Blue Angels Practices & Autographs
The world-famous Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola, and can be seen practicing over the Museum at NAS Pensacola most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November. Practices typically begin at 11:30 a.m.(Central Time), and last about 75 minutes. Admission to practice is FREE and open to the public.*
The outside viewing area for the Blue Angels practice is located on the Museum Flight Line north of the Museum. Signs are posted to direct visitors to viewing and parking locations, including limited parking for handicapped visitors. Bleachers are available for seating 1,000 people. Chair service is provided at each practice session, fee is $3 per chair good for that day’s practice session. Concessions and merchandise are also available. Chair service, concessions and merchandise are provided by the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation and proceeds support the Museum and Foundation programs.
We recommend visitors use sun protection. Hearing protection is recommended for those people with sensitive hearing.
Please note that backpacks, daypacks, luggage, or similar items are NOT allowed on the flight line during Blue Angel practice air shows. Small purses, bags containing medications, and diaper bags are allowed, but are subject to search by Naval Air Station Pensacola Security personnel.
The Blue Angels often defy physics with spectacular aerial feats but, when they are on the ground, they make time to meet and greet with fans of all ages. Following most Wednesday practices, members of the Blue Angels meet fans and sign autographs inside the National Naval Aviation Museum.
* Note: Cancellations due to weather or maintenance are made at the team’s discretion and may not be made until the morning of the practice.
Each year the National Naval Aviation Museum and Naval Aviation Museum Foundation are pleased to provide visitors the opportunity to view Blue Angel practice air shows from a viewing area on the Flight Line behind the Museum. The following information is important for you to review before attending one of these practices for it will prepare you for the conditions that you will experience.
As the climate changes, extreme heat events/heat waves are expected to increase in frequency, length, and severity. This will result in increased health risk for people spending hours on the flight line waiting for the show to begin and viewing the demonstration. Children and older adults, those who are chronically ill, and others are more vulnerable to heat related illnesses. Heat sensitivity increases for those who are not regularly exposed to hot and humid environments like those in the Florida panhandle.
The following strategies will help you minimize your health risks:
- Increase your fluid intake the day before the practice air show and continue to drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages while on the flight line.
- Avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps. Remember to keep cool and use common sense.
- Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will provide shade and keep the head cool.
- Be sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going out and continue to reapply according to the package directions. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin.
- Get medical assistance as soon as possible by alerting staff members on the Flight Line.
Blue Angels facts:
- An estimated 15 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each year.
- The highest maneuver performed in an air show is the vertical rolls performed by the Opposing Solo, up to 15,000 feet and the lowest maneuver performed in an air show is the Sneak Pass, performed by the Lead Solo at 50 feet.
- The fastest speed flown during an air show is about 700 mph (just under Mach 1; Sneak Pass) and the slowest is about 120 mph (Section High Alpha).
- The basic acquisition price of a single F/A-18 Hornet is approximately $21 million.
- The F/A-18 can reach speeds just under Mach 2, almost twice the speed of sound or about 1,400 mph.
- An F/A-18 weights about 24,500 pounds empty of all ordnance and aircrew.
- The smoke is produced by pumping biodegradable, paraffin-based oil directly into the exhaust nozzles of the aircraft where the oil is instantly vaporized into smoke. It provides a traceable path for spectators to follow and enhances safety of flight by providing a means by which solo pilots can see each other during opposing maneuvers. It poses no hazard to the environment.
Media Note: For more information about the National Naval Aviation Museum, contact Shelley Ragsdale, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, Inc. at (850) 453-2389 or email@example.com.
For high-resolution images or more information about the Blue Angels, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil.