Blue Angels to Conduct Final Flight on Legacy Hornet

The first Blue Angels F/A-18 Super Hornet is parked on the flight line at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, in this July 2020 photo. The Blue Angels are transitioning to the F/A-18 Super Hornet later after using the F/A-18 Hornet for 34 years. U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cody Hendrix

NAS PENSACOLA, Fla. – The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will conduct a final flight on the F/A-18 A/B/C/D “Legacy” Hornets, Nov. 04 from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, the Navy said in a Nov.2 release. The final flight of the Legacy Hornets signifies the official transition of the Blue Angels to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet platform.

“We are incredibly honored to have the opportunity to salute those teams who have flown, maintained and supported this platform for over three decades of service,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, U.S. Navy Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader. “We deeply appreciate the expertise and operational knowledge Blue Angels past and present have brought to the team and we look forward to enhancing our operations as we fully transition to flying the Super Hornet.”

The 2020 show season marked the end of the service life of the aircraft the team has flown for 34 years. The 2021 show season will be the Blue Angels’ first year flying the Super Hornet platform as well as the 75th anniversary of the team.

“Undoubtedly, 2020 presented the team with unprecedented challenges. That said, the unique nature of this year also allowed our team to deepen our interaction with past teams, in particular, those teams that transitioned to new aircraft during their tenure,” Kesselring said. “This engagement has helped us lay the foundation for a safe and effective transition for our team’s pilots, support, and maintenance personnel as well as postured us to take on the high operating tempo of the team’s highly anticipated 2021 air show season and 75th anniversary.”

The final flight will take-off and land at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola lasting approximately 30 minutes. Flyover locations include, but are not limited to:

Orange Beach
Gulf Shores
Fort Morgan
Ferry Pass
Navarre Beach
Pensacola Beach
Perdido Key
Community Maritime Park
Palafox Street in downtown Pensacola

The Blue Angels will be visible from many locations throughout the Pensacola area and along this route. The public is reminded to continue to follow health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent the spread of COVID- 19.

The Blue Angels are scheduled to begin their winter training syllabus over NAS Pensacola beginning Nov. 16. The team will return to its winter training facilities in El Centro, CA in January. Training will continue through April in preparation for the 2021 show season

The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the teamwork 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. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 500 million fans.

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