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High-Flying Acrobats: The Blue Angels

Updated on December 10, 2012

The Blue Angels flight demonstration team are comprised of very talented, extremely skilled Navy and Marine Corps pilots who volunteer for this opportunity and are taken through a thorough application selection process.

They are accompanied and supported by some of the most highly skilled enlisted men and women who provide logistical support in the form on administration, maintenance, medical (aviation), quality assurance and supply - just to name a few.

The Beginning ...

The Blue Angels were created in 1946 by Admiral Chester Nimitz, Chief of Naval Operations, who wanted to raise the public's interest in naval aviation along with giving a boost to service member's morale. He felt that the best way to accomplish those goals were to assemble a flight exhibition team whose presence invoked awareness, excitement and entertainment.

I've been to a number of air shows, both as a Sailor and civilian, and have gotten to see this phenomenal flight demonstration team in action. They never disappoint with their high-octane, fast-paced flying skills. Before we talk a little about the F/A-18 Hornet that sails through the sky ways, I would like to introduce you to "Fat Albert" Airlines.

Fat Albert Airlines

"Fat Albert" is the name for the United States Marine Corps C-130T Hercules airplane that the Blue Angles utilize to transport their spare parts, equipment and support personnel. It is piloted and serviced by an all Marine crew which includes three officers and five enlisted personnel.

"Fat Albert" Airlines
"Fat Albert" Airlines | Source

Blue Angels Aircraft

The F/A-18 Hornet is the most recent aircraft that the Blue Angels pilot; however, there have been a total of 10 different aircraft utilized by this flight demonstration team over the span of their 65 years in existence.

Here is a list of the different types of aircraft used by the team:

  • F6F Helicat (1946)
  • F8F Bearcat (1946-1949)
  • F9F-2 Panther (1949-1950)
  • F9F-5 Panther (1951-1955)
  • F9F-8 Cougar (1955-1957)
  • F11F-1 Tiger (1957-1968)
  • F-4J Phantom II (1969-1974)
  • A-4F Skyhawk II (1974-1986)
  • F/A-18 Hornet A/B (1986-2010)
  • F/A-18 Hornet C/D (Present)

If you have never been an airshow and seen this phenomenal team in action then I would suggest that you check out their website for information about the upcoming 2013 schedule. I am sure that they will be coming to a city near you and you don't want to miss all of the high-flying action that takes place when the Blue Angels are in town.


Have you seen the Blue Angels perform?

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    • UMHiram profile image

      Unique Hiram 5 years ago from Midwest

      Hawaiianodysseus, the Blue Angels are definitely an exciting, highly-skilled group of pilots to watch in action and I think they do an excellent job of showcasing a small part of the talented pilots who serve in the Navy on a day to day basis. I've had the privilege of seeing them quite a few times and I am looking forward to the Angels coming to Kansas in 2013 so that I can take my nephew to the show.

      Thanks for sharing your experience and reading this Hub.

      Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      As a young boy, I bought a Revell Blue Angels model airplane kit. I see from your chart that it was most likely the F11F-1 Tiger.

      Just a few years ago, I was in Seattle, standing on the seat of a metal picnic table in order to get a better vantage point with which to watch the Blue Angels perform their synchronized aerial moves overhead. This talented team of professionals--that's what they are--who fly these beautiful naval jets are the best in the world!

      "Fat Albert" was something new to me. I'm thankful you shared an account of this huge supply plane as well.

      Best regards, and Happy Holidays, UMHiram!