The 2016 Vero Beach Air Show is proud to have been selected to host the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron ‒ the Blue Angels ‒ at our 2016 show. The “Blues” first appeared on the Treasure Coast at Vero’s 2014 show at the Vero Beach Airport. We are saddened by the loss of their colleague and regret they are unable to perform here this year.
The Blue Angels’ first air show took place at Craig Field in Jacksonville on June 15, 1946. That first team chose the name Blue Angels after seeing Manhattan’s famous Blue Angel nightclub in the New Yorker magazine. They flew the Grumman F6F Hellcat for two months, and then transitioned to the Grumman F8F Bearcat. They have flown six additional aircraft in the years between until introducing their present aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, in 1986. It was the first dual-role fighter/attack aircraft which continues to serve on our nation’s front lines of defense. They introduced the now-famous Diamond Formation in 1947.
Seventeen officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. Their support team consists of approximately 100 enlisted Navy and Marine Corps service members and the Executive Officer, Events Coordinator, Maintenance Officer, Flight Surgeon, Administrative Officer, Public Affairs Officer, and Supply Officer. Alternating maintenance and support crews of approximately 45 team members, along with all the gear required to support the pilots, travel to each show site in “Fat Albert”, a C-130 tactical transport aircraft built by Lockheed Martin.
The beloved C-130 opens each flight demonstration with its own solo performance, demonstrating the astounding nimbleness of this legendary four-turboprop transport. Weighing 155,000 pounds when fully loaded, Fat Albert is flown by an all-Marine crew of three pilots and five enlisted crew members. It flies more than 100,000 miles each air show season.
Blue Angels, we will miss you this year and hope to see you in Vero again soon.
For lots more information about the Blue Angels, go to http://www.blueangels.navy.mil