Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm considering doing an F-18 in Blue Angels colors and began thinking about how I would display it and also what number I would have it as. As I thought about it, I could have sworn I saw a #8 jet way back in the day, maybe around 1990 or so. Am I crazily mistaken or did the squadron once have an 8 jet?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never seen a "Blue Angel 8" jet. Only 1-7, although in the late 60s the C-121 support airplane did carry an "8" on the tail for a while.

The Thunderchickens, I think, do have a 2 seater with "8" on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not going to say it NEVER happened but I've never seen a photo of one with an "8". I have taken pics of both 7's at a show and caught a few practice shows with both 7's flying in the diamond or 1 in diamond and one in solo role. For a while, I'd noticed one of the two 7 aircraft had a very small blue "7" inside the yellow tail fin stripe, I assume to be able to distinguish between them. I haven't noticed that being done lately though. The odd thing is the number 8 pilot does have "8" on their uniform. Don't know why that doesn't carry over to the jet though.

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Blue Angels web site:

Career-oriented Navy and Marine Corps jet pilots with an aircraft carrier qualification and a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours are eligible for positions flying jets Number 2 through 7. The Events Coordinator, Number 8, is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) or a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) who meets the same criteria as Numbers 2 through 7. The Marine Corps pilots flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft, affectionately known as "Fat Albert," must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours.

Number 8 isn't a pilot, ergo he would not have a jet with his number on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Blue Angels web site:

Career-oriented Navy and Marine Corps jet pilots with an aircraft carrier qualification and a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours are eligible for positions flying jets Number 2 through 7. The Events Coordinator, Number 8, is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) or a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) who meets the same criteria as Numbers 2 through 7. The Marine Corps pilots flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft, affectionately known as "Fat Albert," must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours.

Number 8 isn't a pilot, ergo he would not have a jet with his number on it.

ahhh. I see. I guess that brings up another question then, who flies the second #7 into a show site? Is there another pilot that's not associated with the "numbered" guys? I know I've been to shows that have 8 aircraft on site, someone had to fly it there. hmm....

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

You should do one anyway...and F/A-18F with an "8" on the tail.

I have a Thunderbirds #8 F-4E, that was an actual jet, the 'Birds have always had an "8" going back to their F-100 years.

I'd like to do a "What-If" Blue Angels F/A-18 "Beetle Bomb", overall yellow with blue markings and #0 on the tail.

Edited by 82Whitey51
Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic, but I'd love to the T-birds lose the white paint and go with a silver dope, like the older jets did.

HMMM... a natural metal F-16...? That could be interesting. Or even a have glass type paint job with colorful markings over it. Of course keeping them clean looking would probably be a royal pain. I was never really thrilled with the T-birds white either with exception of the T-38's. Those looked right in white.

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

The F-16 is various metals/composites so, natural metal wouldn't be possible. But yes, a silver dope/Have Glass would look great with the red/white/blue trim.

Ok, back to BA #8 ;)

-Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

So again I ask, who flies the 8th jet (second #7) to a show? I don't know if they always have it at the shows, but I know I've seen it at several shows and if no. 8 (events coordinator) isn't a pilot somebody has to get it there.

Hmmm...these things that make ya go hmmm.

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Thunderchickens, .

:fight: them thars fiten wurds dude!!!, when they start to squawk, you'd better beat a hasty retreat...other than that how's it going Joe, heard any good ones lately :scared0016:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually when you see the two #7 jets at one show site, its late in the season and they are training the new guys for the following season to get familiar with the formation flying and timing, etc ... One of the "new guys" could have flown it there ... I've seen spare blank tail jets at shows as well ... That goes back to the Scooter era ...

-Gregg

Edited by GreyGhost
Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually when you see the two #7 jets at one show site, its late in the season and they are training the new guys for the following season to get familiar with the formation flying and timing, etc ... One of the "new guys" could have flown it there ... I've seen spare blank tail jets at shows as well ... That goes back to the Scooter era ...

-Gregg

The photo I found in my first post showed two #7s and a blank jet. The shot is from San Francisco Fleet Week (I am assuming), which would be at the end of the normal season. Since the rest of the jets are presumably elsewhere on the airport, it looks like there might have been 9 jets in town that week. Would provide a great training opportunity for the new guys.

On a related note, I know the Blues have more than 9 jets. Does anyone know what their actual alotted number of airframes is?

Thanks,

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike, I believe they keep 8 single seaters and the 2 two seaters in their rotation ...

-Gregg

Sounds about right. I was stationed next door to the Blues while in P-cola (Air Ops), you'd see a lot of unusual combinations of aircraft over on the line. For a while they had two #4 jets, fully painted, pilot name and all. Typically there'd be two single seaters with no number, no names. Seeing two "B" models was a little more unusual, other times the #7 jet...wasn't as you can see here:

Scan_zps175e4c49.jpeg

The "no name" jets typically were used in practice sessions while the numbered position jet may have been getting a maintenance evolution completed...or, a numbered jet may occupy a position that was not typically that jets spot in the formation. As seen here, #5 taxiing in the #6 position while the "no name" jet is actual #5(pilot);

Scan1_zps3d41fbe3.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

#8 as a Beetle Bomb, yellow with blue markings (inverse) would be T*TS! We proposed that to the Blues when we did some test CONA markings for them. Nothing we drew up got used... I'd still build a Yellow #8 for fun though someday.

-brian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the info, fellas. I've been looking all over for a picture of a that mythical #8 jet, but I suppose I was mistaken.

Bill and Gregg, I spoke to a credible source about how the spare jets get to the different show locations. As one would assume, there isn't a shortage of guys who don't mind ferrying jets for the Blues. These include instructors from the VT squadrons at P-Cola, former pilots in the reserves, and as Gregg mentioned, newbies coming onboard.

-JJ

PS: Brian, is it possible for you to grace us with some of those designs you drew up for CONA? I'd love to see them. Also, I heard through the grapevine you're getting involved with the Aerosoft F-14 - I'm pumped to see what you come up with!

Edited by Micro
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds about right. I was stationed next door to the Blues while in P-cola (Air Ops), you'd see a lot of unusual combinations of aircraft over on the line. For a while they had two #4 jets, fully painted, pilot name and all. Typically there'd be two single seaters with no number, no names. Seeing two "B" models was a little more unusual, other times the #7 jet...wasn't as you can see here:

Scan_zps175e4c49.jpeg

The "no name" jets typically were used in practice sessions while the numbered position jet may have been getting a maintenance evolution completed...or, a numbered jet may occupy a position that was not typically that jets spot in the formation. As seen here, #5 taxiing in the #6 position while the "no name" jet is actual #5(pilot);

Scan1_zps3d41fbe3.jpeg

Nice shots. Love the family model #4, don't think I'd ever seen that. Seems like I remember reading or hearing that the numbers were basically peel and stick type stickers (obviously hard to "peel") but were frequently changed from airframe to airframe. Don't know how true that is but it would explain how they could have a 2 seat #4. Seems like a lot of trouble and money to paint it on, only to remove it shortly after. I'll cull through my pics and see if I can find the double 7 with the little blue "7" in the stripe. I know I've shot it several times.

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice shots, Andrew!

Brian, "Beetle Bomb" was #0 ...

A white "Casper" #7 F/A-18B/D would be a cool what if too ...

Thanks for the info, JJ ...

-Gregg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen some shows (pre-show practices) where they've had up to 3 jets break down. I've seen them pull in #7 and still have to fly as a 5-ship, and as mentioned there have been times when they've flown with 2 #7s. Given maintenance demands, there seems to be times when they have to rotate through lots of airframes. I've also been to Thunderbirds show where they bring #7 and a no-number jet, only to have a pilot get sick and they still have to fly a 5-ship.

Brian

Link to post
Share on other sites

BINGO!!!

I found a photo of a Blue Angels Hornet number 8.

At page 200 of the new book «Saab 37 Viggen», Nordic Airpower 5 by Jan Jorgensen etc, there is shot of 2 Viggen escorting the Blue Angels in August 1992. We can see the Blues numbers 5,6,7 and 8. 7 and 8 are two-seaters.

Wasn't is the tour that took the Blues to Russia back then?

Daniel

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...