Photos of the Week: Flying in Formation

Vintage WWII planes display the precision of flight

By BlueSkyStaff

Published August 15, 2022

Read Time: 2 mins


Flying a single aircraft takes skill, but flying multiple aircraft close together also requires coordination.

Throughout the year, demonstration teams tour across the country – and sometimes around the world – at various airshows. The Air Force’s Thunderbirds and Navy’s Blue Angels, for example, display close formation flying in high-tech fighter jets capable of accelerating to supersonic speeds at the drop of a hat.

There are other teams, however, that demonstrate formation in older, classic aircraft. Not only do we appreciate their skillful coordination, we respect the additional work of maintaining World War II-era planes up to flying standards.

New Jersey-based demonstration team The Jersey Jerks operates a fleet of North American T-6 Texan aircraft, which were used to train up-and-coming military pilots during World War II. The team is named after Maj. Donald Straight, who won more than a dozen air-to-air battles during the war. Aircraft flown by Maj. Straight were nicknamed “Jersey Jerks.”

Today, the team tours at airshows throughout the U.S., flying in front of thousands of spectators. Gavin Taylor shot this image of the team in close formation with smoke trails on at the Westmoreland County Airshow in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on June 10.

While airliners don’t fly in close formation, it is not uncommon for planes to make parallel approaches at the busiest airports.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport is one of them. As documented here by Mohamed Mishmish, passengers are also treated to a great view of Lake Michigan and the city’s skyscrapers while on approach to the airport.

Thanks, Gavin and Mohamed!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can click here for submission guidelines.

A United Airlines flight flies past Lake Michigan and Downtown Chicago while on approach into Chicago O’Hare International Airport. (Photo submitted by Mohammed Mishmish)

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