This past weekend, we attend the Rhode Island Air Show at Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The weather was perfect and the Blue Angels were going to fly, so we knew we were in for something special.
The Blue Angels are a precision team of aviation experts. Blue Angel pilots must be active-duty Navy or Marine Corps tactical jet pilot with a minimum of 1,250 flight hours and an average age of 33. Each member of the Blue Angel squadron volunteers for duty with the Blue Angels. The jets bear the official colors for the U.S. Navy, blue, white and gold.
The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.
If you missed the Rhode Island Air Show, take a look at the Blue Angels schedule to see where they will be performing this year. They attend shows all over the country from March to November.
The fastest speed Blue Angels fly during the show is about 700 mph (just under Mach 1; Sneak Pass) and the slowest speed is about 120 mph (indicated speed; Section High Alpha), both flown by the solo pilots during the show. The F/A-18 can reach speeds just under Mach 2, almost twice the speed of sound or about 1,400 mph. The maximum rate of climb of the F/A-18 is 30,000 feet per minute.
The Blue Angels currently have 16 jets: four single seat F/A-18 A models, nine single seat F/A-18 C models, one 2-seat F/A-18 B and two 2-seat F/A-18 D models.
The closest the diamond will fly to each other is 18 inches during the Diamond 360 maneuver.