Posts Tagged Navy

Airshow 2

Back at it the second day. Again, the weather was almost uncooperative, but things held off until the show was over. I was a little concerned because there was a rather large area of mammatus clouds. I’ve been told that they are indicators of pretty rough air and potential severe weather. Fortunately, they passed over before the action started.

Saturday’s show saw the Blue Angels short one plane, so the traditional diamond formation was replaced with what they called the mini-delta. Sunday, all six planes were ready to go and the diamond formation was back. I’ve got to say that the Blue Angels Diamond formation is the tightest, finest, most thrilling formation to watch. They fly about a foot-and-a-half from wing tip to canopy and make a knife edge pass by the field to show how close they are. Then they show similar close quarters with an echelon formation. One of the Blues’ maneuvers is to do a roll in the echelon formation. When I was stationed at Miramar Naval Air Station, their announcer said they did that maneuver because the Air Force said it was impossible. No inter-service rivalry there.

Here are a couple shots from Day 2 (click the thumbnails):

 

The Diamond

 

The Diamond

The Diamond

 

And the Echelon:

Angels Echelon

Angels Echelon

 

That’s my Blue Angels fix for a while. Until, of course, they appear close to home again!

More to follow,

Bob

 

 

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Airshow 1

Sometimes I amaze myself. I do the oddest things. I’ve been a fan of the Blue Angels, the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron for years. I served in the Navy air wing and so got to see the Angels fly several times while on active duty. They’ve always thrilled me. After the Navy I didn’t see the Blues for a while. Hard to catch them in Fort Bridger, Wyoming, after all. Somehow I came across the Blue Angels’ Facebook page and started following them. A couple Mondays back I noticed they were going to perform in St. George, Utah. I thought that would be a nice place to go see them and mentioned it to a couple of my colleagues. They encouraged me to go. After chasing air fare deals and hotel reservations, I decided to take a flyer and see the flyers. Flew into Las Vegas and stayed in Mesquite, about 30 miles from the St. George airport.

And then there were two days of great flying. The weather was challenging both days and actually grounded a couple of the demonstrations on Saturday, but the Blues flew both days. Oh, boy, did they fly!

Here are some shots I got. I’ll do a couple today and then a couple more Wednesday. (Click on the thumbnails.)

 

Of course, you can’t start an airshow without the National Anthem and you can’t play the National Anthem without the flag. Here, a woman from the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team delivers the colors.

 

Presenting the Colors

Presenting the Colors

 

The Blue Angels are flying FA-18 Super Hornet jets these days. The planes perform well faster than lighting and slower than molasses. Here’s an example of slow flight:

Dirty Delta

Dirty Delta

 

One of the thrills of the show is watching the solo pilots fly directly at each other, doing rolls and other maneuvers at 400 mph. Here’s one on a high-speed run.

Solo Angel

Solo Angel

 

The Blues do a number of signature moves, but probably the most well-known is the Blue Angels’ Fleur de Lis.

Angels Fleur de Lis

Angels Fleur de Lis

 

And that was just the first day! Check back Wednesday for more.

More to follow,

Bob

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