“Welcome to Russia, Blue Angels”: the first U.S. military presence over Moscow since the end of the Cold War March 18, 2013Posted by Dario Leone in : Military Aviation , add a comment
The following video is part of a film called “Blue Angels: Around the World at the Speed of Sound”, realized to support the Blue Angels 1992 season.
The story behind it is very interesting and it is worth to be told.
Generally speaking, air shows across the world to represent the United States are flown by the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds. But in 1992 it was the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, that flew overseas for a series of air shows which included the first U.S. military presence in the skies over Moscow after the end of the cold war.
Obtaining the approval to go overseas was a hard thing for the Blue Angels Commanding Officer, Greg Woodbridge, who took command of the team in November 1990.
The team’s three main tasks are: to improve community relations, to enhance the morale of the folks already wearing the US Navy uniform and, the most important of all, to enhance recruiting in the Navy.
Since the Blue Angels mission is strictly linked to the Navy’s recruiting command, the team flight activity is mainly scheduled across the United States where there is more chance to improve recruitment.
Image credit: U.S. Navy
However the 1992 tour saw the Blue Angels to perform in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, England, Spain, Italy, Finland and Sweden: eight different countries in one month, in the first European tour in 19 years.
Since this trip would have brought not only the team, but also the United States military services in several former Soviet Block countries for the first time, during winter training, Woodbridge thought to go to Hollywood to find a producer to realize a film which should have had to support the Blue Angels tour.
He found Rob Stone who had just started his production company and since Woodbridge had no money for this kind of project, he told Stone that he would have to get his own funding to produce the documentary.
Stone and two of his guys went to the Blue Angels winter training and they filmed a movie hosted by the Hollywood star Dennis Quaid which is called “Blue Angels: Around the World at the Speed of Sound” which was showed across the United States for almost two years and then sold to the Discovery and History Channel.
Stone did a great job with this film since it gave to the Blue Angels some extra exposure enhancing Navy recruiting.
Once they were in the former Soviet Union, the Blue Angels pilots were given the opportunity to fly with one of the Russian frontline fighters, the Su-27 Flanker of the Russian Knights or the MiG-29 Fulcrum of the Swift, the two Russian demonstration teams, while the American pilots hosted the former Soviet pilots in the two seat Blue Angel F-18 Hornet.
The tour in the former Soviet Union was a huge success for the Blue Angels, the first foreign flight demonstration team to perform there: they flew a modified air show in Moscow Day to honor the anniversary of the birth of the city and Woodbridge discovered that from west to east, people loved them.
Noteworthy, mixed formations, including Blue Angels F-18 and Russian Su-27 and Mig-29 jets were flown during the Russian tour.
David Cenciotti has contributed to this post.
Photo: Flames explode behind the Blue Angels’ F/A-18 Hornets at Miramar Air Show 2012 October 16, 2012Posted by David Cenciotti in : Airshow, Military Aviation , 1 comment so far
The Saturday “twilight” show, a fireworks display and the final “Great Wall of Fire” pyrotechnic display are common features of the annual Miramar air show.
Miramar is famous all around the world for being the base of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapon School, whose training program inspired Top Gun.
The NFWS, has moved to NAS Fallon, Nevada, in 1996.
Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps
- U.S Marine Corps F/A-18A Hornet jets deploying to the Middle East (theaviationist.com)
This is one of those pictures that don’t need much words.
Blue Angels #5, Lead Solo, Lieutenant C. J. Simonsen, performs a high speed low pass at Pensacola Beach 2012 airshow on Jul. 14.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rachel McMarr
To those readers who wonder whether it is safe to perform such flybys, I suggest to have a read at the following articles published last year: “Don’t do this at home: the Argentinean pilots braveness dispute” & “Argentine Air Force IA-63 Pampa crazy flyby uncensored cockpit video: an example of poor airmanship”.
Naval Aviation as you've never seen it. Some of the coolest pictures of the U.S. Navy hardware at work June 19, 2012Posted by David Cenciotti in : Military Aviation , 1 comment so far
The amount of positive feedbacks I’ve received after publishing an article about aircraft carrier’s recovery operations, proves that Naval Aviation is one of the aircraft enthusiasts’ most loved subjects.
Although I don’t usually publish book reviews, I think there’s a book I have recently had the opportunity to read, that deserves to be mentioned as it captures the vast universe of modern naval aviation better than any other publication has done before: Fly Navy!
Released in 2011 during the U.S. Navy Centennial ceremonies, the book by aviation photographer and author Erik Hildedrandt chronicles all naval aviation systems by means of never before seen photography and through the words of the men and women serving with the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps all around the world.
To collect the material for the book, Hildebrandt has spent 2 years on travel across the planet: he has flown with deployed forces over Afghanistan and Iraq, with the Blue Angels over Hawaii, with VIP and training planes statesite. He has also had the unique opportunity to fly in close formation with some of the most rare unmanned aerial systems, as the Navy Global Hawk drone. The test F-35 is featured as well.
What makes Fly Navy! unique is not only the quality of the innovative aerial images he has brought back from each sortie, but also the personal accounts of those interviewed as well as the photographer’s very special point of view.
Click here to download a pdf file with 36 pages from the book that Hildebrandt has made available to the readers of The Aviationist.
All images, courtesy of Erik Hildebrandt
- Video: Naval aviation-style airborne change of command (hardcore F-18 Hornet porn) (theaviationist.com)
- Cockpit view: F/A-18F Super Hornet Refuels from another Super Hornet (theaviationist.com)
- Northrop Grumman unveils the new gigantic MQ-4C BAMS Triton drone (theaviationist.com)
- U.S. Navy replenishes its stock of Tomahawk long-range, conventional attack, cruise missiles. Getting ready for new initial air strikes? (theaviationist.com)
- Photo: Spectacular F/A-18C low fly-by above the flight deck of USS Nimitz (theaviationist.com)
Possibly the best New York's Fleet Week photo so far: the Blue Angels fly over the Parade of Ships. May 25, 2012Posted by David Cenciotti in : Military Aviation , add a comment
On May 23, the Parade of Ships marked the first day of the Fleet Week New York.
During the parade, 23 Tall Ships and Warships made their way from The Statue of Liberty, past the World Trade Center site to Manhattan’s West side.
The following image shows the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels demo team overflying the USS Donald Cook as it enters the New York Harbor during the Parade of Ships.
Image: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Martin Egnash