the Army 2nd Aviation Detachment hanger on the south side. This remote group included the Stunt Guys: Mike Wiskus and his Lucas Oil Pitts S-1-11B “Super Stinker” orange bi-plane; Michael Gulian and his Whelen Aerospace Technologies silver mono-wing Extra 330SC; Kent Pietsch and his yellow “Jelly Belly” 800 pound Interstate Cadet Piper-Cub light weight; Matt Chapman and his Embey-Riddle 330LX yellow mono-wing; and the Aero-Vodochody L-39 Albatross Czech jet trainer done up in Russian Soviet brown camo with a USSR Red Star and owned by Larry Labriolla, a Landscape Contractor from the infamous Scarsdale, New York, and known as the “Grass Cutter for the Stars”. Also on the FBO ramp were the six Skytypers from Republic Airport in Long Island who came in with their six SNJ-2 Texans; the UH-72A Lakota, actually an olive drab Eurocoptor / Airbus EC-145 from the US Army 2nd Aviation Detachment that supports West Point that is based here at Stewart and was used as the jump plane for today’s demo by the five jumpers from the USMA Cadet Parachute Team; the New York State Police Bell / Textron UH-1H Huey II helo used for the State Police Extraction Demo in the Show and finally the P-51D Mustang that teamed up with the F-35A for the Heritage Flight Demo.
THE TRUMP PLANE:
However, in addition to the RAF “Red Arrows”, there was a very special unannounced visitor to the 2019 New York Air Show this year. It was President Trump’s personal airplane, NO, not Air Force One, but rather his personal corporate Boeing 757 airliner painted up with “TRUMP” in big capital letters on the side of the fuselage. It was originally parked at the FBO ramp near the Terminal on Thursday. On Friday someone ordered it moved from the FBO ramp to near the FedEx ramp directly across from the air show static ramp and in front of Air Show Center in full view of all 100,000 who attended the air show on Saturday. Now I wonder who could have ordered that move???
THE RED ARROWS:
The Royal Air Force “Red Arrows” Aerobatic Team from the United Kingdom came to Stewart Airport with 12 BAE Hawk T Mk.1 advanced jet trainers all done up in bright red. Being the “Super Stars” of the Air Show, they were parked at the large Egress Ramp “A5” and “A6” very close to the crowd fence line for all to see. The public couldn’t venture out to the plane ramp but a number of pilots and crew chiefs came over to a RAF Team double tent at the rail to hand out souvenir books and answer questions. The Red Arrows call signs are “Red-1″, ” Red-2″, etc. The Red Arrows came to the New York Air Show at Stewart Airport in 2019, their 55th Season, as part of an 11 week, 22 city, flying demonstration tour of the United States and Canada. The flight across the Pond included a number of refueling stops along the way. Many of the 120 member ground support team, known as the “Circus”, traveled to the US in their Airbus A-400M logistics support cargo plane with their supplies and gear. However, there were 12 crew chiefs that flew in the back seats of their Hawks on their trip over and for the inter-city trips cross North America on this Tour. This is very similar to what the Canadian “Snowbirds” do as well with their 2-seat Tutor jets. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is commanded by Wing Commander Andrew Keith and the 9-aircraft formation is led by “Red-1”, Squadron Leader Martin Pert. With the 9 flying “Display Pilots”, Red 10, Squadron Leader Adam Collins, flys a tenth jet as a spare and is the “Commentator” (what we call the Narrator) at Display venues and is the team’s Safety Officer as well on the ground at shows. The team brought on two additional spares – Red 11 and Red 12 – for their visit to the USA and Canada. In addition to being called the “Circus”, (they never told us how they got the name.), the Red Arrows traveling support team are also known as the “Blues” because of their distinctive blue “coveralls”. They represent many varied roles and backgrounds, including regular military, reservists, and non-military Civil Servants! Including civilians on the Red Arrows ground support team is very unusual as compared to the US teams – the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds – where all ground support members are strictly full time military members of that team’s particular service. In addition to the “Blues”, some air crew support members at Saturday’s show wore brown standard military fatigues. The pilots all wore bright red loose flight suits that matched the bright red colors of their Hawk T-1 jets.
The Red Arrow pilots go up as if they were on an actual combat mission donning all the military flying rattle — 1) The red special Display fire-retardant flying coverall, a somewhat baggy flight suit as compared to the tight fitting suits of the US teams; 2) Full length white fire-retardant undergarments; 3) The Mk 10 white flying helmet; 4) Aircrew soft leather sweat-resistant sure-grip flying gloves; 5) Cotton long-sleeve white T-shirt with the team’s “Diamond Nine” logo; 6) aircrew life preserver including various survival aids; 7) Leg restraint garters to restrain the pilots legs during ejection; 8) Anti-G leg trousers that prevent the blood from pooling in the legs during High-G “Display” maneuvers; 9) Terry loop thermal socks; 10) “Hawk-Swift” leather flying boots specifically designed for the BAE Hawk T-1 jet aircraft. This is very different from the US teams who used to go up, until recently, with nothing but the flight suit and would “Tuck ‘n Grunt” to combat the High-G forces.
The Red Arrows run a very loose per-show start-up routine. The crew chiefs loosely accompany the pilots to their planes for the final check out. There is no loud Rock ‘n Roll music for each move as the US teams do: It’s pure silence. The Announcer – Red 10 – or “Commentator” for the Display show, speaks in a very loose informal conversational format that probably varies a little from show to show. It is not strictly memorized like a Broadway Script always the same that the US teams do. The Commentator has notes and basically “speaks” to the audience as he describes each movement in the “Display” performance. And another big difference is that the show is called a “Display”; it is not called a “Demonstration” or “Performance” as the US teams call it. but this is their way. It is the “British Way”! The nine “Display Jets” taxi out and launch in three groups of three jets each, with each three having red, white or blue smoke. The red, white and blue smoke color are for the Union Jack British flag, NOT for the US Flag, (as I’m sure some in the crowd thought.) As soon as they clear the runway, they form up into the 9-ship “Diamond Nine”. Red-1 flies Point with 3 and 2 on his Wing position, with 6 and 7 lining up behind Lead 1, with 5 and 9 on left wing and 4 and 8 on right wing. Surprisingly, there are no big numbers on the jets as US teams have. It is pure Aerial Choreography, well memorized. Everyone knows where they have to be. The big difference to the US teams is that there is no alternating between the Diamond and the two solos and later forming to the 6-ship Delta. The “Reds” make good use of all nine red birds.
Flying a Red Arrow “Display” is very different from what we are used to in the States. Reds 1 to 5 complete the front section of the teams basic formation known as the “ENID”. Reds 6 to 9 make up the rear part (no name). The first half of a “Reds” Display consists of synchronized, what they call “large-shape” aerobatics, including the Red Arrows trademark 9-ship “Diamond Nine” full team formation, with the red, white and blue smoke trail on, followed by a more dynamic second half, where the team splits up into different groupings. In the “Synchro-Pair”, Red 6 and 7 perform the highly popular “Opposition Maneuvers”, during the later section of the show, and of course do the Flat Starburst and the High Starburst that are beautiful with the 3-color smoke trails, as is also when the two solos do their “Rolling Corkscrew” around the 7-ship “T” formation.
During a Display, Red 10, who’s on the ground, acts as the Team’s “Supervisor” who maintains 2-way radio contact with the Team Leader Red 1. His job is also to provide public “Commentary” as the Announcer. (This is similar to what the Blue Angels do but with one officer doing the public narration with a second officer talking to the 4-ship Diamond and the two Solos who is also talking to the Public Narrator at the same time.) Lead Red 1 is also calling commands to his 9-ship flight. The big difference is that there are no “Singing Commands” as Boss does with the US teams. The Red’s commands are normal voice: very British! There are three types of “Display” the Team Leader can elect to fly: 1) “Full”; 2) “Rolling” or 3) “Flat”. To carry out a high “Full Looping Display”, the base of the clouds must be above 5,500 feet to avoid the aircraft entering the cloud at the top of the loop. If the cloud base is less than 5,500 feet, but more than 2,500 feet, the Team Lead can call for the “Rolling Display” where they will substitute wing-overs and rolls for the high loops. And when the cloud base is below 2,500 feet, the Team will fly the “Flat Display”, consisting of a series of “flypasts” and steep turns. (This is similar to the Blue Angels options with Flat, Mid and and High Show options.) Saturday presented a potential problem at Stewart with puffy fair-weather clouds that had developed after 1PM. Lead, as Red 1, took the 9-ship up to altitude and confirmed that they could do the High Show — the “Full Looping Display”.
IT’S THE BRITISH WAY:
The first half of the 2019 Display was the 9-Ship Diamond “Synchronized Formation Aerobatics” in the following order with the special names that the Red Arrows use: 1) Amateur Big Battle to Short Diamond (single loop transition of Diamond-9 into a reverse-V); 2) Apollo Roll (Apollo, god of archery, in a twisting arrow shape); 3) Apollo to Concorde (in the shape of a Concorde plane); 4) Concorde to Cygnet Loop (in the shape of a Cygnet Swan); 5) Cygnet to Phoenix (in the shape of a Phoenix bird); 6) Phoenix to Lancaster (in the shape of a Lancaster bomber); 7) Tornado (two solos corkscrew around the 7-delta like a tornado); and 8) Palm Split (the vertical starburst in the shape of a tri-colored human palm). Besides the formation diagrams, you need a dictionary for these maneuvers! The second half of the show varies between opposing solo moves and multi-groups: 9) Reds 6-9 Pass; 10) Cyclone / Slingshot; 11) Goose; 12) Hearts (yes, it’s a Red Heart with an arrow!); 13) Vice – Versa (4 opposing Red solos); 14) Vertical Break (downward starburst); 15) Carousel (2-ship multi-color 360); 16) Python (like a slithering snake); 17) Corkscrew (two solos around a straight line 2-ship); 18) Rollbacks (5-ship V with wing men in and out); 19) Reds 6-9 Break (very complex!); 20) Double Rolls (double rolls!); 21) Vixen Break (9-abreast into the crowd then a vertical tri-color fan starburst), finally a re-join into the Diamond Nine down the runway and a tactical pitch up break to land in sequence. Confusing, yes, but so British!!! Check their website for the colored maneuver diagrams that will make everything perfectly clear!
(Bill Sarama photo)
RED ARROWS GO TO NEW YORK CITY!
On Thursday morning, August 22nd, the RAF “Diamond Nine” Red Arrows Aerobatic Display Team had a special mission to perform: To join up with other military demonstration teams and form up over Kingston, New York, north of Stewart, for a multi-team flight down the Hudson River to Lower Manhattan in New York City, and then circle the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor at exactly 9:30 AM and then head back up-River to disperse to their individual bases. The plan was for the 9-ship Red Arrows coming out of Stewart, to provide the lead “V” formation trailing red, white and blue smoke. Next in trail were the two F-35A’s from the F-35 USAF Demo Team also coming out of Stewart. Joining the F-35’s was a last minute addition, the F-22 USAF Raptor Demo Team up from the 1st FW at Langley AFB, who were on their way up to the Rochester Air Show up north. This second group formed a 4-ship Diamond of 5th-Gen fighters behind the Red Arrows. The third group in trail was the Thunderbirds 6-ship Delta who were also heading up to Rochester and did a divert to be part of this “Airplane Parade” down the Hudson. The fourth group was to have been the Blue Angels coming out of Stewart. The Blues did not participate in the “Parade” because of what they later called “logistical problems”. This turned out to be because of a very late arrival at Stewart Wednesday night, which made it very difficult for them to do an early launch from Stewart Thursday morning and join up with the other teams for the trip south to New York down the Hudson River. The Blues did not make their New York “Curtain Call”! But everyone else showed up and New York City got treated to a nice “New York Air Show” in Lower Manhattan on Thursday morning at 9:30 AM. The two F-22 Raptors afterwards went up to Stewart to refuel before going up Rochester. The Thunderbirds also refueled, but we are not sure where. It was quite a Downtown Air Show, from all on-site reports from New York!
THE FLYING SHOW:
Then there was the Flying Show on Saturday with almost 100,000 Plane Chasers tightly packed on Taxiway “A” at Stewart. The B-25 “Panchito” started early with revenue flights at $425 a head. Independent Helicopters was also doing revenue hops to the east in its R-44 at $95 each. At 11:40 AM things started happening: Matt Jolly, the Announcer, introduced Mike Wiskus going up to hold in his in his Lucas Oil orange Pitts S-1-11B bi-wing stunt plane. The USMA Cadet Parachute Team went up to hold in their UH-72A “Lakota” jump plane. George Kline got warmed up as today’s “Air Boss”; Jay Rabbit got going as the “Lil’ Boss”, both doing a great job directing all the show aircraft all day.
At 12:00 Noon, Staff Sgt. Katherine Walsh sang the National Anthem during the West Point jumper’s Flag Drop with Mike Wiskus doing laps around the jumper during his decent with the American Flag from the UH-72. Then we had the British Anthem “God Save The Queen” in honor of the UK / RAF Red Arrows visit to Stewart. Then we had a few speeches from some important people.
Mike Wiskus was back in with his orange Pitts Special for his “Teaser Act”, Followed by Kent Pietsch in his “Jelly Belly” 1942 Interstate Cadet yellow piper cub interrupting Mike Wiskus’s routine with his comedy act as a crazy inept pilot who can’t fly and can’t land and with pieces of his airplane that kept falling off on to the runway.
Next up was Larry Labriolla, the landscape contractor from the infamous town of Scarsdale, New York, known as the “Grass Cutter of the Stars”, flying his Aero L-39 “Albatross” Czech trainer, doing a series of neat aerobatic moves; pretty good stuff for a 68 year old guy who cuts grass! The “Skytypers” next went up to do some digital dot skywriting over Newburgh. BTW – their sentences are done with dot patterns generated by computer when they fly straight line 6-abreast in their SNJ-2 Texans.
During the air show the airport had to stay open for commercial airliner take offs and landings per FAA Regulations. For example, right at this point a Delta / Skywest ERJ came in on a scheduled arrival exactly on time. The B-25 “Panchito” next went up to do a demo in honor of the bombing of Tokyo by Lt. Col. Jimmy Dolittle’s “Raiders” when 16 B-25’s took off from the carrier USS Hornet off the coast of Japan early in 1942. The movie “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” was made in honor of this B-25 raid.
Matt Chapman, a 737 pilot, next did his aerobatic demonstration in his yellow mono-wing Emory-Riddle Extra 330LX stunt plane. Stewart then shut down for a Kalita B-747-400 Cargo Air Freighter on short final to land; old but still a big airplane. The Skytypers next came back for their ACM / CAS military demo minus No.5 that broke.
The New York State Police were next up with their Bell / Textron UH-1H Huey II to do a simulated downed officer extraction rescue, all done with the music from the movie “Apocalypse Now” with the Wagner’s “Theme of the Valkyries” setting the tone for the Vietnam era Huey. We love the sound of an inbound Huey!
The RAF Red Arrows went up next with their full High Show, launching with three 3-ship formations of Hawk T-1 jets belting out beautiful red / white / blue smoke trails and absolutely no Rock ‘N Roll music – just pure flying beauty; Go Brits: A wonderful 45-minute “Display”!
Next we had a funny routine with Mike Wiskus and the Announcer. Turns out Mike had eight unpaid parking tickets. As he was landing, 4 motorcycle cops chased him down the runway, sirens and red lights going, 2 State Cops and 2 local cops. As soon as they had him surrounded, he takes off and escapes in his orange Pitts Special bi-plane. Not to be outdone, the cops next set up ribbon barrier on poles across the runway to try and snag him. Well, Good ‘Ol Mike cut the wire with his plane wings and escaped again and did another aerobatic act. Nice show Mike!
Kent Pietsch and little his yellow Interstate Cadet Piper Cub next did his Second Act – Landing on top on top of a ramp on top of a moving pick-up truck going 65 mph. The announcer told us a secret: Kent Pietsch sings just like Johnny Cash! Oh Well! Kent went up again and did his Third Act – Going up to 6,000 feet and shutting off the engine to do a glider routine and then do a dead-stick landing and end up exactly at Show Center. Michael Gulian was here Saturday with his silver mono-wing Extra 330SC sponsored by Whelen Aerospace Technologies with a big “WAT” on the wings and Alpina Watches with a big clock on the tail, but did not take it up today.
The US Air Force F-35A “Lightning II” Demonstration Team went up next with Capt. Andrew “DoJo” Olson, F-35 Demo Pilot, on the stick or what ever they use to fly that thing! DoJo, an experienced F-35 Driver, actually came up with the full F-35 Demo routine. And here it is: 1) Max Afterburner Takeoff To High-Alpha Half Cuban 8; 2) Weapons Bay Doors Pass; 3) High Speed To Max Climb; 4) Min Radius Turn To High Alpha Loop; 5) Dedication Pass; 6) Inverted To Inverted Roll Flat Pass; 7)
Pedal Turn (goes up and does a turning flat-spin and downward free-fall with the ducted nozzles); 8) Square Loop; 9) Slow Speed To Split-S Reposition; 10) Opposing Rolls Flat Pass; 11) Tactical Pitch Up “DoJo” Drift” (Vertical Climb, stop, no movement, then a downward tail first free-fall ending with a low altitude recovery); 12) Figure 8 (flat pass into a low figure 8); finally a Tactical Break flying up to altitude to join up with the Mustang for the Heritage Flight Set-Up. This is a loud airplane. When DoJo went burner, if you didn’t have plugs in your ears or at least cupped your ears, you certainly suffered a bit of temporary hearing loss. Pity the poor little kids! But boy, it was fun to watch!
Before DoJo went into his routine, the P-51D Mustang went up to hold to the north and wait for the Heritage Flight. The Heritage Flight is always dramatic to watch with the patriotic music playing. The next act was the US Navy Blue Angels, but without the Marine C-130T support plane at the start. If you go to a lot of air shows, you have this one pretty much memorized, but it is still fun to watch and that low burner “Sneak Pass” still surprises everyone. Right after the Blues taxied to their parking spot over at the Air Guard C-17 ramp, the 9-ship Red Arrow “Diamond Nine” took off for a quick Demo Flight to the Hamptons in Long Island. Now I wonder who arranged for that to happen?
But it was a great day at Stewart Airport with the “New York Air Show 2019”. See you here next year on August 29th and 30th, 2020, when we will do it all again, but bigger and better!
PhotoRecon Aviation Magazine wants to thank MSgt. Sara Pastorello, NYANG, Public Affairs Superintendent, 105th AW and Mr. Chris Dirato, Air Show Public Relations Director and SVP, Bitner Group, for providing PhotoRecon outstanding air show access and terrific cooperation. Thank You!!!