F/A-18 Hornets assigned to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, fly in formation during a flight to Grand Junction, Colo. The Blue Angels maintain a six-aircraft delta formation during all transit flights. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Johnson)
It has been raised several times that US NAVY’s aerobatic display team, the Blue Angels will get the new Super Hornets instead of their F/A-18C/D Hornets. The team managed its last aircraft change in November 1986, when they got the A and B versioned Hornets for the first time after 12 years of useage of the A-4F Skyhawk single seat subsonic carrier-capable attack aircraft.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Boeing for the retrofit documentation and kits to convert nine F/A-18E (single-seat) and two F/A-18F (tandem-seat) aircraft into a Blue Angel configuration in accordance with engineering change proposal 6480.
According to the DoD, work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed in December 2021.
The Blue Angels have operated Boeing F/A-18A, C, B, and D models for 30 years – far longer than they have flown any other aircraft type. The new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft is 25 percent larger and has 40 percent more range than the F/A-18C/D, making the aircraft substantially larger than its predecessors.
The Super Hornet comes in the single-seat F/A-18E and the tandem-seat F/A-18F.
The Super Hornet has the capability, flexibility and performance necessary to modernize the air or naval aviation forces of any country. It is able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.
The Blue Angels are the Navy and Marine Corps’ elite flight demonstration squadron. With pilots drawn from active-duty Navy and Marine flight squadrons, the Blue Angels demonstrate the incredible skills of America’s Naval and Marine pilots. The F/A-18 Hornets they fly are combat-ready aircraft that are constantly updated to meet the latest demands on the battlefield.