Its been always my dreams to watch the US navy blue angels air show and I was lucky this year to make the dream come true in Chicago. The Blue angels pilots showed their amazing skills at the 2014 Chicago air and water show. It was a full day event and we made sure we got the best view spots to take pictures and have the best view of their performance & stunts. We were also lucky to be attend the show on first day as we got to know that the second day show was cancelled due to bad weather. Here are some of my best shots that I took on the first day of the airshow and also some history, their schedules (Practice and 2015 future shows), video and some interesting facts on riding with the blue angels (I thought that would be super cool to take the hot seat with the pilot).
US Navy Blue Angels history
The US Navy Blue Angels formation was first created at the end of the World War II, in the desire to keep the public interested in Naval Aviation and at the will of Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, which was the Chief of Naval Operations at that time. Thus, the Blue Angels had their first formation flight in June 1946, at less than a year after their founding was decided, at their home base in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then the Blue Angels won a very large number of admirers, about 15 million of them, which watch their show on the sky every year. And they do have what too see, the spectacular maneuvers like vertical rolls at 15,000 feet or Sneak Pass just above the audience at 50 feet, the incredible speeds of about 700 mph (just under Mach 1) and the great smoke trails , cause by burned biodegradable paraffin-based oil that come out of the exhaust nozzles.
Blue Angels Air show Schedules
If you still want to catch the Navy Blue Angels perform, you still have time until this year is over. Their airshow schedules include shows on following schedules
1) 4th-5th Oct in MCAS Miramar, CA;
2) 11th-12th Oct in San Francisco, CA;
3) 18th-19th Oct in Millington, TN;
4) 25th-26th Oct in NAS Jacksonville, FL;
5) 1st-2nd Nov in Houston, TX;
6) 7th-9th Nov in NAS Pensacola, FL.
Blue Angels Video
Check out the entire video of US navy blue angels performing at the LA County Air Show 2014.
Blue Angels practice Schedules
Just find the one that suits you best and get the air show of your life. But if you are not able to see their shows, you should also know that you can always see them practice, at their base in NAS Pensacola. The entrance to see their practice is free and usually starts at 11.30 AM, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from March to November, and last for about an hour. You should also know that you are not allowed with any type of luggage inside. Here you can also visit the great National Naval Aviation Museum.
Find their detailed 2014 practice Schedule here. (Watch this space for the updated 2015 practice schedule )
The Navy Blue Angels are not stuntmen, but they are true refined professionals. The maneuvers they make during their flight are not specially designed to impress the public, but are skills taught by every pilot in the aviation school, that are now brought to the highest level of command, showing a full mature pilot that has reached the highest level of training.
How to get to fly with the blue angels
Anyone that gets to witness at least for once a Navy Blue Angels show will want to try it on their skin. But as any elite formation, having access inside and even get the chance to fly with them is rather difficult. There are a number of ways, very few and difficult unfortunate, which can get you the chance to be high in the air with them. One way is if you are one of the Congress’s high ranked members. Another way would be if you are a very well known, with a spotless reputation, local or national media representative. This will increase the chances to obtain a media flight, for the sake of promotion. Or the slightest of all, to be a great celebrity, no matter in which domain, sports, music, film, and ask to enjoy one of the VIP flights.
Also so you know I still wear the Citizen Eco-Drive Radio-Controlled Chronograph World Timer; Blue Angels edition 🙂 (Check out the watch here)