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Red Arrows bring international flair to Stewart air show

STEWART AIRPORT — The Navy’s Blue Angels precision flying team will return this weekend as the headline act for what is now known as the New York International Air Show.

They also performed at the 2017 air show.

Shows will take place Saturday and Sunday at New York Stewart International Airport, with gates opening at 9 a.m. each day. Performances in the air will run from about noon to 4 p.m.

The word “international,” long a part of the airport’s name, was added to the show’s title this year “because we’re having more international performers as part of the show,” according to Chris Dirato, director of public relations.

Leading the international performers will be the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, an aerobatic team similar to the Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds. Show organizers were thrilled to land them for the show.

“This is the first time in over a decade that the Red Arrows have performed in North America, and this is one of a handful of air shows chosen by their team,” Dirato said. “It’s a big honor.”

The Red Arrows will be one of two featured acts below the headlining Blue Angels. The other is another Air Force act, the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team.

Dirato said this will be the F-35′s debut performing in the Northeast.

“The Air Force has never agreed to do a full capabilities demonstration before,” Dirato said.

Show attendees will get to see how the aircraft handles high-speed banking and turns, climbs and other maneuvers.

The West Point Parachute Team will open the shows with an American flag jump each day, and perform again later.

Other performers range from the Geico Skytypers, six vintage World War II planes, to daredevil pilot Mike Wiskus and his biplane.

There will also be a 50-acre static display area on the south side of the airport, offering visitors a close-up look at an A-10 Warthog capable of short takeoffs and landings on primitive airfields; a C-17 Globemaster III, the current plane of the Stewart-based Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing; and a Lakota helicopter, among many other aircraft.