What to know on Saturday
After Friday’s dress rehearsal, the first since 2019, the Blue Angels are finally ready to return for the official Pensacola Beach air show on Saturday.
After a show cut short in 2019 and no shows at all in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, the Blue Angels fly out at 2 p.m. Saturday for the full show. And they’ll be in the long-awaited new Super Hornet jets.
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Here’s everything fans need to know to get the most of Saturday’s show.
Fat Albert, the Blue Angels ‘beloved C-130J Super Hercules transport plane, did not fly past the fighter jets as usual on Friday during the Blues’ dress rehearsal on Pensacola Beach.
Chelsea Dietlin, spokesperson for the Blue Angels, said Fat Albert was grounded on Friday due to a “minor mechanical problem”.
“Yesterday (Thursday), the maintenance team of the Blue Angels C-130J (Fat Albert) logistics support aircraft discovered a minor mechanical problem during routine ground maintenance checks,” Dietlin said in a statement. prepared for the News Journal. “Team members are currently troubleshooting and don’t anticipate any changes to scheduled performances. The Blue Angels look forward to a safe and entertaining demonstration for the air show this weekend.”
Dietlin said Fat Albert is expected to fly past the Blue Angels on Saturday during the regular show.
Fat Albert has not flown over Pensacola or Pensacola Beach with the Blue Angels since November 2018.
What’s new on the Super Hornet jets?
This weekend’s show is the first official appearance at Pensacola Beach of the Blue Angels’ new jets, the F / A-18 E / F Super Hornets. They have arrived just in time to start the 2021 season and celebrate the team’s 75th anniversary.
The new fleet of 11 jets replaced the US Navy’s F / A-18 A / B / C / D Legacy Hornets, which spent 34 years with the Blue Angels.
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The new Super Hornets are more powerful jets, especially at lower altitudes. The new jets are also 25% larger than the outgoing Hornet, have greater fuel capacity, can fly 40% farther than the Hornet, and stay stationed 80% longer, which means they can fly longer. with better fuel capacity.
Car park? Plan ahead to avoid traffic
It can be difficult to find parking anywhere on the beach after the early hours. The Casino Beach car park has approximately 1,000 spaces. In previous years, the Casino Beach lot had filled up before 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Additional public parking is available at Park East and Park West.
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If you park along other roads, be warned not to park in the sand. Every year, cars get stuck in the sand and have to be towed, officials said.
The Santa Rosa Island Authority plans to reduce traffic congestion by increasing the hours of free public transport along the island on Fridays and Saturdays.
On Friday, SRIA’s three free open-air trams, operated by ECAT, will start transporting people at 7 a.m. and run their regular trips until midnight.
Starting Saturday at 6 a.m., SRIA will have 10 buses in addition to the three open-top trams that will run alongside the island and extend its service area to Park East, located one mile east of Portofino Resort.
Buses and carts will run from Park East to Park West to transport people to Casino Beach throughout the day on Saturday. The additional bus service to Park East ends Saturday at 6 p.m. and the three open-air carts will resume normal operations until midnight.
Passengers wishing to return to their vehicles as soon as the air show ends should be in the first fleet of buses leaving Casino Beach after the show, or should expect to wait up to 90 minutes for the carts or buses to return due traffic blocked immediately after the air show. Face masks will be mandatory to use all public transport.
Programming of civil acts for Saturday July 10
11:00 The Gulf Coast Magni Gyro team will lead the civil acts portion of the air show with a formation of seven men in their colorful Magni M24 Orion autogyro starting at 11 a.m.
11:20 a.m. Julian MacQueen will take off in his vintage 1943 Grumman Widgeon.
11:35 Hosted by Pensacola lawyer and pilot Roy Kinsey, a dozen vintage Stearman biplane pilots from across the Southeast will fly WWII and Korean War veterans to the beach on Friday and Saturday as part of the veterans flight, giving the tens of thousands of spectators on the beach a glimpse into aviation history.
11:43 a.m. A group of US Navy T-6 planes and Training Air Wing Five TH-57 helicopters in Milton will move into multi-aircraft formations.
11:50 a.m. Pilots Ken Rieder and Adam Baker of Team Redline Aerobatic will soar through the skies in their red and black aerobatic planes to perform opposite death-defying stunts and reverse maneuvers and formations.
12:07 Solo pilot Kevin Coleman will push the limits of his bright yellow Extra 300 SHP stunt plane to create a visual spectacle like no other.
12:25 Solo pilot Gary Ward will soar overhead in his green and purple MX2 aircraft, exhibiting a maneuver-rich aerobatic act ranging from hovering at zero speed to dives over 250 mph.
12:40 Stunt pilot Skip Stewart will close the civil acts with highly skilled passes and jaw-dropping maneuvers in his famous red, white and black checkered biplane, Prometheus.
Following the civilian stunt performances, there will be a 45 minute window for spectators to cool off and bathe in the gulf before rescuers clear the water again in anticipation of the Blue Angels show starting at 2pm. hours.
Fat Albert and the US Navy Blue Angels
2:00 p.m. Look towards the Gulf horizon as a famous C-130J plane, affectionately known as the Fat Albert, followed by six iconic blue and gold F-18 Super Hornets, weave its way over the beach at Pensacola. This will mark the airshow debut of the new Super Hercules Fat Albert model.
For the next 50 minutes, spectators will get a glimpse of Blue Angels’ aeronautical maneuvers like the Diamond Dirty Loop, Double Farvel, Vertical Pitch, Fleur-de-Lis, Opposing Knife-Edge pass, Sneak Pass and the always exhilarating grand finale: the Delta Breakout.
The whole lifeguard team will work on Saturday. An emergency medical tent will be available in the Casino Beach parking lot for anyone with health problems. West Florida Hospital will also have a medical tent on the beach.
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What can’t I bring?
- Drones are prohibited at the beach show. All unmanned planes or drones will be banned on the beach until Saturday. Kites will not be allowed during the air show.
- Glass containers
- Pets will not be allowed on the beach (with the exception of dogs in the two designated dog parks during normal opening hours).
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What should I bring?
- Rainy weather equipment
- Garden chairs, blankets
- Cellphones and tablets in a Ziploc bag
- Cameras and camcorders
- A cooler with lots and lots of water. Beer will only dehydrate you and it’s a long day. Don’t forget the snacks. There will be thousands of people on the beach, do you really want to walk to the nearest beach bar?
- Beach trolleys
- Beach umbrella
- Beach hat – and keep it on, you will look spectacular
- Sunscreen, and reapply often
- Wear shoes, as at this time of year the sand and the sidewalk can be too hot for bare feet.
Blue Angels Air Show Facts
- An estimated 15 million spectators see the squadron at air shows throughout the year.
- The highest maneuver performed in an air show is the vertical rolls performed by the opposite solo, up to 15,000 feet and the lowest maneuver performed in an air show is the Sneak Pass, performed by the main solo at 50 feet .
- The fastest speed during an air show is around 700 mph (just below Mach 1; Sneak Pass) and the slowest is around 120 mph (High Alpha Section).
- The base purchase price of a single F / A-18 Hornet is approximately $ 21 million.
- The F / A-18 can reach speeds slightly below Mach 2, almost double the speed of sound, or around 1,400 mph.
- An F / A-18 weighs about 24,500 pounds empty of all armament and crew.
- The smoke trail left by each aircraft is produced by pumping biodegradable paraffin-based oil directly into the aircraft’s exhaust nozzles where the oil is instantly vaporized into smoke. It provides an obvious path for spectators to follow and improves flight safety by providing a means by which solo pilots can see each other during opposing maneuvers. It does not present any danger for the environment.