The “American Dream” over Orange County, New York.
The New York International Air Show was held at Orange County Airport in New York last week end. The air show was held in a “drive in” format with thousands of cars, filled with people in attendance. The highlights included the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, the F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team, the USAF Heritage Flight, and the USAF Thunderbirds. The show was cancelled on Saturday, Aug. 29, due to inclement weather, which left Sunday Aug. 30, to be the main show day, when spectators were treated with a surprise that couldn’t be matched: the USAF Heritage Flight was a true representation of the “American dream”.
The 4 ship formation featured:
An F-22 Raptor (05-097) from the demonstration team based at Joint Base Langley–Eustis in Virginia, piloted by a first generation American citizen, Major Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson. Major Gunderson flew an F-22 from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base. After Hurricane Michael in 2018, they were repositioned at Langley.
An F-35A Lightning II (17-5276) from the demonstration team based at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, piloted by the first woman single ship demonstration commander, Captain Kristen “Beo” Wolfe. This F-35A Lightning II belongs to the 421st Fighter Squadron, of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB.
A P-51D Mustang (44-73420, N151AM) flown by veteran air show performer, Andrew McKenna. Andrew flies a plane that was built as a replacement for the 8th Air Force. It was flown to Italy right when the war ended, never seeing any combat. It was later sent back to the US where it served in various Air National Guard Units before being sold in the Fifties.
A P-51D Mustang (44-73029, N51JB) flown by a founding member of the Air Force Heritage Flight program, Jim Beasley, Jr. Jim flies the “Bald Eagle”, which pays tribute to the 361st Fighter Group of the 8th Air Force who secured the victory on D-Day.
The photos in this post show the unique formation during the display, blessed by good weather, on Sunday.