This is a fantastic trip through time, via the Blue Angel’s jets. For a history buff in general, and an aviation enthusiast like myself in particular, its a must see video. There are a couple jets missing: the Panther, the Cutlass and the USAF trainer Shooting Star (which they only used for VIP rides).
First let’s look at the F9F-2 Panther:
And here is the F9F-8 Cougar:
The big difference is the swept wing. Other than the wing its virtually the same jet.
Next is the beautiful F-11F-1 Tiger.
When you imagine a classic Jet, the lines of the F-11F-1 Tiger are it.
However, the quintessential Jet has to be the F-4J Phantom II:
It was also representative the 1970s et large. Big, loud and smoky; as it blasted thousands of gallons of dead dinosaurs out of the tail pipes. I had 599.9 hours in the glorious Phantom, I loved every second. But I also had 1,100 hours in the “Scooter”, the TA-4J Skyhawk. After the fuel crisis of 1973 the Blues transitioned to the more economic A-4F (The USAF Thunderbirds transitioned to the T-38 Talon). I think the A-4F show was the most precise, certainly the 6 plane landing shown in the video. Below is a picture of a TA-4J, the two seat trainer. I included it because the Blues also flew a T-bird and it is the model, in the timeframe when I flew it. As a bonus its on the USS Lexington, the first ship I landed on in 1983.
I also had a couple hours in the F/A-18D. The Hornet F/A-18A,B,C and D is without a doubt the aircraft most associated with the Blue Angels. This year will be the 30th anniversary. Most fans have only seen the Hornet show.
Oh yes, we forgot the F7U Gutless…I mean Cutlass. It lasted just a few months, and its failure with the Blues I think was instrumental in killing the dangerous “Ensign Killer’s” entire program.
Like the Blue Angels, my books: The Aviator Series are progressing through the history of Naval Aviation: Project 7 Alpha, Vengeance at Midway and Guadalcanal, ENDGAME in the Pacific and CODE NAME: Infamy all are set in WW2. My latest, COLD WAR HOT, move from WW2 era into the jet age. So what will be the Blue Angels next jet?
Will it be Super?