In 1946, the United States Navy formed the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron. The squadron is the world’s second-oldest formal aerobatic team behind the French Patrouille de France formed in 1931. The Blue Angels squadron is made up of six F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets piloted by five Navy demonstration pilots and one Marine Corps demonstration pilot. A total of 16 officers serve on the team at one time, and each year, six new pilots are chosen to replace departing pilots.
Below are ten amazing photos of the Blue Angels in action:
While conducting spring training for the 2020 show season, Cmdr. Brian Kesselring flies inverted over Naval Air Station Pensacola. Kesselring is the commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels.
In this photo, the Blue Angels are approaching the center point during a training flight at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
Maj. Frank Zastoupil performs the Diamond 360 maneuver at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Zastoupil is left-wing for the Blue Angels.
Maj. Zastoupil is seen again performing a different maneuver while on his training flight at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
In July 2015, Blue Angels pilots flew their F/A-18 Hornets in the Delta formation over Mt. St. Helens, Washington, for a scheduled team photoshoot.
At the Lemoore Central Valley Air Show, on Sept. 22, 2019, the Blue Angels diamond pilots flew in a tight diamond formation, maintaining an incredible 18-inch wing tip to canopy separation.
Back in 2012, near Altus Air Force Base, Okla., the Blue Angels conducted an aerial refueling evolution with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 97th Air Mobility Wing.
The Blue Angels perform the echelon parade maneuver during a training flight at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
At Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in April 2014, Diamond pilots assigned to the Blue Angels, performed the barrel role break maneuver during the Fort Worth Air Power Expo.
Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Hempler and Lt. Cmdr. Cary Rickoff, assigned to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, performed the “knife edge pass” maneuver during a practice demonstration at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.