I had eagerly awaited this year’s Spirit of St. Louis Air Show after inclement weather impeded flight performances last October, as teams struggled to negotiate low-hanging storm clouds. Also notably missing at the 2018 show was the Blue Angel flight demonstration squad, which is the most highly anticipated feature of the event. We still enjoyed the show, but I didn’t take very many noteworthy photos last year.
Thankfully, the Angels returned to the St. Louis Air Show in 2019. As flight teams from around the world descended upon the Chesterfield Valley, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels were joined by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Red Arrows as co-headliners of the 2019 event. Outstanding performances by the F-22 Raptor team, the always-exciting Skip Stewart, EA-18 Growler, the Supermarine Spitfire team among many others dazzled viewers in yet another exhilarating display of aerial acrobatics.
The F-22 Raptor in a cloud of water vapor.
The Royal Air Force Red Arrows joined by the Supermarine Spitfire.
An RAF team member looks on.
This was one of my favorite moments of the air show, a “Tornado” Formation.
A member of the Blue Angels teams announces the Flight Demonstration Squadron.
U.S. Navy Blue Angels “Diamond” Formation.
This is the “Echelon” Formation. The Blue Angels fly as close as 18″ during formations.
A break maneuver during the “Delta Loop” Formation.
With the RAF Red Arrows joining the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the 2019 St. Louis Air Show was one of my favorites. This year we enjoyed upgraded Flight Line Club tickets giving us access to assigned seating and close proximity to beverage and food carts, making our stay more convenient. Traffic was unfortunately still an issue. We decided to park 1.5 miles away from the grounds and walk the remainder of the way to save time and aggravation. Hopefully for future events, organizers will figure out a better way to funnel in all of the vehicle traffic. Considering the amount of effort in volunteer coordination, planning, organization and accommodating the tens of thousands of spectators that attend the air show, this is a fantastic event that deserves much praise and anticipation.
Learn more about the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show: