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‘Fat Albert’ resumes zero-G maneuvers at air show

“Fat Albert,” the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ C-130 Hercules, returns to air show action at the 2017 Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show in Idaho Falls. U.S. Navy Blue Angels

After being decommissioned for maintenance during the 2016 airshow season, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ C-130 Hercules, known as “Fat Albert,” will be back performing zero-gravity maneuvers in Idaho Falls on July 22 and 23.

Fat Albert is the Blue Angels’ workhorse, an Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show news release said. A Marine Corps crew of three pilots and five enlisted aircrew flies the 24-year-old aircraft. It flies more than 100,000 miles during airshow season to deliver 45 maintenance and support personnel as well as their equipment to 35 airshows across the country each year, the release said. If equipment breaks during the air show, Fat Albert travels to the nearest supply point to gather supplies so the crew can get the aircraft back in the air by the following day.

Lockheed’s C-130 Hercules began flying in the 1950s. The aircraft has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft.

The 2017 Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show will be held at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport on Skyline Drive. The show also will feature the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 Heritage Flight Team accompanied by the P-51 Mustang. Other performers include Brad Wursten, Julie Clark and her Smokin’ Mentor T-34 aerobatic team and local favorite, the Driggs’ Mig Fury Fighters.

Ticket prices through July 21 are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Tickets will be available at the gate for $30 for adults and $15 for children. Children 5 and under get in free.

Tickets are available online at idahofallsairshow.com and at all Westmark Credit Union locations. After operating costs, proceeds from the air show will be donated to local nonprofit organizations.

Each ticket is good for one day, either July 22 or July 23. Gates open at 9 a.m. and the show concludes around 4:30 p.m. each day.

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