New Details On Blue Angels’ Fat Albert Replacement Process

posted in: Jet Teams | 2

Fat Albert Replacement Confirmed

In a statement to NewsRadio 1620 in Pensacola, Naval Air Systems Command, commonly known as NavAir, confirmed that they are looking to the Royal Air Force for a replacement for a new Fat Albert.

The new report sheds a little more light on the situation after the original news that the RAF was listed in a contract to replace the current Fat Albert.

The biggest take away from the new post is that acquisition of a C-130J from the Royal Air Force would serve as a permanent replacement for the Blue Angels. The aircraft’s primary role is to transport the team’s equipment, and there is no confirmation yet whether the new C-130J will perform at airshows or not.

“High operational tempo and current in demand nature of Navy assets” was listed as the reason for the Navy looking to the Royal Air Force for a replacement instead of just taking one from the fleet. In addition, the current Fat Albert air frame is “nearing its structural end of life and the United Kingdom MOD C-130J presents an economical solution for its replacement.”

The Royal Air Force currently has a surplus of C-130J models in storage, making them an ideal source of a new Blue Angel support aircraft.

Fat Albert and the rest of the C-130T fleet has been grounded since last summer’s crash of a C-130 in Mississippi that killed all 16 service members. Before that, Bert missed airshows while undergoing an extensive overhaul.

At this time, the acquisition and delivery of the new C-130J is still in the planning stages. It is unknown when the new Fat Albert will be obtained by the team, let alone resume flying. It is also yet to be confirmed that the aircraft will don the famous blue and gold colors once acquired, but the fact that this is a permanent solution is promising.

We may very well be in for an entire show season without Fat Albert. Although disappointing for the fans, it is even harder on the team as they need to rely on other transportation. It may even lead to more broken jets as the team struggles to get spare parts in time to perform.

Stay tuned to AirshowStuff for updates on this developing story, and add your own thoughts in our forums!

Also take a look at the Blue Angels 2018 airshow schedule!

Fat Albert Is Ready To Roll: Maintenance Complete!

posted in: Jet Teams | 3

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

The Blue Angels’ C-130T Hercules, affectionately known as “Fat Albert” is ready to return to the team after undergoing a maintenance overhaul at Hill AFB! Fat Albert crew members went to Hill AFB recently to check out Bert and take delivery of the aircraft. Bert had been at Hill for several months after a chemical de-paint process was performed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. This process allowed for the removal of the paint to check for any corrosion on the aircraft.

In May, we reported that Bert (minus the famous Blue and Gold paint) was undergoing test flights over Hill AFB.

At Hill, Bert underwent a complete programmed depot maintenance checkout and got a new coat of paint to get airshow ready!

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

Fat Albert has been missing from the team’s aerial demonstrations since mid-2016. While Bert was undergoing maintenance, the team borrowed another C-130, always known as Ernie, and the popular airshow demonstrations were not performed. Now that the work is complete, the pilots will begin practicing the airshow routine and finally bring Bert back to the airshow circuit. At this time, we don’t know when during the 2017 season Bert will return to aerial demonstrations with the team, but stay tuned for more updates!

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFBFat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB
Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFBFat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

Thunder Over Michigan 2017 To Host North American Airshow Debut Of German A400M Atlas

posted in: Airshows | 0
Airbus A400M Atlas
Photo courtesy of Airbus

Fans at Thunder Over Michigan will have a special opportunity to see Europe’s newest cargo aircraft this summer. The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) will be bringing an Airbus A400M Atlas in for static display at the show. It will be the first North American airshow appearance for the aircraft, which has been in service since only 2014. The show has hosted a German C-160 Transall, which is being replaced by the A400M, in the past.

Thunder Over Michigan is an annual airshow organized to support the Yankee Air Museum. It is held at Willow Run airport near Detroit, MI, and typically boasts one of the strongest warbird lineups in the country. This year’s show will be held on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4, and will feature the US Navy Blue Angels as the headline act. Warbirds and other performers are still in the works.

Massive C-5M Super Galaxy Visits EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

posted in: Featured Videos, Military | 0

C-5 Galaxy - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

The C-5 Galaxy is the largest aircraft in the US Air Force inventory, and one of the largest few in the world. This massive airlifter is always a special sight, but it is usually limited to static display. We caught this massive beast in flight two times during EAA AirVenture 2016, and its arrival and departure can be seen in the videos below.

C-5 Galaxy - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016C-5 Galaxy - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

While in Oshkosh, the aircraft was (naturally) parked front row center in Boeing Plaza, an intimidating sight from the main gate and a major focal point of the crowd’s attention. The huge nose and cargo ramp were both opened, and visitors were allowed inside the cavernous cargo bay. This specific aircraft, from Travis AFB, is actually a C-5M Super Galaxy, an updated version of the C-5 with new engines producing 22% more thrust and other improvements.

Fan Submissions: Theme Week 16 – Military Heavy Lifters

posted in: Community, Military | 1

Thank you to all of our fans for submitting to our Military Heavy Lifters theme week! Once again we had over 100 submissions from our fantastic fans. We posted some of our favorite military heavy lifter photos throughout the week, and asked you to share some of your own shots to be featured right here on our blog. Check out just a sampling of the submissions in the slideshow below!

Do you have some photos you’d like to share? This week’s theme is P-51 Mustangs! Got a great shot of a P-51? If you would like to contribute to our next theme week, go to our Facebook page, like the page, and upload your photos to our wall!

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