U.S. Navy Blue Angels have been thrilling spectators for 73 years
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels performed their first show on June 15, 1946, in Florida and have maintained a busy schedule ever since, performing from spring to fall each year for more than 11 million people each year. In addition, team members annually visit more than 50,000 school children and patients in hospitals.
The six FA-18 Hornets were the stars of this year’s Ocean City Air Show June 15 and 16 attended by an estimated crowd of more than 200,000 over the weekend.
The six pilots and 100 maintenance and support staff serve on the team two to three years performing more than 30 shows in 2019 between March and November. The Blue Angels are based in Pensacola, Fla., and train January through March in El Centro, Calif.
While the FA-18 is capable of flying just under Mach 2, 1,400 mph, and breaking the speed of sound, restrictions keep the jets flying between 700 mph and 120 mph during their numerous show maneuvers.