One of the great things about warmer weather, it signals the start of the air show season for the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron. The Blue Angels have been flying since 1946 and are currently performing in air shows around the country. According to their website, “an estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each year.”
The team consists of 16 officers and 110 enlisted Sailors and Marines. The Blue Angels fly six F/A-18 Hornets, along with an F/A-18B (two-seat) Hornet. The United States Marine Corps C-130T Hercules, nicknamed “Fat Albert”, is used to carry equipment, parts and support personnel between each air show.
As your planning your summer fun, take a look at the below schedule to see if the Blue Angels are coming to a city near you. When we were stationed near in Millington, TN (appearing this Oct 18-19) and Jacksonville, Florida (appearing this Oct 25-26), we always made it a priority to attend the shows. If you are looking for a fun event to attend before, during or after a deployment, attending a Blue Angel’s air show is an experience for all ages of your family, grandmas and grandpas included!
This year’s Blue Angel summer show dates include:
Jun 14-15 - The Great Tennessee Air Show – Smyrna, TN
Jun 21-22 - Milwaukee Air and Water Show – Milwaukee, WI
Jun 28-29 - Dayton Air Show – Dayton, OH
Jul 5-6 - National Cherry Festival Air Show – Traverse City, MI
Jul 12 – Pensacola Beach Air Show – Pensacola Beach, FL
Jul 19-20 – Defenders of Freedom Air Show – Offutt Air Force Base, NE
Jul 26-27 – Thunder Over Utah Air Show – St. George, UT
Aug 2-3 – Seafair 2014 Air Show – Seattle, WA
Aug 16-17 – Chicago Air and Water Show – Chicago, IL
Aug 23-24 – Duluth Air and Aviation Expo – Duluth, MN
Aug 30-31 – Cleveland National Air Show – Cleveland, OH
Sep 6-7 – Selfridge ANGB Air Show – Selfridge ANFB, MI
Sep 13-14 – Star-Spangled Spectacular 2014 – Baltimore, MD
Sep 20-21 – Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show – Naval Air Station Oceana, VA
Air Show tips:
Spending the afternoon in the sun can get very, very hot. Be sure to pack a few essentials to make your experience even better:
Check the location – For many show locations, you’ll typically spend 3-4 hours on the runway. Having folding lawn chairs for adults and kids will save you from standing all afternoon. Some locations offer park locations where there is seating in grassy areas, bring along a blanket or two for those locations.
Sun screen and hats – Consider applying generous amounts of sunscreen and dress to cover up to avoid sunburn.
Snacks – There are concession stands offering food and beverages, but check the event website to see if outside food or drinks are allowed.
Ear plugs – Jet noise is loud! Bring along ear plugs to help buffer the loud jet engine noise.
For more detailed information on the show you are interesting in attending, including ticket prices and parking details, visit the event website.
The show season runs till Nov 7-9, when the Blue Angels return home and fly in their “Homecoming Air Show” at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.
Look for an upcoming post on the Air Force air demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds.
The Navy’s Blue Angels official website www.blueangels.navy.mil
Have you ever seen the Blue Angels perform? Where and what was your favorite part of the show?
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