U.S. Navy Blue Angels Headline Chicago Air & Water Show
The oldest flying aerobatic team, The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, return to the Chicago as the headline act of the 2014 Chicago Air & Water Show. The six pilot demonstration team will roar into town on Thursday, August 14th in their blue F/A-18 Hornets. The Chicago Air & Water show alternates between hosting the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. In an unscientific poll seven out of ten airshow fans queried by MyFlightBlog prefer the U.S. Navy Blue Angels over the USAF Thunderbirds.
Depending on the weather the team will perform a low or a high show. A typical performance will include two pilots flying the lead and opposing solo roles. These pilots will perform high-speed passes while the remaining four pilots fly a diamond formation and show off precision formation flying. The two-groups will alternate being the focal point of the show. At the end of the show the six aircraft will come together to perform a few maneuvers in their six aircraft Delta formation.
The F/A-18 demonstration team gets most of the attention however the Blue Angels also perform a demonstration in their C-130 affectionately known as "Fat Albert". Fat Albert is flown by a Marine Crew of three officers and five enlisted personnel. A few years ago I had the opportunity to ride along in the cockpit of Fat Albert as the Blue Angels practiced their show maneuvers over Chicago. Check out the video from inside the cockpit!