Blue Angels Preparing Fat Albert For Return To Airshows This Summer

posted in: Jet Teams | 2

US Navy Blue Angels - C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Could Fat Albert, the US Navy Blue Angels’ C-130 transport, return to airshows soon? There are several indications that say yes!

During an interview with NewsRadio1620 on May 30th, Commander Doyle (Blue Angel #1) said that the team is working on getting the current Fat Albert repaired and operational – potentially in time for the Pensacola Beach airshow, traditionally held in July. This year’s show will be held July 11-14th.

The road to get Bert flying again has been a long one. Fat Albert and the rest of the Marine Corps C-130T Hercules fleet has been grounded since the 2017 crash of a C-130 in Mississippi that killed all 16 service members onboard. Before that, Bert missed airshows while undergoing an extensive overhaul. Ironically, she returned to shows at the Pensacola Beach airshow in 2017.

We’ve also seen some pictures posted recently on social media that lead us to believe Bert will be back to flying status soon.

The potential return of Bert to flying status isn’t the only interesting thing going on with the famous blue and gold C-130. In March, we wrote about a government contract that solicited a Royal Air Force C-130J to replace Bert. Not many details have come out about the potential acquisition of the airframe to replace the current C-130T model.

AirshowStuff has reached out to the Blue Angels for comment on this.

Memorial To Honor Blue Angel Pilot Nears Completion, Public Dedication

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

Blue Angels Memorial in Smyrna

The finishing touches are being put on a memorial to honor Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, who was killed when his F/A-18 Hornet crashed during a practice flight demonstration in Smyrna, Tennessee in June 2016.

Kuss, who was in his second year on the team, was loved by many. He also was popular in the media, since his position as the team’s 2015 narrator also enabled him to give rides to media, VIPs, and local influencers at each show site the Blue Angels attended.

Following the crash, the town of Smyrna wanted to honor Kuss in a special way. In May of 2017, plans were announced to build a permanent memorial for the fallen Blue Angels pilot outside the airport and adjacent to Lee Victory Recreation Park, where the town came together the night of the crash to honor Kuss. Plans for the memorial included pavers, which could be bought for a small donation, and a retired F/A-18 Hornet in Blue Angel colors.

Kuss Memorial Groundbreaking

On October 18th, 2017, groundbreaking for the memorial was held.

On Friday, the most prominent part of the memorial was installed. A retired Blue Angel jet, BuNo 163498, was lifted by crane from a flatbed trailer and into position on an elevated platform in the memorial. The aircraft is on permanent loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.

Kuss Memorial F-18 Hornet - Smyrna, TNKuss Memorial F-18 Hornet - Smyrna, TN

In a video posted by the Town of Smyrna, some F/A-18 hornets are seen flying over the Blue Angel jet. The flyover was performed by members of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101), based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, CA. They flew in from California on Thursday, and waited until the plane was placed to do the flyover, then departed on their way to NAS Oceana, VA.

The memorial dedication will be held on June 9 at 10:00 a.m. at Lee Victory Recreation Park in Smyrna and is open the public. For those who can’t attend, the ceremony will be streamed live. Stay tuned to our social media channels for more info.

Canadian Snowbirds Visit Blue Angels, Perform In Pensacola

posted in: Jet Teams | 1

Snowbirds and Blue Angels at Pensacola

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds made a visit to NAS Pensacola, home of the US Navy Blue Angels, ahead of their show in Anderson, SC.

The team arrived Sunday night, and joined the Blues in ‘buzzing the beach’, their tradition when returning home from a show. Because the Snowbirds were low on fuel, the teams did not join up but flew along the white sandy beaches of Pensacola at the same time.

Fans in the area also got a special treat during the week from the Canadian team as they practiced over the base. Traditionally, the Blue Angels practice during the week at Pensacola, with performances open to the public. To have two jet teams perform several times in one week was quite the show!

The teams took the opportunity to ride with each other and discuss best practices. Last year, the US Air Force Thunderbirds stopped by Pensacola for a similar visit.

The teams also took some time to sign autographs following their practice performance.

Snowbirds and Blue Angels Sign AutographsSnowbirds and Blue Angels at Pensacola

Snowbirds and Blue Angels Sign Autographs

Snowbirds and Blue Angels at Pensacola

New Details On Blue Angels’ Fat Albert Replacement Process

posted in: Jet Teams | 1

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!

Blue Angels Look To Royal Air Force For Replacement Fat Albert Aircraft

posted in: Jet Teams | 3

Blue Angels Look to RAF for C-130J

“Fat Albert” could soon be traveling with the Blue Angels, thanks in part to the Royal Air Force.

FBO.gov, the Federal Government’s Contracting website posted a contract notice looking for an urgent replacement for the Blue’s current Bert.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) intends to negotiate and award a sole source contract with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MOD), Whitehall, London, United Kingdom for the procurement of one (1) C-130J under the authority of FAR 6.302-1, “Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements.” The Government requires a suitable replacement aircraft, which must be delivered in an expeditious manner, to avoid a gap in logistical support of the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron. The aircraft being procured from the UK MOD has the requisite amount of life and technical capability to support the Blue Angels mission.

The Blue Angels have been without their famous “Fat Albert” since last summer, when the crash of a KC-130T aircraft grounded the fleet. The Navy and Marine Corp’s fleet of aircraft remain grounded. Recently, the Blue Angels announced new pilots for Fat Albert.

The Royal Air Force currently has a surplus of C-130J models that have been placed in storage.

The acquisition of a new C-130 for the Blue Angels brings several benefits to the squadron. First, it permanently fills a gap left by their current aircraft being grounded. In recent seasons, the team has had to rely on trucks or borrowing a KC-130T (mainly when Bert was undergoing maintenance) to fly in Bert’s place. The second thing a new aircraft offers is a chance to potentially change Bert’s routine.

No timeline has been given for this replacement aircraft, but the fact one is potentially coming is a step forward in this saga of trouble for Bert. Hopefully we’ll see her flying in the skies at an airshow soon!

Add your thoughts on this surprising news in our forums!

See the Blue Angels 2018 schedule

Information from TheDrive.com contributed to this story

US Navy Blue Angels 2019 Preliminary Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Jet Teams, Schedules | 20

US Navy Blue Angels

Here is the preliminary 2019 airshow schedule for the US Navy Blue Angels! This schedule has been released on a preliminary basis only, and will likely see notable changes. Please make sure to check back with us in December of 2018 when an updated 2019 schedule is released!

Preliminary 2019 Appearance Schedule – US Navy Blue Angels

March 16-17: NAF El Centro Air Show – NAF El Centro, CA
March 23-24: California International Air Show – Salinas, CA
March 30-31: NAS Key West Southernmost Air Show – NAS Key West, FL

April 6-7: Sun-n-Fun Fly-In Expo – Lakeland, FL
April 13-14: Wings Over South Texas – NAS Corpus Christi, TX
April 20-21: OFF WEEK
April 27-28: MCAS Beaufort Air Show – MCAS Beaufort, SC

May 4-5: Fort Lauderdale Air Show – Fort Lauderdale, FL
May 11-12: OPEN
May 18-19: Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival – Cape Girardeau, MO
May 22: U.S. Naval Academy Air Show – Annapolis, MD
May 24: U.S. Naval Academy Graduation Flyover – Annapolis, MD
May 25-26: Northeastern Pennsylvania Airshow – Scranton, PA

June 1-2: Star Spangled Salute Air Show – Tinker AFB, OK
June 8-9: Great Tennessee Air Show – Smyrna, TN
June 15-16: Ocean City Airshow – Ocean City, MD
June 22-23: OFF WEEK
June 29-30: Quad City Air Show – Davenport, IA

July 6-7: KC Downtown Air Show – Kansas City, MO
July 13: Pensacola Beach Airshow – Pensacola Beach, FL
July 20-21: Duluth Air Show and Aviation Expo – Duluth, MN
July 27-28: Grand Junction Air Show – Grand Junction, CO

August 3-4: Seafair Boeing Air Show – Seattle, WA
August 17-18: 61st Chicago Air And Water Show – Chicago, IL
August 24-25: New York Air Show – Stewart ANG Base, Newburgh, NY
August 31-September 1: OPEN

September 7-8: Spirit of St. Louis Air Show – Chesterfield, MO
September 14-15: OFF WEEK
September 21-22: NAS Lemoore Central Valley Air Show – NAS Lemoore, CA
September 28-29: MCAS Miramar Air Show – MCAS Miramar, CA

October 5-6: California Capital Air Show – Sacramento, CA
October 12-13: San Francisco Fleet Week – San Francisco, CA
October 19-20: Fort Worth Alliance Air Show – Fort Worth, TX
October 26-27: Thunder over South Georgia – Moody AFB, GA

November 2-3: Jacksonville Sea and Sky Spectacular – Jacksonville, FL
November 8-9: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow – NAS Pensacola, FL

Again, this schedule is for 2019. If you’re looking for 2018 airshow appearances, check out US Navy Blue Angels 2018 Airshow Schedule Released

Updated Dec 6, 2017

US Navy Blue Angels 2018 Airshow Schedule Released

posted in: Jet Teams, Popular Posts, Schedules | 129

US Navy Blue Angels

Here is the 2018 airshow schedule for the US Navy Blue Angels! Will you see them in 2018? Let us know! Post in the AirshowStuff Forums or on the AirshowStuff Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Schedules often change during the year – for the latest updates please be sure to check our forums!

2018 Appearance Schedule – US Navy Blue Angels

March 10: NAF El Centro Airshow – NAF El Centro, CA
March 17-18: Luke Days 2018 – Luke AFB, AZ
March 24-25: Wings Over South Texas Air Show – NAS Kingsville, TX

April 7-8: Heart of Texas Airshow – Waco, TX
April 14-15: Tuscaloosa Regional Airshow – Tuscaloosa, AL
April 21-22: Vero Beach Air Show – Vero Beach, FL
April 28-29: Wings Over Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach, SC

May 5-6: MCAS Cherry Point Airshow, MCAS Cherry Point, NC
May 12-13: MacDill AFB Air Fest – MacDill AFB, FL
May 23: U.S. Naval Academy Air Show – Annapolis, MD
May 25: U.S. Naval Academy Graduation – Annapolis, MD
May 26-27: Bethpage Jones Beach Air Show – Wantagh, NY

June 2-3: NAS Patuxent River 75th – Patuxent River, MD
June 9-10: Rhode Island National Guard Air Show – North Kingstown, RI
June 16-17: Chippewa Valley Air Show – Eau Claire, WI
June 23-24: Vectren Dayton Air Show – Dayton, OH
June 30-July 1: National Cherry Festival Air Show -Traverse City, MI

July 14-15: Pensacola Beach Air Show – Pensacola Beach, FL
July 21-22: Biloxi Gulf Coast Air Show – Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS
July 28-29: Fargo Airshow – Fargo, ND

August 4-5: Boeing Seafair Air Show – Seattle, WA
August 11-12: Abbottsford International Air Show – Abbotsford, BC
August 18-19: Terre Haute Air Show – Terre Haute, IN
August 25-26: Sound of Speed Air Show – St Joseph, MO

September 1-3: Cleveland National Air Show – Cleveland, OH
September 15-16: Owensboro Air Show – Owensboro, KY
September 22-23: NAS Oceana Airshow – NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, VA
September 29-30: MCAS Miramar – San Diego, CA

October 6-7: San Francisco Fleet Week – San Francisco, CA
October 13-14: Aviation Round Up – Minden-Tahoe, NV
October 20-21: Wings Over Houston Air Show – Houston, TX
October 27-28: NAS Jacksonville Airshow – NAS Jacksonville, FL

November 2-3: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow – NAS Pensacola, FL

Want to look a little further ahead? We also have a copy of the preliminary 2019 US Navy Blue Angels schedule!

2018 USMC MV-22 Osprey Demonstrations Schedule Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 1

USMC MV-22 Opsrey

Here is the 2018 airshow schedule for US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey demonstrations! Will you see one in 2018? Let us know! Post in the AirshowStuff Forums or on the AirshowStuff Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

Schedules often change during the year – for the latest updates please be sure to check our forums!

2018 Appearance Schedule – USMC MV-22 Osprey Demonstrations
March 23-25: Los Angeles County Airshow – Lancaster, CA
June 2-3: The Great Tennessee Airshow – Smyrna, TN (Expected to change)
June 29-July 4: Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow – Battle Creek, MI
August 25-26: Kansas City Airshow – Kansas City, MO (Expected to change)

2018 USMC AV-8B Harrier Demonstrations Schedule Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 2

USMC AV-8B Harrier II

Here is the 2018 airshow schedule for US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier demonstrations! Will you see one in 2018? Let us know! Post in the AirshowStuff Forums or on the AirshowStuff Facebook page and make sure you share pictures after the show!

2018 Appearance Schedule – USMC AV-8B Harrier Demonstrations
March 10-11: Luke Days 2018 – Luke AFB, AZ
May 4-6: Central Texas Airshow – Temple, TX
June 29-July 1: Evansville Freedom Festival – Evansville, IN
June 30-July 1: Arctic Thunder Open House – JB Elmendorf-Richardson, AK

Smyrna Breaks Ground On Captain Jeff Kuss Memorial For Fallen Blue Angel Pilot

posted in: Jet Teams, Miscellaneous | 0

The construction of a memorial to honor a fallen Blue Angel has begun.

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed on June 2nd, 2016 when his Blue Angels jet crashed during a Thursday afternoon practice demonstration in Tennessee. In his memory, the town of Smyrna plans to erect a permanent memorial.

The groundbreaking ceremony, held October 18th, was the first step in getting the memorial built.

As part of the memorial, a Blue Angels F/A-18C hornet will be on permanent display outside the airport adjacent to Lee Victory Recreation Park, where the community came together the night of the crash to remember Kuss.

If you want to donate, visit www.captjeffkussusmcmemorial.com. You can purchase a paver or donate money. As of late October, 78% of the money needed to build the memorial has been raised. All or part of your gift may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

Here’s video from the groundbreaking ceremony.