US Navy “Blue Angels” to Perform at Sun ‘n Fun

    February 14, 2011 – The United States Navy’s (USN) “Blue Angels” military jet demonstration team will be the featured air show performers at this year’s SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, which will be held March 29 - April 3 on its campus at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida.

    “Sun ‘n Fun” is honored and excited to host one of the world’s most recognized military jet teams – the Blue Angels – and to recognize the 100th anni8versary of Naval aviation during our 2011 event,” said SUN ’n FUN President John Burton.  “Their participation will add to the exciting array of aircraft and activities already planned for SUN ’n FUN’s 37th annual celebration.  We’re excited about having the Blue Angels take to the skies over Lakeland, especially as they perform their aerial magic for our attendees and area guests.” 

    The Blue Angels plan to arrive at SUN ’n FUN on Thursday, March 31 and will conduct individual media flights and a team training flight prior to their scheduled performances on Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3.
    Advanced discounted ticket packages to SUN ’n FUN are available on the SUN ’n FUN website at

    According to the U.S. Navy, the Blue Angels’ mission is to enhance Navy and Marine Corps recruiting efforts and to represent the naval service to the United States, its elected leadership and foreign nations. The Blue Angels serve as positive role models and goodwill ambassadors for the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps.

    A Blue Angels flight demonstration is a choreographed showcase of the types of piloting skills expected of all naval aviators. The Blue Angels’ C-130, affectionately known as “Fat Albert,” begins each demonstration by exhibiting its maximum performance capabilities during a 10-minute performance. Shortly thereafter, you will see the graceful aerobatic maneuvers of the four-jet Diamond Formation, in concert with the fast-paced, high-performance maneuvers of its two Solo pilots. Finally, the team illustrates the pinnacle of precision flying, performing maneuvers locked as a unit in the renowned, six-jet “Delta Formation.”

    The team is stationed at Forrest Sherman Field, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, during the show season. However, the squadron spends January through March training pilots and new team members at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California.

    The Blue Angels are scheduled to fly at 35 air show sites in the United States during the 2011 season, as the team celebrates its 24th year of flying the F/A-18 Hornet.

    Last season, more than 8 million spectators watched the Blue Angels perform. Since its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 463 million fans.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE: F/A-18 Hornet and C-130 “Hercules” specifications to follow. Click here for a list of Team Members and frequently asked questions regarding the Blue Angels)

    F/A-18 “Hornet” Specs

    Prime contractor: Boeing 
    Principal contractor (airframe): Northrop Corporation 
    Powerplant: Two General Electric F404-GE-400 low-bypass, turbofan engines; each in the 16K-pound thrust class 

    Radar: Hughes APG-65 with long-range detection in both head-on and tail-on aspects 
    Length:     56 feet 
    Height:     15.3 feet 
    Wingspan:     40.4 feet (with missiles) 
    Wing area:     400 square feet 
    Speed:     Mach 1.7+ (1,200 mph)

    “Fat Albert Airlines”

    An all-Marine Corps crew of three officers and five enlisted personnel operate the Lockheed-Martin C-130T Hercules, affectionately known as Fat Albert Airlines. Fat Albert joined the team in 1970 and flies more than 140,000 miles each season. It carries more than 40 maintenance and support personnel, their gear and enough spare parts and communication equipment to complete a successful air show.

    Fat Albert cruises at a speed of more than 320 knots (approximately 360 miles per hour) at 27,000 feet. Four Allison turboprop engines, which produce more than 16,000 shaft-horsepower, provide Fat Albert Airlines with the power to land and depart on runways as short as 2,500 feet.

    At select show sites, Fat Albert demonstrates its jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) capability. Eight solid-fuel rocket bottles, four on each side, attached near the rear paratrooper doors thrust the Hercules skyward. Fired simultaneously, the JATO bottles allow the mammoth transport aircraft to takeoff within 1,500 feet, climb at a 45-degree angle, and propel it to an altitude of 1,000 feet in approximately 15 seconds. Getting Fat Albert airborne in minimal time and distance simulates conditions in hostile environments or on short, unprepared runways.

     For more information, please visit or call the SUN ‘n FUN offices at 863–644–2431.




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