Based in California, the Blue Angels are one of the world’s oldest aerobatic teams.
They spend most of their year performing flight demonstrations for the general public.
While most people are familiar with the unmistakable navy blue and yellow Hornets flown by the Blue Angels, many are unaware of the long and illustrious history of these skilled pilots and their aircraft.
So, what is it about the Blue Angels that brings tens of thousands of people to watch them perform?
And just how fast do they fly?
When we watch the Blue Angels fly, many of us are mesmerized by them, but we can’t help and wonder about these questions and how we might find the answers out.
You can search and search online, but no matter what we do, we just can’t find the answers that we want. Well, no more!
Today we are here to tell you how fast Blue Angels fly, and everything else that you need to know about them!
Just keep reading to find out more.
The Blue Angels – What Are They?
The Blue Angels are a squad of highly proficient fighter pilots from the United States Navy and Marine Corps that serve in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Throughout the year, they do aerial displays at public events and trade shows.
It was only a few years after the end of World War II that the Blue Angels were formed as a combat aviation squadron, which they have been ever since.
All of the pilots and jets are clothed in uniforms that are navy blue and yellow.
The Blue Angels are on a mission, and they have a very specific goal in mind to achieve.
These organizations are dedicated to demonstrating the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and they do so by encouraging a culture of excellence and patriotism among its members.
They intend to achieve their goal through a combination of flying displays and community outreach.
Following the end of WW2, many pilots desired to continue demonstrating the aviation skills that they had developed over the war.
They also sought to promote public awareness of naval aviation among the general public by participating in the event.
A flying demonstration squad was established by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz of the United States Navy as a result of this.
Originally, this squad was called the “Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.”
An article in a local newspaper near the Naval Station in Florida encouraged readers to name the team, and the winner was chosen by a public vote.
For the squad, many names were offered, including Death-Cheaters, The Sea Eagles, The Skyscrapers, and The Flying Buccaneers, among others.
However, Blue Angels eventually won out, and the squad has been called this ever since.
How Fast Do They Fly?
The Blue Angels fly between 120 – 700 miles per hour.
You can expect to see a range of these speeds during a flight display, with some pilots reaching these incredibly fast speeds!
However, not all of the team’s aircraft are capable of reaching supersonic speeds. Typically, six jets are in the air during a performance.
The first four jets fly in a diamond configuration. The fifth and sixth jets operate independently.
The diamond formation flies at a slower speed, allowing for more tight formations and maneuvers that would be difficult at higher speeds.
The jets in the diamond configuration travel at an average speed of around 400 miles per hour.
Solo jets fly at a higher rate of speed to display the aircraft’s capabilities.
They do high-speed passes, rapid turns, and precision maneuvers.
The Blue Angels fly at a range of heights in addition to their different speeds.
The height of the performance is governed by the atmospheric conditions.
In clear weather, the team flies at least 8000 feet above the ground.
When the skies are overcast, the team flies a minimum of 3500 feet above the ground.
When flying in conditions of poor visibility, the minimum altitude is reduced to 1500 feet.
How Many People Are On The Team?
The flying team is composed of sixteen Blue Angels at any given time.
The squad does, however, include a flight surgeon, a planner of events, a maintenance officer, a public affairs officer, and a supply officer.
The Blue Angels unit is now composed of 130 active-duty Marines and sailors.
The majority of the team’s members are graded E-4 to E-9.
After their tour with the Blue Angels squadron is over, team members return to their respective fleets.
Each member of the squad is a volunteer from the US Navy or Marine Corps.
Applicants must complete a thorough screening process that includes an interview to be part of the team.
How Close Do They Get To Each Other?
It is said that the Blue Angels fly barely 18 inches apart from one another while flying.
However, some former pilots have said that it gets even closer than this.
It is estimated that the wingtips can be as close as six inches apart, according to Major Dusty Cook of the United States Marine Corps.
The Blue Angels can fly in such close proximity to one another because of the air pressure created by each aircraft.
The air pressure around the plane creates a bubble of pressure that surrounds the plane.
If the planes begin to fly too close together, the pilot will encounter resistance from the air pressure created by the neighboring aircraft.
It is because of this that the Blue Angels can travel at extremely close distances without damaging the tips of their wings.
The Blue Angels are one of the most popular aviation teams in the USA.
Many people all around the country have watched their impressive airshows. This is a team of very brave pilots who want to show off their incredible skills.