Blue Angels Practices & Autographs
The world-famous Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola, and can be seen practicing over the Museum most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November. Practices typically begin at 11:30 a.m.(Central Time), and last about an hour. 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. Feel free to bring your own lawn chairs. We also suggest that visitors bring hats and sunscreen. 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. On most practice Wednesdays, the Blues make themselves available for autographs inside the Blue Angels Atrium at the National Naval Aviation Museum, and also sign autographs following most Saturday and Sunday air shows across the country.
* 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For high-resolution images or more information about the Blue Angels, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil.