Blue Angels

Growing up in New Bern, NC, my little town is surrounded by Camp Lejune, Cherry Point, and New River so the Blue Angels were a common attraction at events, and almost everyone knew of them primarily because the military presence is so large.

If you are not familiar with who the Blue Angels are, they are the U.S. Navy and Military flight demonstration squadron that put on shows across the United States between March and November.  In 1946 the Blue Angels team was formed, making it the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world second to the French flying aerobatic team.  Each of the pilots during the show demonstrates extreme tactical maneuvers that require exact synchronicity that do not allow any room for error….it is a sure fire way to make your heart race!

For example, the Fat Albert, in a low transition/maximum effort climb, will accelerate to 125 mph and execute a low-transition take off.  Once airborne, they will remain two to five feet from the ground before they turn the nose to a 45 degree angel for a maximum effort climb.

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          C-130 Hercules “Fat Albert”

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           The pilots fly F/A – 18 Hornets source

The Blue Angels have flown over 10 different aircraft in the team’s 65 year history. Originally, the team flew four aircraft in the signature “Diamond” formation and expanded to six aircraft to showcase both the diamond and solos high performance capability as well as the precision formation flying taught to all Naval Aviators. Today, the squadron flies the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet and the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules. When the squadron receives a F/A-18 Hornet from the fleet, which are at the end of their carrier arrestment functionality, we make a variety of modifications, including removing the nose cannon to install a smoke-fluid system, inverting a fuel pump, installing a stop watch and adjustable constant-tension stick spring, as well as the world-wide recognizable paint scheme. blue

Check out their performance schedule here, and their practice/autographs sessions here!

Typically in more than 70 shows at 34 locations throughout the United States each year, where they still employ many of the same practices and techniques used in their aerial displays in 1946. An estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each full year. The Blue Angels also visit more than 50,000 people in a standard show season (March through November) in schools and hospitals.  Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators. source

The Blue Angels official website has some amazing information on it, like an interactive guide to the aircrafts – view the F/A-18 Hornet and C-130 Fat Albert.   Along with an awesome Blue Angels FAQ sheet they give you an insider view at the maneuvers!

The Blue Angels show, in my opinion, is something everyone should see once in their lifetime.  If they are performing in a town near you, I highly suggest taking a weekend trip and planning your activities around their show.  Contact United Military Travel to book your airfare, car rental, and/or hotel accommodations with your military travel loan.  United Military Travel books weekend trips each and everyday by providing travel financing options to all Military and government personnel.  Apply for your travel credit here so you can book your trip to see the Blue Angels today or anywhere in the world you want to go!

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