The Most Incredible Aircraft of All Time: US NAVY Blue Angels

   As the Thunderbirds are the performers for the USAF the Blue Angles are the performers for the United States Navy.  The shows may look similar but, the aircraft, the pilots, and the way they fly are all different.  At the airshows I attend each year usually alternates between the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds.  In my opinion, the Blue Angels are the most intense.

The Blue Angels we established in 1946 to keep people interested in Naval Aviation by performing stunts at popular shows know as air shows.  They were the first of their kind and would make history for years to come.  They were stationed in Corpus Christi for the beginning until 1954 when they moved to Pensacola, Florida , were they are still located.  The team is made up of 16 officers and around 110 enlisted members.

   The aircraft set up and formations are almost identical to the Thunderbirds but there are a few differences.  There is the same four aircraft that make up the diamond formation.  The one difference here is that the Thunderbirds Slot pilot moves into position mid-loop after takeoff as the Blue Angels Slot pilot moves there right after takeoff.

   The solo pilots are identical to the Thunderbirds also.  Both #5 and #6 pilots alternate with the diamond formation.  A some point in the show the teams have been known to give a sneak pass.  This is a very low  high-speed pass than not many will see coming. It is sure to make you jump.

   The solo pilots and diamond pilots will then meet and fly in the 6 ship formation.

The other aircraft that makes up the Blue Angels is a C-130 called Fat Albert.  It is a supply aircraft and is equipped with a JATO system or Jet-fuel Assist Take Off.  The aircraft has rockets put on the rear end of the aircraft to help the aircraft make a very short take off.

The Blue angels have been around much longer than the Thunder birds and have had many different aircraft aswell.

F6F-5 Hellcat

F8F-1 Bearcat

F9F-2 Panther

F9F-8 Cougar

F11F-1 Tiger

F-4J Phantom II

A-4F Skyhawk

F/A-18 Hornet


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