The Blue Angels signature Delta formation escorted the C-130 on arrival at the team’s home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.
The Blue Angels’ new support aircraft, the C-130J “Fat Albert” has finally touched down at the team’s home base at NAS Pensacola. The new C-130J is a former Royal Air Force Hercules C5 ZH885, retired following the reduction in the size of the RAF Hercules fleet to retain only the longer C-130J-30 (Hercules C4) and acquired by NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) to replace the former Fat Albert C-130T Bu.No. 164763 that flew more than 30,000 hours with the Blue Angels since 2002.
The aircraft was refurbished by the Marshall Aerospace and Defence group in Cambridge that performed in-depth maintenance and repainted the Hercules iin the iconic Blue Angels’ livery.
As already reported in detail, before heading back to the USA, the new “Bert” flew two Functional Check Flights (FCF), on July 20 and 28, 2020. On Aug. 4, the aircraft departed Cambridgeperformed two quick fuel stops, one hour each, at Keflavik International Airport (Iceland) and at Bangor Air National Guard Base (Maine), for a total flight time (excluding the time on the ground) of about ten hours. Then, made an unplanned stop at Boston Logan International Airport, to investigate a caution light, before heading to Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base (Texas) for scheduled maintenance.
On Aug. 17, the Blue Angels finally welcomed the new Fat Albert at NAS Pensacola. The aircraft was escorted to its home by the team’s signature 6-ship delta formation and flew over the Emerald Coast. In this post you can find some really stunning shots taken during “welcome home photo shooting”.