Articles: The Blue Angels Aerobatic Team in their F-18 Hornets

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The Blue Angels are the US Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron. Both Naval and Marine aviators make up the team. They are the 2nd oldest flying aerobatic team in history, having been formed in 1946.

The Angels brought on their first female aviator, LT Tamara Schnurr, in 2001.  To be considered for the team, a pilot must have a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet hours as well as being Carrier-Qualified.  The current members vote on the new candidates with secret ballots.  Once on the team, they are limited to two years of performing and are then returned to their squadrons.  This keeps the team fresh and avoids complacency.

During their annual winter training, the team practices twice a day six days a week.  Each pilot will accumulate more than 120 flight rehearsals during the winter training session. As their abilities improve, by January and February they are tightening the formation little by little.  By the time that show season begins, they are flying just a few feet from wing tip to wing tip.  The fastest maneuver, the Sneak Pass, is flown near 700 mph. This is just below the sound barrier at sea level.

The team flies around 70 shows per year, covering over 30 locations around the country.  Estimates come in at 11 million spectators each year.

Click Here for a Schedule of Blue Angel Performance

(The Blue Angels' show season runs from March until November each year)


Slot Pilot's View

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Check out some of the HD Pilot Aerobatic videos here