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!

Fat Albert Loses Famous Blue Angel Paint Scheme As Part Of Maintenance Overhaul

posted in: Jet Teams | 0
US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert C-130 Hercules - Paint Stripped
Photo Credit: Tinker AFB

Fat Albert has lost the famous blue and gold colors of the Blue Angels as part of a maintenance overhaul currently underway. The aircraft was flown to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, where crews worked in three shifts to remove the famous paint scheme and check for corrosion. The base Facebook page posted a photo of this work in progress, and today another photo was posted by the Fat Albert Twitter account showing the end result; a naked Bert!

US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert C-130 Hercules - Paint Stripped
Photo Credit: FatAlbertUSMC

As you can see, only the bright yellow nose remains. The aircraft will be flown to Hill AFB in Utah for major maintenance and repair work. Indications are that severe corrosion is behind the effort that will keep Fat Albert grounded for the rest of the 2016 airshow season. In the mean time, the team will fly a regular ‘fleet’ C-130 for transportation and logistics, but will likely not perform in it.

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.

Blue Angels’ Fat Albert Will Reportedly Not Fly Again Until After 2016 Airshow Season

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 10

US Navy Blue Angels - C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert, the famous C-130 Hercules that serves as the transport for the US Navy Blue Angels, appears to be done flying for the season. As we reported last week, Bert was forced to miss the Seattle Seafair airshow this past weekend due to unspecified maintenance issues, and unconfirmed reports began circulating that it would not be back to flying status any time soon. A tweet by one of the three Fat Albert pilots, USMC Captain Katie Higgins, seems to confirm the news. She mentions that Bert is in depot-level maintenance, and that she will not fly that airframe (164763) again during her time with the team.

The team will likely utilize a normal Marine Corps KC-130 for its transportation needs for the remainder of the season, but it remains to be seen whether that aircraft will perform in shows or not. From what we have heard, it seems doubtful. This puts a further damper on the current Blue Angels performance that remains a five-jet routine following the crash of Blue Angel #6, Captain Jeff Kuss, earlier this year. The sixth jet will rejoin the performances once Commander Frank Weisser is fully proficient in the routine.

We have reached out to the Blue Angels for comments and official confirmation. In the mean time, those needing their Fat Albert fix can take a ride in the cockpit during an airshow flight earlier this year:

F-35 Will Debut At 2016 Abbotsford International Airshow

posted in: Airshows, Military | 0

USAF F-35 Lightning II

Big news came from the Abbotsford International Airshow August 5, 2016 with the announcement that a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II will be on public display at the show, which takes place on August 12th through the 14th in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The F-35 on display will be one from the 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing out of Hill AFB, Utah. Alongside the Lightning II throughout the weekend will be Lockheed Martin Senior Test Pilot Billie Flynn, a former Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet pilot, to talk about the aircraft and its capabilities. This will be the first F-35 appearance in Canada.

While the F-35 is still a prospective replacement for the aging CF-18 Hornet fleet in Royal Canadian Air Force service, political support for the jet is falling. Lockheed Martin’s competitor Boeing is going to be showing off their F/A-18F Super Hornet at this year’s show as well with a company demonstration in addition to the already scheduled US Navy Super Hornet demontration. The corporate demo differs from the Navy’s routine in that the aircraft will perform to the edge of its limits while carrying a payload. The F-35 is sure to be the highlight of the ground portion while the F/A-18F will be the star of the aerial portion.

The Breitling Jet Team will be returning to perform at this year’s show along with the annual appearances by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornet demo teams as well as the CFB Comox CH-149 Cormorant Search and Rescue demo. The show will also be welcoming the Jack Link’s Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco biplane and Gary Rower in his Stearman biplane to their first appearances at Abbotsford.

The aircraft, two in total, will arrive at the Abbotsford International Airport on Thursday Aug 11. For more information on the upcoming Abbotsford International Airshow, please visit www.abbotsfordairshow.com.

US Navy Blue Angels’ Fat Albert To Skip 2016 Seattle Seafair For Maintenance

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert

The US Navy Blue Angels’ famous C-130 Hercules transport known as “Fat Albert” or “Bert” will not be performing with the team in Seattle this weekend. The team, which arrived in the area yesterday, announced that due to mechanical issues the aircraft will have to undergo maintenance instead of making the trip. Bert is operated by an all-Marine crew and serves to transport the team’s equipment and personnel to each show site. Traditionally when Fat Albert is down for any reason, the Angels’ transport needs are met with a standard fleet C-130 that is dubbed “Ernie”. The Seattle Seafair airshow will still showcase the five F/A-18 Hornets of the team, which performs at the event every year. Hopefully Fat Albert will be back soon!