Brooklyn Boro

Where to see Thursday’s 24-jet military air show from Brooklyn

August 20, 2019 Mary Frost
The USAF Thunderbirds will be headlining Thursday’s air spectacular over the Statue of Liberty. Shown: The team flew over NYC in 2016. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ned T. Johnston

Brooklynites will be treated to a spectacular military air show on Thursday morning, when 24 jets trailing red, white and blue smoke will zoom in formation down the Hudson River towards the Statue of Liberty.

Make sure you’re in position before the 9:30 a.m. start time so you don’t miss the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team and the Royal Air Force Red Arrows from the United Kingdom in this lightning-fast, four-team precision demonstration. The show will last all of ten minutes.

This is the first time that all four military flight teams have performed their death-defying feats together at the same time, and it’s been more than a decade since the U.K.’s Red Arrows came to North America.

The Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows from the United Kingdom will be joining Thursday’s air show over the Statue of Liberty. Photo courtesy of the Red Arrows
The Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows from the United Kingdom will be joining Thursday’s air show over the Statue of Liberty. Photo MoD/Crown Copyright 2019

Spectators in Brooklyn will be able to view the flyover from any area where they can see the airspace just north of the Statue of Liberty, including Red Hook, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, parts of Brooklyn Bridge Park, sections of Sunset Park, rooftops and balconies along the waterfront and the Brooklyn Bridge walkway. (Governors Island does not open until 10 a.m. — so that’s not an option.)

Dubbed the Hudson Flight, the air show will be also be viewable from Manhattan and New Jersey waterfront areas.

The teams will approach the Statue of Liberty from the north along the Hudson in a procession of four different formations.

The Blue Angels will lead in six-aircraft-delta formation (where the jets’ wingtips are less than three feet apart), followed by the Red Arrows in their signature big battle nine-aircraft-wide formation. Two F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters will trail the Red Arrows, followed by the Thunderbirds in their delta formation.

The USAF Thunderbirds flew over NYC in 2016. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz
The USAF Thunderbirds flew over NYC in 2016. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz

As they approach the Statue of Liberty, the formations will all make a sweeping right turn and then proceed back up the river. They will make a pass over West Point Military Academy prior to landing back at New York Stewart International Airport.

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“Our jets will have white smoke, but the RAF Red Arrows will have red, white and blue smoke,” US Air Force spokesperson SSgt. Stephanie Englar told the Brooklyn Eagle.

While the jets are capable of flying around 1,500 mph, they will being flying around 350 mph for the demonstration, she said.

The precision teams are making this flight in advance of the New York Air Show on Aug. 24-25.

“This is a truly historic opportunity,” Bryan Lilley, chairman of the New York International Air Show, said in a statement. “Never before have we had all these signature military demonstration teams in one place at one time to be able orchestrate something like this. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

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  1. Ro from Park Slope

    What difference if I hail from North or SouthOr from
    the East or West?My heart is filled with loveFor all of these.I only know I swell with prideAnd deep within my breastI thrill to see Old GloryPaint the breeze.
    This is my country! Land of my choice!

    This is my country! Hear my proud voice!

    I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the bold,

    For this is my country! To have and to hold. (Don Raye & Al Jacobs)