NEWBURGH – Thousands gathered to take in the grandeur of vintage and modern military aircraft at the annual New York Air Show in Stewart International Airport this weekend.
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the oldest performing U.S. aviation demonstration team, were the main attraction this year. Their demonstration Saturday and Sunday included the team’s C-130, otherwise known as “Fat Albert,” and six F/A-18 Hornets. They closed out a show that brought out the best in military aviation from different eras.
Another major attraction was Heritage to Horizons, the flight of three different Air Force planes to commemorate the branch’s 70th anniversary. The North American P-51 Mustang, an airplane introduced in 1942, represented the Air Force’s “past”; the General Dynamics F-16 Viper, which has been in flight since the 1970s, was there to represent the “present; and the “future” aircraft was the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which was introduced two years ago to the public.
Major Casey Manning, the pilot in command of the latter airplane, shared his thoughts prior to taking flight.
“We want to showcase the F-35 to the public and show just how great it is,” Manning said.
The wife of one of the pilots weighed in as well.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Anna Waters of her husband, John, who flew the F-16 Viper. “He’s living out his dream.”
The Geico Skytypers, a squadron of vintage WWII aircraft sponsored by the insurance company, also took flight. One of the team’s pilots spoke highly of his experience flying in his hometown.
“It’s a homecoming for us,” said Jim Record, who along with the team took his third flight during the air show.
Other flights included the Boeing C-17 Globe Master III, the Lucas Oil Pitts S-1-11B flown by owner Mike Wiskus, and the Aero L-39 Albatros hailing from the Cold War era.
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus gave opening remarks on the show’s return to the airport. “The New York Air Show is a celebration of American military airpower, and we are honored to have it here again,” Neuhaus said.
The 2018 New York Air Show is scheduled for September 22-23, again at Stewart International Airport.