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See the Red Arrows and Thunderbirds Aerobatic Teams Fly Over Manhattan in Rare Joint Display

Aug. 22, 2019
4 min read
See the Red Arrows and Thunderbirds Aerobatic Teams Fly Over Manhattan in Rare Joint Display
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New York City isn't known for air shows, but on Thursday, New Yorkers and tourists got a spectacular look at two of the top aerobatic teams in the world.

The Royal Air Force's Red Arrows and the US Air Force's Thunderbirds flew over the Hudson River in a rare joint display, as they moved between air shows. The event had been widely publicized on social media, and people had positioned themselves for it well in advance, like in the image below taken in Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

TPG editor at large Zach Honig was in position too, on his roof in downtown Manhattan ...

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... but we also sent our photo editor Wyatt Smith to have a look. Wyatt reports that the teams first came over the Hudson River north to south.

On the first pass, the Red Arrows, on a visit from Great Britain flying the veteran British Aerospace Hawk two-seat jet, led two Lockheed Martin F-22s and two F-35s from the US Air Force. Those aren't part of an established aerobatic team, but the USAF gladly shows them off during air show season in the summer. (The F-22s are the two jets on the left and right in the rear formation.)

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

Then the teams did another pass in the opposite direction with their smoke generators on and the USAF's Thunderbirds in the lead, with their Lockheed Martin F-16s. The Red Arrows, who are on a tour of the US, followed, then came the F-22s and F-35s.

The Red Arrows and the F-35s, together with the US Navy's aerobatic team, the Blue Angels, will perform on August 24 nd 25 at the New York International Air Show at Stewart Airport outside Newburgh, 60 miles north of New York City.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

The F-22s and F-35s did not have smoke generators, a feature commonly found on airplanes specially adapted to aerobatic duty like the Red Arrows' and Thunderbirds' jets.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

When will something like this happen next over New York? We don't know — the closest you can get will probably be during next summer's air show season, when another aerobatic team might do a flyover.

All images by Wyatt Smith/TPG except where noted

Featured image by (Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)