Thursday, February 03, 2011

For the pilots, and the pilots at heart

The US Navy Blue Angels didn't always fly those nifty F/A-18 Hornets that they fly today. Heck, the first time I saw them, they were flying A-4F Skyhawks. Before that, they flew the awesome F-4J Phantom II.

The Blue Angels have been flying jets since 1949, when they began using the old Grumman F9F Panthers.

But before the Panthers--before the day of the jet--from 1946 to 1949, the Blue Angels flew the F8F-1 Bearcat.

And in this video, best watched blown up to full-screen size, the Horsemen Aerobatic Team join the modern-day Blue Angels with a flight comprised of original Bearcats, and special guest Al Taddeo, one of the first Blue Angel pilots.

Enjoy this video as the present meets the past.


  1. And it's a damn good one! WELL worth the time to watch it!

  2. Thanks for posting that. It was awesome. I'd bet Mr. Taddeo could still make that 'Cat do a trick or two.

  3. Thanks for the link. I know that the technology of war moves at a blinding pace. The only thing in my opinion that is constant is the dedication, valor, and skill of the people that command the tools on our behalf.

  4. I had the privilege of working with Chuck Knight, one of the Bearcat Blue Angels while I was at Northrop Corp on the development team for YF-23. After the Blues he went to Pax River and was a test pilot for many years and a primary on the A-5 Vigilante.

    A true gentleman and a deep repository of aviation history. Chuck passed away about two years ago in the DFW area.