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Soaring with the Blue Angels: A Look into their World of High-Flying Precision and Community Service

Since 1955 the world-renowned U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, The Blue Angels, have been a staple in the skies over Pensacola, Florida, the city they call home. The first Blue Angels flight team was created to raise public interest and boost Navy morale in the 1940s. Since their early days, they have transitioned through 9 different fighter jet models for their famous flight demonstrations to find the perfect fit for their performances featuring high-speed death-defying maneuvers that leave their fans breathless. During their 75th anniversary season in 2021 the team introduced their current model: the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet which can reach top speeds of up to 1400 MPH and routinely flies between 120-700 MPH during air shows and demonstrations. At those speeds, it makes it even more thrilling and awe-inspiring that the Blue Angels fly within 18 inches of each other during their most famous maneuvers: The diamond formation, the delta formation, and the opposing solo formations.

The Blue Angels are undoubtedly one of the best flight demonstration teams in the world but they are so much more than that. They are a pillar of excellence and a staple of inspiration in their communities. According to the official Blue Angels website, the Blue Angels performances at air shows are viewed each year by an estimated 11 million people, and that doesn't include all the fans that watch them practice twice per week from March-October in Pensacola! In addition to dazzling spectators with their incredible performances each year, the Blue Angels team gives back to their community in many other meaningful ways. They visit an additional 50,000+ people each season during school, hospital and charity event visits. These visits bring joy to their fans and have inspired many to pursue careers in aviation, STEM, and the United States Armed Forces.

As if they weren't already inspiring enough, the 2023 season will be one for the history books, as Lt. Amanda Lee of Mounds View, MN will be the team's first female fighter pilot to be part of the demonstration team. There have been many women in various capacities of the Blue Angels organization in the 76 years since the team was formed, including Capt. Katie Higgins who piloted the teams' C-130 cargo plane "Fat Albert", but Lt. Lee will be the first to be behind the controls of one of the famed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets. During the 2023 season she will be piloting the Blue Angels #3 jet.

The Blue Angels further their profound impact on their communities through donations from the proceeds of their merchandise sales to non-profit organizations and initiatives in their communities that support a better world for all. Additionally, they participate in a variety of civic initiatives including environmental preservation projects, disaster relief projects, and assistance in national emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2013, the Navy announced that the rest of the Blue Angels air show season was cancelled to ensure enough resources would be readily available for deployed forces. Instead of taking the season off, the Blue Angels looked at the sequestration as an opportunity to advance on their mission in other ways. That year the team participated in over 500 community outreach events and racked up over 5,000 community service hours as a squadron.

No doubt about it, the Blue Angels are a must-see attraction in Pensacola, Florida. As home to the Blue Angels, we are fortunate enough to experience 2 full air shows each year: The Pensacola Beach Air Show in July and The Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show in November. In addition to the main events, The Blue Angels provide ample opportunities for locals and tourists alike to experience their mind-blowing aerial displays with practice weekly from March to November. Their practices fall on most Tuesday's and Wednesday's throughout the practice season, and typically begin at 10:30 am, lasting for about an hour. On many Wednesdays, the Blue Angels even meet with fans to sign autographs at the National Naval Aviation Museum. Their practice schedule can be found here. If you're in town and looking to catch a Blue Angel's Practice, here are some of the best places to view:

  • NAS Naval Base - This location is where the Blue Angels take off and land from, so it is the absolute best place to catch a practice! On many Wednesdays after their practice, the Blue Angels even do meet and greets with guests and sign autographs at this location!

  • Rosamond Johnson Beach - Open to the public, fee for parking applicable.

  • On a Boat - Schedule a special cruise for viewing a Blue Angels practice!

  • Pensacola Bay City Ferry - The Pensacola Bay Ferry has special cruises in honor of the Blue Angels practices!

  • Fort Pickens - Open to the public, park entrance fee

  • Palafox Pier - Open to the public, free

  • Maritime Park - Open to the public, free

  • Veteran's Memorial Park - Open to the public, free

  • Fort Barrancas - Open to the public, park entrance fee

  • Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum - They offer special Blue Angel practice tours to watch from top deck of lighthouse for a view like no other!

If you're planning a trip to the area to see the Blue Angels, or if you're here for other reasons but would like to fit in a Blue Angel's experience while you're here, we at Blue Moon Vacation Rentals are here to help! With over 60 different vacation rentals units including pet friendly units, pool homes, large group accommodations, studios, and more, we are sure to have something for everyone! Visit our website to book here, or give us a call at 850-974-7995. At Blue Moon Vacation Rentals on Navarre Beach, WE LIVE AND LOVE LOCAL! When you book with Blue Moon Vacation Rentals, from booking to check out and beyond, you'll experience our exceptional team who consider ourselves Navarre Beach experts. We ALWAYS strive to ensure our guests have the best vacation experience possible. Not only can we help you with finding a perfect vacation rental within a 25 minute drive of the Blue Angels, but we will also be more than happy to answer any questions to help plan your perfect Blue Angel's viewing experience, guaranteed to thrill your entire group!

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