US Navy: Blue Angels Will Transition To Unmanned Aircraft Next Year

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 143
Blue Angels to Fly Drones
Blue Angels to Fly Unmanned Drone Aircraft – Artist’s Depiction

In a surprise announcement today, the US Navy announced that the Blue Angels will transition from their current F-18 Hornets to unmanned F-47 aircraft for their next airshow season. The team will still fly a full ‘delta’ aerobatic routine, including tight formations, using six of the cutting edge drones. The only difference is that the pilots will never leave the ground and will instead monitor the pre-programmed flight routines from special trailers set up at each show site. Since the aircraft are unmanned, the team will no longer offer media rides but will allow selected media representatives to ‘sit in’ on practice demonstrations using a virtual reality headset that will be known as Blue Angel 7, the same callsign as the team’s current two-seat media jet. The pilots will also be expected to post to social media during the routine to increase their interaction with fans.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Navy to showcase our advanced technology and cutting edge aircraft,” said Jack Herndon, the Navy’s Chief of Public Outreach. “Honestly, the Hornets are getting to be quite old and worn out. We saw the need to replace them and decided to take advantage of the timing by leaping straight ahead to our very newest fighter aircraft, the F-47. The Blue Angels’ primary mission is to inspire America’s young people to join the Navy, and with this transition we are able to demonstrate that even young men and women who only want to sit at a computer all day can have a successful Navy flying career. Those are exactly the people we are looking to recruit in the future.”

143 Responses

  1. JD Searle

    They’re stealthy,… nobody will be able to see or hear them.

  2. Mike Golch

    Good April Fools joke! the “unmanned: F-47 the F-47 was a WW2 piston engined aircraft.

      • Bradley B

        Yoshua, you’re right in that the P-47 was a WWII aircraft. However the designation F-47 was given to a Coast Guard version of the P-47 in 1948.

    • J. Luizzi

      You must mean the P-47 Thunderbolt. The P designator was dropped after WWII.

    • Julian Luce

      his isnt april fools i heard this today and they are going to be changing

      • Kimberly

        Um yes it was an April Fools joke. It was published on April 1.

  3. Mike Thomas

    How Stupid, This has to be a April Fools Joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Louis

    This is a hoax, as difficult as it is to fly the tight formations, it could never been done in drones. Airshowstuff should be ashamed for making such a statement.

  5. DD

    Sad…Won’t be the same ever!! I hope They will reconsider keeping the TRUE BLUE ANGELS flying. I am sure they can built new Hornets. I don’t think anyone would come to watch those drones knowing it’s run by laptops. Not the same as those real pilots done. They make us feel AWE with FEEEELLINGS. No computers will be able to replace that AWE…..will it??

  6. big E

    This is know joke they been playing with the x47 for a few years it on TV in Navy ad. I work on the F 4 a,b and j inthe navy.

  7. Charlie Hansen

    Are the Blue Angels really going to be flying unmanned, or is that just an April Fools Joke

  8. Dexter Greene

    Yes,I agree the Blue Angels F/A-18 hornets are very old and I often Wonder what would be the Hornets Replacement,I had a wild guess the it would be the F-35 Joint Strike fighter or the Super Hornets.

  9. Dexter Greene

    Yes,I agree the Blue Angels F/A-18 hornets are very old and I often Wonder what would be the Hornets Replacement,I had a wild guess that it would be the F-35 Joint Strike fighter or the Super Hornets.

  10. Ryan H

    Good grief. It says “April Fools” right in the hashtag of the original post. However, in all seriousness this does prompt the question of what airframe the Navy will transition to when the 18 becomes outdated. I think it should be entirely designed and built by people on the internet. I mean really, there is a huge untapped bank of knowledge there. You all know it is true; post any statement on any topic and the troll savants come out of the circuit boards. The new aircraft can be assigned to the Navy’s newest carrier group, who’s flagship is the U.S.S Troll-it-all helmed by Captain Obvious.

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