Flight Demonstration Aircraft

  • F6F Hellcat1946
  • F8F Bearcat1946 TO 1949
  • F9F-2 Panther1949 TO 1950
  • F9F-5 Panther1951 TO 1955
  • F9F-8 Cougar1955 TO 1957
  • F11F-1 Tiger1957 TO 1968
  • F-4J Phantom II1969 TO 1974
  • A-4F Skyhawk II1974 TO 1986
  • F/A-18 Hornet A/B1986 TO 2010
  • F/A-18 Hornet C/DIN TRANSITION

Support Aircraft

  • R4D Sky Train1949 TO 1955
  • R5C Commando1953
  • R5D Skymaster1956 TO 1968
  • C-121 Super Constellation1969 TO 1970
  • C-130 Hercules1970 TO PRESENT

Miscellaneous Aircraft

  • SNJ Texan1946 TO 1946
  • T-33 Shooting Star1952 TO 1954
  • F7U Cutlass1952 TO 1953

Historical Aircraft of the Blue Angels: 60+ Years of Aviation Excellence

In 1946, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Chester Nimitz, had a vision to create a flight exhibition team in order to raise the public’s interest in naval aviation and boost Navy morale. In the 1940's, we thrilled audiences with our precision combat maneuvers in the F6 Hellcat, the F8 Bearcat and the F9 Panther. During the 1950's, we refined our demonstration with aerobatic maneuvers in the F9 Cougar and F-11 Tiger and introduced the first six-plane delta formation, still flown to this day. By the end of the 1960’s, we were flying the F-4 Phantom, the only two seat aircraft flown by the delta formation. In 1974, we transitioned to the A-4 Skyhawk, a smaller and lighter aircraft with a tighter turning radius allowing for a more dynamic flight demonstration. In 1986, we celebrated our 40th Anniversary by unveiling the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, which we still fly to this day.

In 1949, it became necessary for the Blue Angels to operate a support aircraft to move personnel and equipment between show sites. These support aircraft including the Douglas R4D Sky Train, the Curtiss R5C Commando, the Douglas R5D Skymaster, and the Lockheed C-121 Super Constellation. In 1970 the team received the Lockheed Martin C-130, affectionately known as "Fat Albert."

Historical Aircraft Gallery

  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1946
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1949
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1949
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1949
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1952
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1952
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1952
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1953
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1956
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1956
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1957
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1957
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1957
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1960
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1961
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1963
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1963
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1964
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1964
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight over London, 1965
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels historical photo, 1968
  • Thumbnail: F-4J Phantom II, 1969 to 1974
  • Thumbnail: F-4J Phantom II, 1969 to 1974
  • Thumbnail: F-4J Phantom II, 1969 to 1974
  • Thumbnail: F-4J Phantom II, 1969 to 1974
  • Thumbnail: F-4J Phantom II, 1969 to 1974
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight over Washington, DC, 1976
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight over Washington, DC, 1976
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight over Washington, DC, 1976
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight in front of Mount Rushmore, 1976
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight, 1986
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight, 1986
  • Thumbnail: Blue Angels squadron in flight, 1986
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