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The ‘Blue Angels’. Blue Angels planes

22 Mar
2012

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Now established for over 60 years, the world famous United States Navy ‘Blue Angels’ is the longest continuous-serving military aerobatic display team in the world today.

a North American SNJ painted as a Mitsubishi A6M Zero, which descended trailing smoke and parachuted a dummy pilot, who was promptly ‘captured’ by a detachment of Marines. The ‘Blue Angels’ would also take a fourth Hellcat to shows, as a spare. However, it was not long before this aircraft started being used for solo performances.

When first formed, the team operated without a name, but by late 1946 it had become known as the ‘Blue Lancers’. Within a month this had been changed to the ‘Blue Angels’ – in honour of a New

At the end of World War II, Chester W. Nimitz, then the Chief of US Naval Operations, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team, with the aim of retaining public interest in naval aviation. The result was the ‘Blue Angels’, which performed its first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at its home base of Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. Flying three Grumman F6F Hellcats, the team was led by Lt Cdr Roy ‘Butch’ Voris. The routine was most enthusiastically received by the public, and included a ‘shooting down’ of

Current mount of the ‘Blue Angels’ is the F/A-18 Hornet, 11 examples of which are in use with the team, including three spare aircraft and two ‘twin-stickers’, (all Adrian M. Balch Collection)

York nightclub. The team’s leader, ‘Butch’ Voris, died in 2005, aged 86, and did not live to see the publication of his biography. Entitled First Blue, the book describes the colours on his team’s Hellcats as having been dark blue with metallic ‘gold leaf trim – the latter was previously thought to have been yellow.

On 25 August 1946 the ‘Blue Angels’ transitioned to the Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat. One year later, the 1947 team, led by Lt Cdr Robert Clarke, introduced the now famous ‘Diamond’ formation, which remains its trademark. By mid-1947 there had been changes in personnel and procedures, producing an air show routine that was different from that showcased in the team’s first year. Lt Cdr Clarke was relieved by Lt Cdr ‘Dusty’ Rhodes in January 1948, who led the team through the transition to jet aircraft in summer 1949. November 1948 saw the team move from Jacksonville to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.

Jet age ‘Blue Angels’

In August 1949 the F8F Bearcats were replaced by the team’s first jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F-2 Panther. Up until this date, the piston-engined F6Fs and F8Fs had performed at more than 300 shows before some 12 million spectators. The Panthers were painted in a special ‘Blue Angels’ blue colour scheme with polished-metal wing leading edges and yellow lettering. The ‘Blue Angels’ introduced their new jets to the public at Beaumont, Texas, on 20 August 1949. The following month, the team changed its base again, moving to NAS Whiting Field near Pensacola, Florida. Lt Cdr Johnny Magda took over as team leader early in 1950. The F9F-2s took part in 24 more shows, after which they gave their final display on 30 July 1950 at NAS Dallas. During the period 1946-50, the team was seen by more than 14 million spectators in some 380 demonstrations. The outbreak of war in Korea disrupted the team’s organisation and in June 1950 the team was ordered to combat-duty status. The team reported to the carrier USS Princeton where it formed the nucleus of VF-191 ‘Satan’s Kittens’. The team’s members continued to practice manoeuvres between missions. Lt Cdr Johnny Magda, the squadron commanding officer, was the only ‘Blue Angel’ ever to lose his life in combat, when he was shot down off Korea’s northeast coast in March 1951.

The team was reinstated the following year, when the Chief of Naval Operations ordered reactivation of the ‘Blue Angels’. Lt Cdr ‘Butch’ Voris was again given the job of organising the team. Based at NAS Corpus Christi, it began flying the newer J48-powered version of the Panther, the F9F-5. The first public showing of the new-look team took place at the Memphis Mid-South Navy Festival in May 1952. In addition to seven F9F-5

The ‘Blue Angels’ were initially equipped with the F6F Hellcat. This, the first of eight types to have been operated to date as the team’s primary equipment, was flown only briefly, between June and August 1946.

Panthers, the ‘Blue Angels’ were also assigned two F7U-1 Cutlass fighters and a single F8F Bearcat, the latter being a support aircraft, painted overall yellow and named Beetle Bomb. The two swept-wing Cutlasses were to be used as solo demonstrators, but only participated in two air shows, as they proved excessively prone to maintenance problems, and were soon dropped from the team.

Cougar cameo

The 1953 season began with Voris being replaced as leader by Lt Cdr Ray Hawkins. In mid-1956 the team’s F9F-5 Panthers were replaced by the swept-wing F9F-6 Cougar. However, problems were experienced with this aircraft, and the team quickly reverted to the F9F-5. Lt Cdr ‘Zeke’ Cormier took over as leader in February 1954 and the team continued to fly the Panther until the end of the 1954 season. In January 1955 the team progressed to the definitive F9F-8 Cougar, with a first display on the new type being flown at Corpus Christi on 4 February 1955. New manoeuvres were developed, including tight formations with wings overlapped and the ‘fleur-de-lis’ performed at the end of the 25-minute show. In June 1955 the team moved base again from Corpus Christi to NAS Pensacola, Florida, home of Naval Air Training Command. The ‘Blue Angels’ have been based here ever since. Cdr Edward Holley

The first ‘Blue Angels’ jet, the F9F-2 Panther was operated before the team was deployed for combat service in Korea.

Above right: Beetle Bomb was the ‘Blue Angels” yellow-painted F8F-1 Bearcat. It flew support missions.

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Below: The F8F was adopted two months after the team had flown its first display. It was on this aircraft that the trademark ‘Diamond’ formation was first performed.

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Right: An F9F-8 Cougar undergoes maintenance in 1955. By now the team was at its current location of Pensacola.

Below right: F9F-8s in formation in 1956, the year in which the ‘Blue Angels’ introduced a sixth aircraft to their routine.

took over as team leader in 1956 and during the 1957-58 seasons 3.5 million spectators witnessed the team at air shows across the United States, with many millions more seeing the team’s exploits on film and television.

The supersonic era

In mid-1957 the F9F-8 Cougar was replaced by the F11F-1 Tiger, which again originated from the Grumman stable. The Tiger represented the team’s first supersonic aircraft and the initial machines used by the team were of the short-nosed version, which served from May 1957 until the end of the 1958 season. The long-nosed version replaced these from the 1959 season to the end of the 1968 season. In 1959 the team, now led by Cdr Zeb Knott, added Bermuda to its overseas display locations, performing there before 25,000 spectators, including the Duke of Edinburgh. More intricate manoeuvres were added during the 196263 seasons under the leadership of Lt Cdr

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Below: Post-Korean War service, the ‘Blue Angels’ returned to action with the F9F-5 variant of the Panther, seen here in 1952.

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Right: Acceptance flights with the ‘short-nose’ F11F-1 Tiger began in early 1957 from Grumman’s Peconic River Facility.

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The F11F-1 was first revealed to the public (in ‘short-nose’ form) at Newcastle AFB, Delaware, on Independence Day, 1957.

Ken Wallace, and the team flew its 1000th performance at NAS Lemoore, California, in 1963. On 3 January 1964, Cdr Bob Aumack relieved Lt Cdr Wallace as leader of the ‘Blue Angels’ and went on to lead the team in 75 shows before 4.5 million spectators, boosting the total attendance to 76.5 million spectators since 1946. The team continued its overseas visits in 1965 with a spring Caribbean trip, followed by a 25-day European tour that took in displays at Paris and RNAS Yeovilton, England. In recognition of the team’s outstanding success during the tour, particularly with regard to the high-profile performances at Paris on 18 and 20 June, the ‘Blue Angels’ were publicly acknowledged by Congress and the team leader, Cdr Aumack, was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the other team members receiving Air Medals. In the autumn, the ‘Blue Angels’ deployed to the Bahamas, where the team flew two shows before 25,000 spectators. Cdr Bill Wheat assumed command early in 1967 and took the team on another European tour in mid-May, with a series of shows in France, Italy, Tunisia and Turkey.

Enter the Phantom

After eleven years of faithful service – and an even longer association with Grumman products – the ‘Blue Angels’ gave up their F-llAs (as the F11F-1 had been redesignated) in 1969 in favour of the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II. During practice for a show at Kelowa, British Columbia, in August 1969, the ‘Blue Angels’ inadvertently exceeded the sound barrier. This was the result of the number two pilot getting slightly behind in his timing when coming out of a Half Cuban Eight reversal and briefly touching the afterburners in order to catch up with the formation. The effect of the sonic boom on windows in the area served to guarantee that this would not become a regular part of the routine!

In 1970 the ‘Blue Angels’ made their first appearances in Hawaii, Panama and Ecuador; the team’s performance at Quito, Ecuador, on 11 October set a record of sorts since it was conducted above an airfield situated at an elevation of no less than 9,000 ft (2743 m) above sea level, the highest performance ever recorded by a jet aerobatic team.

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From late 1958 the ‘Blue Angels’ traded theiir original F11F-1 Tigers for ‘long-nose’ variants and received revised markings.

1973 saw another European tour, with the team’s Phantoms being displayed in England, France, Spain, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy. However, a spate of accidents on return to the US resulted in the team relinquishing the thirsty Phantom in favour of a smaller, more agile and economical type, in the form of the McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk.

In December 1974 the US Navy Flight Demonstration Team (the official appellation of the ‘Blue Angels’) was reorganised as the US Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron (USNFDS), and began flying eight A-4Fs. The main formation comprised four aircraft, plus two solo aircraft that sometimes joined the four-plane formation. Another aircraft was used as a spare and a two-seat TA-4J was employed by the team’s commentator and for media orientation rides. This latter role had previously been ful-filed by the Lockheed TV-2 (later redesignated T-33B) used between 1952 and 1956, and the F9F-8T (later TF-9J) Cougar, operated from 1957 to 1968.

After 13 years with Skyhawks, the ‘Blue Angels’ gave up the type for the 1987 season. On 8 November 1986 the team completed its 40th anniversary year with a ceremony in which its current mount,

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Above: While the arrival of the F8U Crusader curtailed the F1 IF Tiger’s frontline naval service, it was retained by the ‘Blue Angels’ until November 1968.

This picture: Mount Fuji provides the backdrop to the ‘Blue Angels’ F-4Js, which performed at Nagoya, Misawa and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni during a Japanese tour in autumn 1971.

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the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Hornet, was unveiled. In 1992 more than one million spectators viewed ‘Blue Angels’ performances during a 30-day European deployment to Sweden, Finland, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, the UK and Spain. This was the team’s first European deployment in 19 years.

Today, the ‘Blue Angels’ perform more than 70 shows at 34 different locations throughout the US every year. The 2005 season brought out more than 17 million spectators, and since 1946 the ‘Blue Angels’ have performed before more than 414 million. The ‘Blue Angels’ often per-

The F-4J arrived in time for the team’s 1969 season, during which the ‘Four-Plane In-Trail Loop’, ‘Four-Plane Box Loop’, and opposing ‘Outside-Half Cuban Eight’ manoeuvres were added to the routine.

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Right: During winter training prior to the 1968 season the ‘Blue Angels’ replaced their C-54Q with this Lockheed C-121J.

Below right: Used for the 1956 season, R5D-4R BuNo. 90407 was built as a C-54E and was known by its callsign NAVY EIGHT.

Bottom right: Two examples of the F7U-1 were used as solo and high-performance display aircraft for part of the 1952 season.

Bottom: C-54Q BulMo. 91996 was accepted in 1963 and was the second Skymaster to receive a full ‘Blue Angels’ livery.

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Below: Seen on the autumn 1971 Far East tour, KC-130F BulMo. 150690 was the team’s first Hercules, being taken on at Pensacola in July 1970. In late 1974 it returned to USMC service as a tanker.

Left: The three Lockheed TV-2 (later T-33B) aircraft all wore the number ‘0’ on the fin.

Above left: One of the team’s two F9F-8T Cougars, BuNo. 147404 was lost in a crash.

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USMC C-13QT Fat Albert is frequently employed as part of the ‘Blue Angels’ show, this rocket-assisted short takeoff being a popular part of its routine.

Above: One of three ‘Blue Angels’ TA-4Js, BulMo. 158722 saw out the entire 13-year period of Sky hawk service with the team.

form directly over major US cities such as San Francisco and Seattle, most notably during maritime festivals, and this factor contributes significantly to their high level of public recognition.

In November 1998 Cdr Patrick Driscoll recorded a significant milestone in the team’s history, when he became the first pilot to land a ‘Blue let’ on an aircraft carrier, catching the wire on the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75).

Support aircraft

Since its formation in 1946 the team has relied on a variety of different aircraft for logistics support. These have included the Beechcraft SNB Kansan, Douglas R4D-5 Skytrain, Curtiss R5C Commando, Douglas R4D-8 Super Skytrooper,

‘Blue Angels’ F/A-18s are modified for display flying, with the nose cannon deleted, a smoke tank added and a spring installed on the stick to increase pressure for formation and inverted flying.

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Douglas R5D Skymaster, Lockheed C-121J and, from 1970, a number of’borrowed’ US Marine Corps Lockheed KC-130F Hercules tanker/transports. The latter were supplemented in 1991 by a TC-130G (in fact, a converted EC-130G TACAMO platform), which was in turn

Left: The ‘Blue Angels’ seen over St Louis, Missouri, home of McDonnell Douglas, responsible for the team’s A-4F Skyhawks.

Below left: The two solo A-4F Skyhawk aircraft are seen joining the main ‘Diamond’ to provide a six-ship formation.

superseded by the C-130T variant, which continues to be operated today. The squadron’s Hercules, affectionately known as Fat Albeit, is the only US Marine Corps aircraft permanently assigned to support a US Navy squadron. It is flown by an all-Marine Corps crew of three pilots and five enlisted personnel. Fat Albert typically flies more than 140,000 miles (225300 km) during the course of a single show season.

Current routine

The current Hornet show is split into the trademark ‘Diamond’ formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and opposing solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6). Most displays alternate between manoeuvres performed by the ‘Diamond’ and those performed by the opposing solos. The ‘Diamond’ formation, operating in close proximity and usually at lower speeds, performs manoeuvres that include formation loops and barrel rolls, or transitions from one formation to another. The opposing solos usually perform manoeuvres just under the speed of sound while also showcasing the capabilities of their individual F/A-18s through the execution of highspeed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls, and very tight turns. Some of the manoeuvres include both the solo Hornets performing simultaneously, and include opposing passes and mirror formations (back-to-back, belly-to-belly, or wingtip-to-wingtip, with one jet flying inverted). At the end of the routine, all six aircraft join in an enlarged ‘Delta’ formation. After a series of flat passes, turns, loops and rolls performed in this formation, they execute the team’s signature ‘fleur-de-lis’ closing manoeuvre.

In 2006 the ‘Blue Angels’ made one of their long-awaited European visits, but only to the base open day at Leeuwarden in the Netherlands, where they received a typically warm welr”me. This year’s season looks as busy as ever and will be well underway by the time these words are read, the team being led in 2007 by Cdr Kevin Man nix.

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Grumman F9F-8B Cougar 131213 ‘1’, flown by Cdr Ed Holley, 1955

Painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with the 1:3 Orange Yellow mix.

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Grumman F9F-8 Cougar 144279 ‘5’, September 1956

Unmodified aircraft. Painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with the 1:3 Orange Yellow mix.

Grumman F9F-8T Cougar 142470 ‘0’, 1959

Painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with the 1:3 Orange Yellow mix.

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F9F-8T F11F-1 Tiger 138645 ‘1’, flown by Lt Cdr Ed Holley, 1957

Possibly painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with F. S.13538 Orange Yellow markings.

Grumman F11F-1 Tiger 138643, with number removed, flown by Lt Lefty Schwartz, 1957

Possibly painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with F. S.13538 Orange Yellow markings.

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Grumman F11F-1 Tiger 138645 ‘1’, flown by Lt Cdr Ed Holley, 1958

Finished in a ‘ lighter shade of blue’, certainly lighter than the 1:2 mix; possibly a reversion to the 1:3 mix or lighter?

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Grumman F-11A Tiger 141883 ‘6’, flown by Lt Hal Loney, 1967-68

Painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with F. S.13538 Orange Yellow markings.

McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II 153080 ‘6’, flown by Lt Steve Shoemaker,1970

De Soto paints as specified in the paint notes on p19.

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McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk 155029 ‘1’, flown by Cdr Danny Wisely, 1980

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McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet 161523 T, flown by Cdr G. B. Fink (?), 1987

‘Blue Angels Blue’, unspecified Pratt & Lambert paint.

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Lockheed TV-2 137955 ‘0’, 1956 Painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with the 1:3 Orange Yellow mix.

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Douglas R4D-5 Skytrain 17123/123, Corpus Christi, August 1949

Aluminium overall with black markings.

Douglas R4D-8 Super Skytrain 12437/437, NAS Corpus Christi, September 1953

Aluminium overall with black markings.

Curtiss R5C-1 Commando 39507, NAS Corpus Christi, 1953

Aluminium overall.

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Douglas R5D-3 Skymaster 50868 ‘8’, 1967 Probably painted in the 1:2 blue mix with F. S.13538 Orange Yellow markings.

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Lockheed C-121J Constellation 131683,1970

Possibly painted in the 1:2 mix of Blue, with the F. S.13538 Orange Yellow mix.

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Lockheed KC-130F Hercules 150690,1972

White overall with black markings.

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Lockheed KC-130F Hercules 149806, 1981

Possibly finished in the same paints as theA-4 Skyhawk.

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Upper and lower surface views of F/A-18A 161523

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F-11F Tiger 1957-1958

F-11F Tiger 1959-1968

F-4 Phantom 1969-1973

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This is the most common style of ‘Blue Angels’ badge. A silhouette of the operated aircraft always appears in the diamond formation.

Note that the title banner varied from period to period, and on some aircraft was yellow with blue titles. .

The ‘Blue Angels’ Kit and Decal List

Subject Kits: 1:144/1:72/1:48/1:32 Decals: : 144/1:72/1:48/1:32
1946 Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat Airfix, Heller, Hasegawa, Academy, HobbyBoss, Hasegawa, Monogram,

Hasegawa, FE Resin

Superscale, Hasegawa (in kit)
1946-49/54 North American SNJ-6 Texan Airfix, Academy, Monogram, Hawk/Testors N/A
1946-50, 1951-52 Grumman F-8F-1 Bearcat Monogram, Sword, Academy, Hobbycraft,

Trumpeter

Superscale, Superscale, Academy (in kit)
1949-50 Grumman F9F-2 Panther OzMods, Hasegawa, Minicraft, Trumpeter,

Fisher

Hasegawa (in kit), Minicraft (in kit)
1952-54 Grumman F9F-5 Panther Matchbox, Monogram, Fisher Eagle Strike, Yellowhammer, R-P Decals
1953 Grumman F9F-6 Cougar Hasegawa Hasegawa (in kit), R-P decals
1955-57 Grumman F9F-8B Cougar FE Resir, Hasegawa, Collect-Aire, Fisher Hasegawa (in kit), R-P decals
1957-68 Grumman F9F-8T Cougar trainer FE Resin, Hasegawa (with RVHP conversion), Collect-Aire, Fisher N/A
1952 Chance-Vought F7U-1 Cutlass Aurora, Anigrand, RVHP, Collect-Aire Anigrand (in kit)
1957-58 Grumman F11F-1 Tiger (short nose) Hasegawa, Lindberg Hasegawa (in kit)
1959-68 Grumman F11F-1/ F-11A Tiger (long nose) Hasegawa, Minicraft, Collect-Aire Hasegawa (in kit)
1969-73 McDonnell F-4J Phantom Fujimi, Revell, Hasegawa, Minicraft, Hasegawa, Revell Aerodecal, Microscale/Superscale,

Yellowhammer

1974-85 Douglas A-4F Skyhawk Hasegawa, Fujimi, Minicraft, Hasegawa, Monogram, Fujimi, Hasegawa Superscale, Hasegawa (in kit), Victory Productions, Yellowhammer, CAM decals,

CAM decals, Yellowhammer, Hasegawa (in kit)

1974-85 Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk Hasegawa Hasegawa (in kit). Victory Productions
1956-57,1965-68 Douglas C-54D Skymaster MACH 2, Minicraft Minicraft (in kit)
1951-56 Lockheed TV-2 Hasegawa, Heller, Hawk/Testors, Academy Superscale, Warbird Decals, R-P Decals
1968-70 Lockheed C-121J Super Constellation Heller/Airfix, Minicraft Superscale, Golden Wings, Minicraft (in kit)
1970-present Lockheed KC-130F/T Hercules Airfix, Italeri, ESCI, Italeri Superscale, Golden Wings, Superscale, Aerodecal
1985-present McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet Hasegawa, Hasegawa, Monogram, Academy Hasegawa (in kit), Superscale, Superscale, CAM PRO, CAM Decals, Cutting Edge

Notes on colour

No official paint specification exists for ‘Blue Angels Blue’ or ‘Yellow’. Grumman drawing SP10106 for the F9F-8B shows that the blue was mixed from one part Insignia Blue and two parts Insignia White. A note on the same document stated that the previous mix had been 1:3 parts. The Yellow was one part Insignia White to two parts Orange Yellow.

On the F11F-1 (long nose), Grumman drawing 98 RDF113А gives the mix as 1:2, with Orange Yellow F. S.13538. In 1958 the Short-nose F11F-1s were painted in a lighter shade of blue and yellow, with distinctly different yellow markings, however, the aircraft used in 1957 training had standard style markings and were probably finished in the 1:2 blue mix.

F-4 Phantom colours were specified as Blue De Soto 823-L-722 and the Orange Yellow to match F. S.13538 as De Soto 826-L-001.

The A-4 Skyhawk paint was Finch Paint & Chemical Co. Blue Gloss 643-14-14,

with 643-13-6 specified for the yellow. However, between 1974 and 1986, six plates were sprayed with the same paint as the aircraft, under the same controlled conditions, resulting in six slightly different shades of blue. To further confuse the picture, the Blue Angels Public Affairs Office stated that the blue was Ameron Jet-glo dark blue Satin Blue/Flight Blue Stk No. 572-511 and the yellow was Ameron Wildcat Yellow/Carnival Yellow Stk No. 574-570. Pratt & Lambert is identified as the paint supplier for the F/A-18, but no identifying code has been made public.

Model paints to F. S.15050 are frequently identified as ‘Blue Angels Blue’, however, there is no documentary evidence to support the use of this colour at any time on ‘Blue Angels’ aircraft. It is probable that it is a good ‘representative’ colour on a model, but on available evidence it should not be quoted as ‘Blue Angels Blue’, which has traditionally originated as a mix of Insignia Blue and White.

Sunday 25 February: Modeller’s Swapmeet at Hurworth Grange Community Centre, Hurworth, Darlington. Doors open 10 am; 9.30 am for stall holders. Stalls/tables £2.00 each, £0.50 each thereafter. Traders welcome. For further information call Sam on 01748 824702 or e-mail westonsam12@aol. com

Saturday 10 March: Flanders Modelling Festival and Contest 2007 at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Salesianenlaan 1, B-2660 Hoboken (Antwerp). The largest plastic modelling show and competition on the continent. For further information e-mail Eddy Marivoet at eddy. marivoet@versateladsl. be, write to Eddy Marivoet, Zwanebloemlaan 10, B-2900 Schoten, Belgium, or call +32(0)3/685.05.46 (before 8 pm). Also, for further information and registration go to www. ipms-antwerpen.be

Saturday/Sunday 10/11 March: 13th International Painting Competition Antwerp. For further information contact Ramir Hereygers, Kattenberg 62, 2140 Antwerpen, Belgium, call 00 32 (0)3.236.65.35 or e-mail ramirhereygers@skyn8t. be

Thursday 15-Sunday 18 March: 13th Faszination Modellbau at the Sinsheim Exhibition Centre, Sinsheim, Germany. For further information go to www. faszination-modellbau-messe. de

Saturday 17 March: North Somerset Modellers’ Society (IPMS North Somerset) presents the 12th annual North Somerset Model Show at Locking Castle Campus, Weston-super-Mare. Doors open 10 am to 5 pm. Club displays, traders and model competition. Free parking. Admission £2.00 adults, £1.00 children, £1.50 concessions. For further information traders should call Darren Poyser on 01934 516576; clubs should call Dave Perry on 01761 462864

Saturday 24 March: Shoreham Airport Aerojumble and Aviation/Model Show at Shoreham Airport, Worthing, West Sussex. Doors open 10 am. For further information call 01403 252628

Sunday 25 March: The Potteries Model Show at Meir Community and Education Centre, Pickford Place, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent. Doors open 10 am. Club displays, traders, refreshments and model competition. For further information call Alan Ewart on 01782 388892 or e-mail on ewaal253@aol. com, or call Mick Copestake on 01782 392353

Saturday 31 March: The Toy Soldier Show at The Royal National Hotel, Bedford Way, London. For further information e-mail info@thetoysoldiershow. com or go to www. thetoysoldiershow. com

Saturday/Sunday 31 March/1 April: Model Ex 2007 at Windmill Primary School, Windmill Lane, Raunds, Northamptoshire, NN9 6LA.

Doors open 10 am to 5 pm Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm Sunday. Admission £2.00 adults, £1.00 children. For further information go to www. northantsmodelmakers. org. uk or call 01933 312364

Sunday 1 April: Abingdon Model Show 2007 at Larkmead School, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Doors open 10 am to 4.30 pm. For further information call Simon on 07920 875480 or Alan on 07766 691207

Saturday/Sunday 14/15 April: 11th International Model Show & Competition at Mosonmagyarovar, Hungary. For further information call Pataki Aron on 0036-30/348-3605, e-mail archie2048@freemail. hu or go to www. rlm. at/mosonmagyarovar

Saturday 21 April: Poole Vikings Model Club (IPMS Dorset) model show at Parkstone Grammar School, Sopers Lane, Poole, Dorset.

Doors open 10.30 am to 4 pm. Trade and club stands, together with class competitions and raffle. Refreshments available all day and car parking is free. Admission £2.00 adults, £1.00 concessions, £4.00 family (two adults and two or more children). For further information call Andy Sweet on 01202 743494 or e-mail poole. vikings@virgin. net

Sunday 22 April: Gatwick Airport Aviation Collectors and Model Show at K2 Centre, Pease Pottage Hill, Crawley, West Sussex.

Doors open 10 am. For further information call 01403 252628

Saturday 28 April 2007: Plymouth Premier Model Show in the Main Guildhall. Doors open 10 am to 4.30 pm. More than 20 clubs and traders, with refreshments, raffle and model competitions. For further information call Dave Watson on 01752 518287, or e-mail spotandjoe@blueyonder. co. uk

Saturday/Sunday 28/29 April: Scottish National Scale Model Show at Dewars Centre, Glover Street, Perth. For further information call Jim Gibb on 01738 441365 or e-mail chair@scotnats. org. uk

Saturday 12 May: Heathrow Airport Collectors and Model Show at Feltham Community Centre, Browells Lane, Feltham. Doors open 11 am. For further information call 01372 725063

Saturday 23 June: Modellbrno 2007 at Exhibition Centre, Hall ‘H’. For further e-mail petr. dospisil@cz. teepak. com or go to www. modelIbrno. cz/index_e. htm

Sunday 19 August: Redhill Aerodrome Collectors Fair and Fly In at Redhill Aerodrome, Redhill, Surrey. Doors open 10 am. For further information call 01737 822200

Sunday 16 September 2007: Sutton Coldfield’s 31st Model Spectacular at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, West Midlands. Doors open 10 am to 4.30 pm. Even bigger than last year! For further information traders should call Paul Grimiey on 01543 481428, clubs should call Peter Haywood on 01889 578074

Publicise your event

If your modelling group, club, branch, chapter or society would like its event (or even regular meetings) publicised in S/WI simply drop us a line with all the relevant information: date, venue, opening times, entrance fee(s), who’s displaying, how to get there, and who to contact for further information. We’ll leave all the details in right up to the date of the event, so the earlier you send it in, the longer it will be publicised. Don’t miss out on FREE PUBLICITY, send your details today to: S/M’s Events Calendar, Guideline Pubtications„Unit 3, Enigma Building, Bilton Road, Denbigh East, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire MK1 1HW. United Kingdom/or e-mail: steve@regallitho. co. uk

Connected themes: picture of airplane, model aircraft design, building model kit, The ‘Blue Angels’. Blue Angels planes, rc scale airplane plans, model airplane drawings, diecast model plane.

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