Most Dangerously Air Show Performed by Blue Angels Team with F/A-18 Hornet
Boeing scored a $12 million dollar contract to transition the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron to newer jets. The Blue Angels, who have been flying the F/A-18 Hornet since 1986, are moving up to the bigger F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
The Blue Angels currently fly a mixed bag of older Hornet fighters. They’ve got three of the oldest F/A-18A model, 10 of the newer -C models, and three two-seater models. The -A and -C models are all 20 to 30 years old. The Angels typically fly Hornets that are very much still functional, but too old to keep operating from aircraft carriers. The Blues’ own website says their jets arrive from the fleet “at the end of their carrier arrest functionality.”
According to AirShow News, the conversion to the Super Hornet should be complete by September 2017. It takes a bit because Jets bound for the Blue Angels have their 20-millimeter nose cannons removed and replaced with a smoke-fluid system for laying smoke trails during an air show. The planes also have a fuel pump inverted, a stop watch and adjustable constant-tension stick spring installed, and entire aircraft painted in the iconic blue and gold paint job.
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