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Canadian Snowbirds to join air show

The Canadian Snowbirds military jet-demonstration team will join the lineup of the Miramar Air Show for the first time Friday, along with their U.S. Navy Blue Angels counterparts and dozens of other top military and civilian pilots from around the world.

The theme of this year’s three-day show is “A Salute to Teamwork,” a moniker military officials said was fitting since the event features both U.S. and Canadian jet teams.

The nine-plane Snowbirds, using CT-114 Tutor aircraft, fly more than 50 formations at speeds in excess of 365 mph, sometimes with four feet of wing overlap.

The F/A 18 Hornets used by the Blue Angels, the Navy’s elite precision-flying squadron, can hit speeds of 1,200 mph, while maintaining formation just inches apart. The Blue Angels are among the most popular aviation acts in the world, performing for more than 13 million people last year.

Among the military aircraft to be flown during the show are the AV-8B Harrier, F-16 Falcon, KC-130 Hercules and CH-53 E Super Stallion and CH-46E Sea Knights helicopters. Also performing is the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team.

Civilian performances include Bill Reesman’s MiG-17F, John Collver’s AT-6 Texan “War Dog,” Shockley’s “Shockwave” jet truck and the Patriots four-plane jet team.

On Saturday, a special twilight show will feature military and civilian demonstrations, including a jet-assisted takeoff of the Blue Angels’ “Fat Albert” C-130 Hercules, a jet truck and a fireworks display that includes the “Great Wall of Fire” inferno.

On the ground there will be more than 100 military and civilian aircraft, simulation rides and souvenirs.

Admission, parking and blanket seating are free. Gates open at 8 a.m. daily and the show runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday’s twilight show goes from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.