Tuesday, October 25 – Well, all good things must come to an end. Today is our last day in Foley, AL.
This adventure was NOT on Paul's “Bucket List”, but it should have been! Another MUST SEE! We spent the morning at the Pensacola, FL, Naval Air Station watching a practice session of the Blue Angels. AMAZING!!! And it's FREE! The Naval Station is the home for the Blue Angels and they practice several times each month. The shows are open to the public. Be sure to check their website for practice times if you are ever in this area.
The show started at 8:30 a.m. We were there a little early to set out our folding chairs for a front row seat. We did get one of the last spots, but being an air show it really wasn't necessary to be seated in the front row. They do have bleachers set up for those that prefer that type of seating.
The main thrill of these pilots is the ability to fly in VERY CLOSE formation!
They fly only 18” apart and at very high rates of speed. They twist and roll; loop and turn; and all in very close formation. While four planes are twisting overhead, two more Blue Angels are performing close to the ground. They head toward each other at very high speeds (approaching Mach 1) and roll on their sides at the last second missing each other by inches. Pretty scary!
They pull tremendous G-forces by sharp turns and zooming skyward in vertical climbs. They fly upside down in close formation, and join up in what's called a “delta” formation with all six planes flying in close formation.
The Blue Angels have flown over 10 different aircraft in the team’s 65 year history. Originally, the team flew four aircraft in the signature “Diamond” formation and expanded to six aircraft to showcase both the diamond and solos high performance capability as well as the precision formation flying taught to all Naval Aviators.
Today, the squadron flies the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet and the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules. When the squadron receives a F/A-18 Hornet from the fleet, which are at the end of their carrier arrestment functionality, we make a variety of modifications, including removing the nose cannon to install a smoke-fluid system, inverting a fuel pump, installing a stop watch and adjustable constant-tension stick spring, as well as the world-wide recognizable paint scheme.
The show lasts about an hour and by the end many watchers (including Marsha) are exhausted by their own adrenalin rush. The excitement is overwhelming! A GREAT show! We visited the Naval Air Station Pensacola also, but we will tell you about that in the next post.
We almost forgot to tell you that once in awhile the touristy part of our personality comes out. We had to go see the "World's Largest Octopus."…Really?
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!