Along with the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend also brings the annual Jones Beach Air Show. Once again, the roar of jets and the rumble of piston engines will fill the skies over the Island. The first participants will be arriving at Republic Airport in the next few days, preparing to thrill the crowds at the beach. The show seems a bit light this year, without the USAF Thunderbirds, who are off to Europe, or the F-22 Raptor, on a safety-related stand-down from performances. Instead, we'll just have to make due with more warbirds. The flock from the American Airpower Museum will be joined by "Yankee Lady", a B-17 that is a frequent show participant. This year we will also be treated to "Fifi", the only B-29 flying in the world. "Fifi" returned to the skies last summer, and this is her first visit to Long Island in seven years.
Coinciding with the air show is the US Navy's Fleet Week in New York City. A fleet of naval vessels will be joined by fighter aircraft, helicopters, and thousands of sailors. An early arrival for Fleet Week is the only flying replica of Eugene Ely’s 1911 Curtiss Pusher. The aircraft is touring the country to celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation, and is spending some time at Floyd Bennett Field.