Air and Water Show 2019: Royal Air Force's Red Arrows arrive in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A royal display of aerobatics could be seen in the sky over Chicago Wednesday as the British Red Arrows practice for their 2019 debut in the U.S.

The Red Arrows are preparing for the 61st Annual Chicago Air and Water Show this weekend. The city will be the first stop in the U.S. for the stunt pilots that serve as part of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force.

Air and Water Show 2019: What you need to know - from performers, viewing sights, parking and facts

"This is the biggest tour we've done to North America ever and it's the first time we've been in the states in 11 years so this doesn't come around often," said Red Arrows Flight Lt. Gregor Ogston.

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A royal display of aerobatics could be seen in the sky over Chicago the sky Wednesday morning as the British Red Arrows make their 2019 debut in the U.S.



The Red Arrows' 20-minute performances Saturday and Sunday are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

"The first half they are flying really close, as close as six feet apart, up to 400 miles an hour," said Ogston. "And the second half of the show, we really ramp it up, break down into two sections and put on a really dynamic and exciting display right in front of you with some red, white and blue smoke."

The show won't just be exciting for the audience, but for Ogston as well. It's his first season with the team, and he can't wait to show off their talent.

"Things to really look out for is just how close we are and the trust and teamwork we need to have with each other to be able to perform that close together," Ogston said.

The RAF Red Arrows are renowned as one of the world's premier aerobatic display teams, having performed almost 5,000 times in 57 countries since 1965. The team flies nine BAE Systems Hawk fast-jets.

John Saville, British Consul General in Chicago, said the Red Arrows tour "is about re-emphasizing the strong bilateral relationship with the U.S. and within that about strengthening ties both of prosperity and extremely close security collaboration."

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels who will also be performing at the event.
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