The Museum of Flight on Friday moved a Blue Angels jet, which has a long history with the flying group and in combat, to outside the facility. (Photo: KOMO News)
TUKWILA, Wash. — Friday was moving day at the Museum of Flight for “Holly,” an F/A-18 jet with a distinguished history in combat and as an aircraft flown by the storied Blue Angels.
The museum moved the jet from a corner in the Aviation Pavilion to pedestal near the museum’s south lawn entrance. The jet, of course, was modified. The landing gear came off, and it was sealed to keep nesting birds away.
The journey included a short trip by flat-bed truck, then a lift by a crane that set the jet on the 20-foot pedestal.
“The plane will be a tribute to the Blue Angels and the spirit of flight,” the museum said, “a fitting welcome to the Navy team and their fans who find a home at the museum every summer.”
The jet was delivered to the Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 87 (VFA-87)in 1986. It flew combat missions in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Southern Watch over Iraq and Operation Continue Hope in Somalia.
It flew over Afghanistan after 9/11 and flew strikes over Iraq in 2003.
The jet became part of the Blue Angels in early 2004 and was used by the team until 2016. It was flown at Seafair shows.
It Blue Angels’ pilot dubbed it “Holly,” the museum says.