Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/31/05)

The Blue Angels

The Blue Angels’ mission is to enhance Navy and Marine Corps recruiting 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 exhibits the choreographed refinements of Navy trained flying skills. It includes the graceful aerobatic maneuvers of the four-plane 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. Stationed during the show season at Forrest Sherman Field, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, the squadron spends the winter (January through March) training pilots and new team members at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California. The Blue Angels are scheduled to fly nearly 70 air shows at 34 locations in the United States and Canada during the 2004 season. Last season brought out more than 17 million spectators. Since its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 381 million fans.


Prime contractor: Boeing
Principal contractor (airframe): Northrop Corporation
Powerplant: Two General Electric F404-GE-400 low-bypass, turbofan engines; each in the 16,000-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)
First flight: November 1978
Crew: One (two in two-seat trainer version)
Combat radius: 500-plus nautical miles
Combat ceiling: 50,000 feet (approx.)
Fuel: (approx.) 11,000 lbs. internal, 16,000 lbs. with external tanks.
Maximum takeoff weight: 56,000 lbs. (approx.) fighter escort missions
Cost: Approximately $18 million

All information courtesy of the Official Blue Angels Website