Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

Welcome, Boss! New Commander Flies First Blue Angels Training Mission

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New Boss of the Blue Angels Flies for the 1st Time

Earlier this year, the US Navy Blue Angels announced a new “Boss”had been selected to lead the famous flight demonstration team. Now, he is taking the skies for the first time in a Blue Angels jet!

Commander Eric “Popeye” Doyle will lead the demonstration team during their 2018 and 2019 show seasons. A graduate of Texas A&M, Cmdr. Doyle previously commanded VFA-113 “Stingers”. He assumed command of the squadron from outgoing Boss Capt. Ryan Bernacchi at a change of command ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museumin Pensacola on November 12th, following the team’s final performance of the season the day before.

New Boss of the Blue Angels Flies for the 1st Time

On November 15th, Cmdr. Doyle strapped into the famous blue and gold hornet and lead a short winter training flight in the skies over Pensacola.

In January, the entire Blue Angels team will deploy to their winter training base of El Centro, CA for the traditional winter training period. The Blues will kickoff the 2018 show season March 10th at the NAF El Centro Airshow.

WATCH: Blue Angels Soar Over Pensacola Beach With F-35s At Sunset

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One of the traditions of the US Navy Blue Angels is the “beach buzz”; each time the team returns from an airshow trip to their home base of NAS Pensacola, they fly down Pensacola Beach in formation as a salute to the community that supports them.

As the team returned home from the NAS Jacksonville airshow tonight, they did just that. However, on an unusual second pass over the beach, they were accompanied by two extra aircraft!

Two F-35 Lightning IIs took formation on the left and right sides of the Delta formation to make an 8-ship formation! Check out the video below:

Fat Albert Returns To Airshows!

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 3

US Navy Blue Angels C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert, the Blue Angels C-130 Hercules transport will return to the skies this week for the first airshow demonstration since her maintenance overhaul. Bert will fly in the annual Pensacola Beach Airshow, slated for June 8th. Practice day is Friday, June 7th.

Late last summer, Fat Albert was grounded for the end of the airshow season, missing the popular shows at NAS Oceana, MCAS Miramar, and Fleet Week in San Francisco. During the overhaul, Bert underwent a complete inspection and received a new paint job!

Maj. Mark Hamilton, Maj. Mark Montgomery and Maj. Kyle Maschner will be the pilots of Fat Albert for the 2017 airshow season. Fat Albert is always flown by an all Marine crew.

Don’t remember the Fat Albert routine? We’ve got you covered! Check out this video of a full Fat Albert demonstration at the 2016 Lynchburg Airshow in Lynchburg, VA.

Once you’ve watched that, watch from INSIDE Fat Albert!

US Air Force Thunderbirds Visit US Navy Blue Angels In Pensacola For Joint Training, Formation Photo Flight

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US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels Group Photo

Jet team fans in Florida got a rare treat last week when the US Air Force Thunderbirds popped in for a visit with the US Navy Blue Angels and their home base in Pensacola. The two teams rarely cross paths during the airshow season, but do try to arrange some time together each year to learn from one another and pass on knowledge.

US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue AngelsUS Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels

This year, the Thunderbirds took advantage of some convenient timing and stopped at NAS Pensacola between their shows at nearby Tyndall AFB and Lake Charles, LA. They received a warm welcome from their Navy counterparts, and during the three days together the team members swapped best practices and bonded through many different activities.

US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue AngelsUS Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels

On Tuesday, each team performed a full routine over the base and two pilots from each team were able to ride with their counterparts. The Blue Angels are famous for not wearing G-suits, and you can rest assured that Thunderbirds #1 and #5 did not wear any during their ride either. Blue Angels #1 and #4, however, did accept the offered G-suits for their ride in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, since it can pull more Gs than the Hornet.

US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue AngelsUS Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels

The maintenance and support crews got in on the fun as well, and the public affairs officers from each team ‘took over’ the other team’s Instagram account, and documented the visit with many video clips and photos. Among the coolest photos taken were several group shots of the combined teams. The joint training concluded with a double formation photo flight over the surrounding area, offering the Thunderbirds a chance the “buzz the beach”, the typical Blue Angel practice upon returning home from a show. The photo flight did have a hiccup when some turbulence caused two Blue Angel Hornets to make mid-air contact, but the highly trained pilots recovered quickly and ensured a safe outcome.

You can see more of the incredible photos and videos from this event in our forum thread: 2017 US Navy Blue Angels/USAF Thunderbirds Joint Training

RARE SIGHT: Blue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly Together

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Blue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly Together

The world’s two oldest military flight demonstration teams flew together Sunday night as the US Navy Blue Angels returned to Pensacola from Sun ‘n Fun with the Patrouille de France in tow to spend a few days with the team.

The eight Alpha Jets of the Patrouille teamed up with the Blue’s six F/A-18 Hornets at sunset, flying down the coastline and creating a fantastic photo opportunity for Blue Angel #7 to snap a few pictures, like the one above.

Check out this video posted by a boater off the coast of Pensacola!

The French team’s visit is part of a nationwide tour that takes them from coast to coast. The team just wrapped up the central Florida portion of the visit with airshow performances in Melbourne, FL and Lakeland, FL.

Below are some photos provided by the Blue Angels Association!

Blue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly TogetherBlue Angels and Patrouille de France Fly Together

Have a photo or video you took? Post it on our Facebook wall or our forums! We’d love to see it.

WATCH: Patrouille de France Performs In The US For The First Time In Decades

The Patrouille de France performed the first airshow routine of their North American tour this past weekend, and we were there to capture it! Check out this video of their entire show on the Friday practice day at the Melbourne Air and Space Show in Florida. Melbourne is one of just a handful of stops the team will make on their whirlwind tour through the US and Canada this month, and marks the first US performance by the team in more than 30 years.

The routine is a little shorter than those of the US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds, but contains all of the same exciting elements – formation aerobatics, opposing flybys, and nonstop action. Because the Patrouille perform with eight jets instead of six, they can put together some larger formations and utilize multiple groups of aircraft in a similar fashion to the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, who perform with nine CT-114 Tutors. The French team also makes use of red- and blue-colored smoke, which might not sound like much but adds to the performance significantly and is a rare sight here in the US.

Patrouille de France US Tour 2017French Air Force Airbus A400M - Patrouille de France US Tour 2017

As a special treat, the team’s Airbus A400M Atlas support aircraft also took to the skies for a few flybys. It is accompanying the team all throughout their tour to transport their crew and equipment, and can also serve as a photo platform during their planned flyovers of US landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and New York City. This marked the first ever airshow performance by an A400M in the US and although it is far from the maximum performance company demonstration, it was an exciting addition to the lineup! You can check it out in the video below.

Disney World Visitors Treated To Blue Angel Flyovers

posted in: Flyovers, Jet Teams | 0
US Navy Blue Angels - Walt Disney World Flyover
Photo: Walt Disney World

Visitors to Walt Disney World got a special treat today when the US Navy Blue Angels performed a pair of flyovers above the Magic Kingdom park. The six-ship delta formation flew down Main Street USA before performing a Delta Breakout over the iconic Cinderella Castle. Photos of the flyby were all over social media following the flight; the appearance clearly thrilled the crowds below.

The team performed a similar flyover in 2015 while transiting from NAS Pensacola to Melbourne, FL for an airshow. This year they were on their way to the massive Sun ‘n Fun airshow in nearby Lakeland, FL. We live-streamed their practice over on the AirshowStuff Facebook page after their arrival there.

US Navy Blue Angels Announce Commanding Officer For 2018-2019 Seasons

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US Navy Blue Angels - F/A-18 Hornet

Meet the next Boss! The US Navy Blue Angels announced this week that Commander Eric “Popeye” Doyle has been selected to lead the team for the 2018 and 2019 airshow seasons. He will take over the reigns from the current Blue Angel #1, Commander Ryan Bernacchi, at a change of command ceremony in November.

Cmdr. Doyle was one of six finalists for the position, and was introduced at a press conference in Pensacola on Tuesday. He is originally from League City, TX and is a graduate of Texas A&M. Popeye is currently stationed at NAS Lemoore in California where he commands VFA-113 “Stingers”, a squadron of F/A-18E Super Hornets. He will serve a two-year tour as Flight Leader and Commanding Officer of the legendary squadron before returning to the fleet.

“This was a childhood dream come true,” Doyle was quoted as saying. “My motivation to become a pilot came from watching the Blue Angels.”

Welcome to the team, Popeye!

2017 SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In – The Perfect Spring Break for Pilots

posted in: Airshows | 0

Sun n Fun 2017 Schedule

For pilots and airshow fans looking to have a little fun in the Florida sun, the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In Expo is looking like the perfect Spring trip.

Since 1975, SUN ‘n FUN has been the Spring destination for pilots and award-winning airshow performers.

The 2017 edition of the show is looking like another award winner. Below is the schedule for the daily airshow:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Patrouille de France, Jean-Marc d’Hulst Starduster, Warbirds, Michael Goulian, Aerostars, Larry Kelly (Panchito), Matt Younkin, Greg Colyer, Greg Koontz (Super Decathalon), Bob Carlton.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Matt Chapman, Warbirds, Greg Colyer T-33, Class of ’45, Larry Kelly (Panchito), Jerry Kerby RV-8, Gene Soucy, Viper Demo and HF with P-51, Aeroshell,

Wednesday will also feature a night time airshow that starts at 7:30pm.

Thursday, April 6, 2017: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Thursday is a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness one of the largest demonstrations of P-51 Mustangs this century has seen yet! In partnership with Stallion 51 and Experience Kissimmee, SUN ‘n FUN is proud to bring you this exceptional tribute to the P-51, featuring over two dozen pristine examples of the famous fighter thundering across the skies over Lakeland.

Other demos include the Blue Angels Practice, Gene Soucy, and Aeroshell.

Friday, April 7, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Matt Chapman, Warbirds, Jim Pietz F33C, Geico Skytypers, Jessy Panzer Pitts Demo, Viper HF with P-51 and A-10, Michael Goulian, Art Nalls Harrier, Aeroshell, Gary Rower Stearman and the Blue Angels.

Saturday, April 8, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Geico Sktypers, David Martin Cap 232, Michael Goulian, Art Nalls Harrier, Class of ’45, Viper Demo with P-51 and A-10 HF, Jessy Panzer Pitts Demo, Jim Peitz, Julie Clark, and the Blue Angels.

Saturday, April 8, 2017 Night Air Show: 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
SOCOM Parachute Team, Lee Lauderback, Paradigm Paragliders, Aeroshell, Dan Buchanan, Gene Soucy, Manfred Radius, Bob Carlton, Gary Rower, Jerry Kerby and Fireworks.

Sunday, April 9, 2017: 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
UAS Demo, SOCOM Parachute Team, Manfred Radius, Paradigm Paragliders, Art Nalls Harrier, Geico Skytypers, Viper Demo and HF with P-51 and A-10, Gene Soucy, Julie Clark, Thom Richard (P-40), David Martin, and the Blue Angels demo.

US Navy Blue Angels – NAS Pensacola Practice Show Schedule For 2017

posted in: Jet Teams | 24

US Navy Blue Angels

Last week, the US Navy Blue Angels returned to NAS Pensacola in Florida following their winter training period at NAF El Centro in California. Now that the team is home, they will soon begin their regular practice flights over the base. They fly these shows in between airshow appearances to maintain their legendary level of perfection. Luckily for fans, their flights can be viewed from the National Naval Aviation Museum, and at certain times members of the team will even appear at the museum for autograph sessions.

In addition to the previously released 2017 Blue Angels airshow schedule, the team has released a schedule of their NAS Pensacola practice shows so that fans can plan accordingly. Check it out below!

US Navy Blue Angels 2017 Practice Schedule
All shows planned for 11:30 am except for Sept 13th, which will be earlier. These dates are subject to change.

March 28, 29*

April 4, 5*
April 11
April 14
April 18, 19*
April 25, 26*

May 2, 3*
May 9, 10*
May 16, 17
May 30, 31

June 7*
June 13, 14
June 20, 21

July 11, 12*
July 18

August 9*
August 15, 16*
August 22, 23

September 6*
September 12, 13
September 19

October 11*
October 17, 18*
October 24, 25
October 31

November 1*
November 7, 8, 9

* = Museum visit day

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