12:09 PM

You can’t do
better than
the Blue Angels

For generations, there have always been Blue Angels, that tiny, select group of Navy pilots that are there at the very top of the aviator kingdom. And for anyone who has ever seen the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron perform, you KNOW there can be no disputing that first sentence.

This coming year, the Blue Angels are scheduled to perform 66 demonstrations at 35 air show sites throughout the United States, celebrating 20 years of flying the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet.

The Navy’s top “Top Guns” have been around for decades now, and are quite possibly the most visible part of our armed forces. They provide key public exposure and work to create a positive image of military aviators in all branches.

A little history:

At the end of World War II, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to showcase naval aviation. The team performed its first flight demonstration less than a year later, June 1946. Flight Leader, Lt. Cmdr. Roy "Butch" Voris led the team flying the at Craig Field at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida.
Since 1946, the Angels have flown these aircraft:
Grumman F6F Hellcat
Grumman F8F Bearcat
Grumman F9F-2 Panther
Grumman F9F-5 Panther
Grumman F9F-8 Cougar
Grumman F11F-1 Tiger
McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II
McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk II
McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F/A-18 Hornet (current)
They are scheduled to perform at the following locations in 2007:

* 10 Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif.
* 17-18 Davis Monthan Air Force Base (AFB), Ariz.
* 24 Tyndall AFB, Fla.
* 31 MacDill AFB, Fla.

* 01 MacDill AFB, Fla.
* 14-15 Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas
* 21-22 MCAS Beaufort, S.C.
* 28-29 Vidalia, Ga.

* 05-06 Offutt AFB, Neb.
* 12 Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
* 19-20 La Crosse, Wis.
* 23 U.S. Naval Academy, Md.
* 26-27 Millville, N.J.

* 02-03 Rockford, Ill.
* 09-10 Tinker AFB, Okla.
* 16-17 Fargo, N.D.
* 23-24 North Kingstown, R.I.
* 30 Battle Creek, Mich.

* 01 Battle Creek, Mich.
* 07-08 Ypsilanti, Mich.
* 14-15 McConnell AFB, Kan.
* 21 Pensacola Beach, Fla.
* 28-29 Bozeman, Mont.

* 04-05 Seattle, Wash.
* 11-12 Hillsboro, Ore.
* 25-26 Indianapolis, Ind.

* 01-03 St. Louis, Mo.
* 08-09 NAS Oceana, Va.
* 15-16 NAS Brunswick, Maine
* 22-23 Millington, Tenn.
* 29-30 Salinas, Calif.

* 06-07 San Francisco, Calif.
* 13-14 MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
* 20-21 Fort Worth, Texas
* 27-28 Muskogee, Okla.

* 03-04 Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
* 09-10 NAS Pensacola, Fla.

Since its inception in 1946, the team has flown for more than 393 million fans. You really ought to add yourself to that list in 2007 if you live near a city where they will fly.

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