Why The Blue Angels Are The Most Respected Fighting Force In The World

Mess with one of us – You mess with us all. No matter the country: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Or France – If you test an ally of the United States Military you’re in trouble! The Blue Angels fighter pilots are the most skilled in the world. 

Why The Blue Angels Are The Most Respected Fighting Force In The World

As the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world, it’s safe to say Blue Angels will be around for your great grandchildren… as they were for your great grandparents. Featuring the best aviation talent the Marines and Navy have to offer, Blue Angels bring their staggering precision to an airshow that has to be seen to be believed. If you happen to be unaware of their professionalism and excellence, have no fear as we’re covering what you should know before witnessing an impressive diamond formation a few hundred feet off the ground.

With this being said, here’s a look at our legendary Blue Angels. The US Military’s most respected & ferocious airborne fighting force.

Intel Report: The Blue Angels – Their demonstration (consisting of six pilots) fly the F/A-18 Hornet and employ techniques, stunts, and practices used since their creation in 1946. A standard show season lasts from March through November. The Blue Angels was formed in 1946, placing them behind the French Patrouille de France as the oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world using the same name since inception.

They were originally called the Navy Flight Exhibition Team, but the name was coined by one of the pilots after coming across a nightclub titled The Blue Angel in an issue of The New Yorker magazine.

However, the name change wasn’t officially coined until a performance in Omaha, Nebraska when the Navy Flight Exhibition Team was referred to as Blue Angels on July 21st, 1946. For show and stunt preparation, the new – and returning – pilots train during the winter and run two sessions a day for six days a week. This training is necessary for safety reasons… and the fact that they reach an audience of over eleven million a year who all expect to be impressed for this legendary show. With so many fans of these flying sensations their events tend to get a bit crowded. That is why safety and practice are of the utmost importance at these air shows.  Such stunts Blue Angels perform are:

  • Diamond Formation – The diamond formation requires the pilots to maintain an eighteen inch wing-tip to canopy separation from other aircrafts in the formation.
  • Flying Upside Down – That’s right, the stuff that’s normally reserved to Hollywood magic… is completely real at a Blue Angels airshow.
  • Barrel Rolls – This maneuver consists of the plane making a full rotation on its lateral and longitudinal axes, yet remaining in a straight path. If you’re on land, it looks as if the plane is doing a loop and a roll.
  • Knife-Edge Pass – Seeing this stunt could make you soil yourself. The stunt consists of two planes coming at each other with one at a slightly higher elevation. This illusion makes the planes appear as if they’re attempting a head on collision.

Blue Angels colors root from their original design in 1949. The insignia was created by Lt. Cmdr. R. E. “Dusty” Rhodes and Virginia Porter before it was approved by the Chief of Naval Operations. The colors have remained the same throughout Blue Angel history, but the colors were once all yellow (nearly) in 1949.

Blue Angels History
These flying stuntmen have seen a lot in the past few decades, so here’s a quick look at a few of the standout moments in the Blue Angel timeline:

  • The “Blues” performed frequently in the early 50s until the Korean war, in which the pilot shortage forced the airmen into combat. In combat, many of the “Blues” airmen formed the core of “Satan’s Kittens”.
  • In 1956, the “Blues” added a sixth member to their flight team, with the number of airmen remaining the same ever since.
  • On their 40th anniversary, the Blue Angels unveiled the F/A-18 Hornet, which is currently their present aircraft.
  • In 1986 the first African-American Blue Angel (LCDR Donnie Cochran) was added to the force. He would appear in 1993 as a team leader.
  • In 2006, the Blue Angels celebrated their sixtieth anniversary.
  • In 2014, the “Blues” added Marine Corps Captain Kate Higgins, the first female pilot to join the Blue Angels.

So considering the information above, if you happen to have an opportunity to see the Blue Angels… don’t pass it up. If you’re not already sold on how great of a show it is, the 260 million international spectators (over the past 60 plus years) will likely tell you why the Blue Angels are worth it.

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About The Author
Jason loves dirt bikes; when asked what he would do if he won the Lottery, rather than a reasonable answer involving the purchase of a house or cars or a college education for his precious children, Jason immediately thinks of the enormous stockpile of motorbikes and climate-controlled storage option for said chocolate all that money could purchase.