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.
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)
Prime contractor: Boeing
Radar: Hughes APG-65 with long-range detection in both head-on and tail-on aspects
“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.
For more information, please visit www.sun-n-fun.org or call the SUN ‘n FUN offices at 863–644–2431.
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