Friday, June 27, 2014

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Fact Sheet


The U.S. Navy Blue Angels is one of America’s premier flight demonstration squadrons. Blue Angels performances draw more than 11 million spectators over a typical air show season. In 2014, Dayton is one of just 34 places in North America where spectators will be able to watch the Blues fly. 

Based at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, the Blue Angels fly six powerful Boeing F/A-18 Hornets during their tightly choreographed, high-energy demonstration -- sometimes flying as little as 18 inches apart.

A Blue Angels flight demonstration exhibits choreographed refinements of skills possessed by all naval aviators. It includes the graceful aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane Diamond Formation, in concert with the fast-paced, high-performance maneuvers of its two solo pilots. Finally, the team illustrates the pinnacle of precision flying, performing maneuvers locked as a unit in the renowned, six-jet Delta Formation.

Leading the 2014 squadron as Blue Angel No. 1 is Cdr. Thomas “Boss” Frosch of Clinton Township, Mich. Blue Angel No. 2 is Lt. Cdr. John Hiltz, a native of Fort Mitchell, Ky., and a 1998 Covington Catholic High School graduate.

The Navy formed the demonstration squadron in 1946. Planning a show in New York, a squadron member came across the name of the city’s famous Blue Angel nightclub in the New Yorker magazine, and the team adopted it. The squadron’s mission is to enhance Navy recruiting and credibly represent Naval and Marine Corps aviation to the United States and its armed forces to America and other countries as international ambassadors of good will.

The Blue Angels’ support airplane, a Lockheed C-130 Hercules affectionately nicknamed “Fat Albert,” is a star in its own right. The four-engine propjet weighs 155,000 pounds fully loaded, but its all-Marine crew puts it through a jaw-dropping routine in advance of the jet team’s performance.

On takeoff, the burly airlifter noses up into a maximum-effort climb, shooting skyward at a 45-degree angle to an altitude of 1,000 feet to simulate a departure in a hostile combat environment. Fat Albert’s crew concludes with a short-field landing demonstration, bringing the aircraft to a full stop in less than 1,000 feet.

Longtime air show fans may remember when Fat Albert’s takeoff was a noisy spectacle of fire and smoke, aided by JATO rockets. But JATOs haven’t been produced since the Vietnam era, and Fat Albert used up the last known stockpile in 2009. Fat Albert’s command pilot for the 2014 season is USMC Capt.

A. J. Harrell of Frederick, Md. Visit for more information.


F/A-18 Hornet

    Manufacturer: Boeing
    Engines/thrust: 2 F404-GE-402 18,000 lb. thrust each
    Length: 56 feet
    Wingspan: 40 feetRange: 575 miles combat radius
    Max Speed: Mach 1.8

C-130T “Fat Albert”

    Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
    Engines/thrust: 4 turboprop 18,000 shaft hp.
    Length: 99 feet
    Wingspan: 132 feet
    Max weight: 155,000 lbs.
    Range: 2,700 miles
    Max Speed: 370 mph 

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