Boeing Delivers First Blue Angels Super Hornet for Testing
As we inch closer to the 2021 air show season and the Blue Angels’ transition to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Boeing has announced that they have delivered the first modified Super Hornet to the Blue Angels for testing and evaluation.
On June 3, Boeing issued a press release stating they have “delivered the first Super Hornet test aircraft for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron.” The jet is now up at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland for flight tests and evaluation, and is the first of 11 aircraft Boeing is expected to deliver to the Blue Angels in 2020. The test aircraft has undergone all Blue Angels modifications and conversions with the exception of paint. The aircraft will not receive paint until flight testing is complete; however, other Super Hornets have already received their familiar blue and yellow paint scheme, and the first painted jets are expected to arrive in Pensacola later this month.
“The Super Hornet is an iconic representation of excellence in naval aviation,” said ret. Admiral Pat Walsh, vice president of U.S. Navy & Marine Corps Services for Boeing. Walsh flew with the Blue Angels from 1985 to 1987 as the Left Wingman (#3) and Slot Pilot (#4). “As Boeing continues to support the operational fleet of Navy Super Hornets, we are excited to see this platform enter a critical phase of its journey to joining the team.”
The Blue Angels have flown Boeing or Boeing-heritage aircraft for more than 50 years, starting with the F-4J Phantom II in 1969, and then moving to the A-4F Skyhawk. The team currently operates the F/A-18A-D Hornet. Boeing has modified jets for the Blue Angels since 2008, delivering 23 aircraft to date.