The Navy’s Blue Angels on Wednesday performed the squadron’s last flight with the F/A-18 legacy Hornets.
The last flight of the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron’s F/A-18 Hornets left from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon. The Hornets were slated to fly over nearby beaches on Florida’s panhandle and the coast of Alabama and return to NAS Pensacola, the service said in a news release.
“We are incredibly honored to have the opportunity to salute those teams who have flown, maintained and supported this platform for over three decades of service,” Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, the commanding officer of the Blue Angels, said in a statement.
“We deeply appreciate the expertise and operational knowledge Blue Angels past and present have brought to the team and we look forward to enhancing our operations as we fully transition to flying the Super Hornet.”
In 2018, the Navy issued Boeing a $17 million contract to reconfigure 11 F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets – two F/A-18F aircraft and nine F/A-18Es – to the Blue Angels format.
For the demonstration squadron’s configuration, the legacy Hornets do not have nose cannons and instead have smoke-oil tanks, according to the National Naval Aviation Museum.
Next year, the Blue Angels will for the first time fly the Super Hornets, the Navy said.