As some of my 5 odd readers know, Tuscaloosa will be hosting some of the most advanced pieces of technology in the nation. I'm talking, of course, about The Blue Angels. On April 4th and 5th, 6 F/A-18s will take to the skies of Tuscaloosa and proceed to perform precision maneuvers that one usually does not usually associate with a 56 foot long piece of metal flying through the air.
A Very Brief History of the Group
- Formed on April 24, 1946
- First show in May 1946. F6F-5 "Hellcats" were used. This is the first appearance of the trademark Blue with Gold Trim paint scheme.
- Briefly disbanded for combat duty in Kora and reformed on October 25, 1951.
- Moved to their current home of Pensacola in late 1954.
- Changed to flying the F-4J Phantom II in 1969
- On November 8, 1986, (Their 40th anniversary) the group presents the F/A-18 Hornet as the group's new plane of choice. The 18's are still being used today.
- Each engine on a F/A-18 is capable of producing up to 18,000 pounds of thrust. With two engines on a plane and six Angels, that's over 200,000 pounds of raw power altogether.
- The C-130 Hercules, better known as "Fat Albert"*, is fitted with 8 JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off) rockets and often performs a VERY short take off with the assistance of the aforementioned rockets that never fails to impress.
* Not to be confused with one, "Big" Al.
- Contrary to what most people think, the maneuvers performed are implemented by all members of the Naval and Marine Air Corps.
- The group is rumored to be transitioning into the C and D variants of the F/A-18.
Here's a little sample of things to come:
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some tickets to secure.
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