ST. LOUIS ( -- One of the huge draws to Fair Saint Louis is the air show, and this year there will be five performances.

Wednesday pilots were out flying a few practice rounds around the Arch ahead of the first performance July 4.

The Aeroshell Aerobatic Team will be a part of the Boeing Air Show and spent Wednesday prepping for their performance.

Slot pilot Jimmy Fordham is celebrating a milestone in the air this weekend and is happy he gets to spend it flying near the Gateway Arch.

“My birthday is july the fifth so I will have soloed my first flight 50 years ago this Friday,” he said. “You don’t get to fly by the Arch except at their air show so it’s really a great opportunity … It’s a big ole piece of steel and up there, it looks great.”

Viewers on the ground will also be treated to a unique sight as well, as a one-of-a-kind plane will be making an appearance.

The Yak 110 is two identical propeller planes (Yak 55s) fused together with a jet engine mounted in the middle.

“The idea of putting two Yak 55s together is not actually unique, but when you add a jet engine to that combination, that's the first time in the history of aviation that has been done,” said Yak 110 pilot Jeff Boerboon.

Boerboon, who is one of the plane’s three owners, says the Yak 110 makes a statement and stands out from other planes with its sound and appearance

“I out-do them with a pure jet engine,” he said. “This is CJ 610 from a Learjet 24 that makes an incredible amount of noise.”

For reference, a LearJet 24 is a six-to-eight-seat, high-speed business jet.

“With me in it, the airplane weighs 4,800 pounds and I’ve got 6,000 pound of thrust between the three engines. Incredible,” Boerboon said.

The two propeller planes were built in the 90s, one in 1992 and one in 1999. They were combined in 2016, and the jet engine was added later and used in flight in 2018.

“It’s all excess,” Boerboon said. “The airplane has plenty of power with these two [propeller engines] and [the jet engine] is just all fun.”

The first air show will be 12:30 Thursday.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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