On Aug. 22, 2019, the legendary Royal Air Force (RAF) Red Arrows flew in formation alongside the US Air Force (USAF) Thunderbirds for a historic aerial parade above Manhattan, along the Hudson River and over Statue of Liberty.
History was made as the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds, the RAF’s Red Arrow and a flight of two F-35As Lightning II jets of the F-35 Demo Team and two F-22s of the Raptor Demo Team flew over NYC ahead of the New York International Air Show to be held at New York Stewart airport this weekend.
Overall, 20 aircraft (including a Red Arrows Hawk jet that acted as camera ship) conducted the flyover on the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty and Verrazzano Bridge performing passes at 2,500-3,000 ft and trailing colored smokes. The following video (fast forward to 13:15 mark to spot the first jets) shows the flyover:
Unfortunately, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, initially slated to take part in the aerial parade, could not join the rest of the teams because of operational requirements.
According to a Thunderbirds press release, six fighter planes flew over the Hudson River in Delta Formation in sequence with the 9-ship Red Arrows formation.
The Red Arrows left nine vapor trails that are produced by pumping diesel mixed with colored dye into the planes’ jet exhaust.
All of the planes can carry enough diesel and dye to create one minute of red smoke, one minute of blue smoke and about five minutes of white smoke during their displays.
After buzzing Manhattan, all aircraft followed the Hudson River down to Liberty Island before going back up the river.