3 ways to watch the Blue Angels practice from the water
Blues Cruise . The Flight Plan
Hop onboard for this match made in coastal paradise: Blue Angels & Dolphins
Make priceless memories with your family and friends as you witness breathtaking aerial displays and gravity-defying stunts performed by the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s precision flying team.
On Blue Angels practice days & Homecoming Show, board your dolphin cruise or charter a pontoon boat and be your own captain for a picturesque cruise in Pensacola. On the way, relax in the shade while watching for marine & wildlife in their natural habitat. Catch this rare opportunity to search for dolphins and watch the famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels acrobatic flying team practice their thrilling aerial maneuvers. If for some reason they do not fly, the tour becomes an extended dolphin tour.
Private charters are available for up to 6, 10 and up to 49 people.
Being this high off the ground feels air-mazing and you’ll fall in Love at first flight.
I’ve got my head in the clouds…. literally
Three ways to watch from the water:
- Onboard Frisky Mermaid USCG licensed to carry 49 passengers.
- Groups up to 6 may watch on a semi private or private cruise on Frisky1
- Be your own Captain from 4 hours up to 7 days and watch from your own beach.
A bit of Blue Angels History Past and Present
76 Years of Aviation Excellence
In 1946, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Chester Nimitz, had a vision to create a flight exhibition team in order to raise the public’s interest in naval aviation and boost Navy morale. In the 1940’s, we thrilled audiences with our precision combat maneuvers in the F6 Hellcat, the F8 Bearcat and the F9 Panther. During the 1950’s, we refined our demonstration with aerobatic maneuvers in the F9 Cougar and F-11 Tiger and introduced the first six-plane delta formation, still flown to this day. By the end of the 1960’s, we were flying the F-4 Phantom, the only two seat aircraft flown by the delta formation. In 1974, we transitioned to the A-4 Skyhawk, a smaller and lighter aircraft with a tighter turning radius allowing for a more dynamic flight demonstration. In 1986, we celebrated our 40th Anniversary by unveiling the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet. In 2021, we transitioned to our current aircraft the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and celebrated our 75th anniversary.
In 1949, it became necessary for the Blue Angels to operate a support aircraft to move personnel and equipment between show sites. These support aircraft including the Douglas R4D Sky Train, the Curtiss R5C Commando, the Douglas R5D Skymaster, and the Lockheed C-121 Super Constellation. In 1970 the team received the Lockheed Martin C-130, affectionately known as “Fat Albert.” In 2020, “Fat Albert” transitioned to its current platform, the C-130J Super Hercules.
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — Since 1946, the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, or Blue Angels, has performed jaw-dropping shows all across America. However, in the nearly 70 years the squadron has been around, there have been several females on the team who were left out of the cockpit during the performances — that is, until now.
Marine Capt. Katie Higgins, the newest pilot of “Fat Albert,” a C-130 Hercules flown by the Blue Angels, has become the first woman in history to perform with the squadron.
“I am so glad I get to be a part of the 130 team members who are the best in their field,” said Higgins, a Severna Park, Md. native. “I came to the Blue Angels because I wanted to be a part of the elite team dedicated to precision and expertise. I didn’t come out here thinking I was going to be breaking barriers; I simply wanted to do my job to the best of my abilities.”
Higgins said it’s a great honor to fly for the Blue Angels, but it should feel like this for everyone on the team, male or female. As one of the squadron’s 17 officers, she said she is not treated any differently because she’s female.
“The Blue Angels are a family and they have supported me all the way, always being there for me when I need them,” Higgins said. “I wouldn’t be here without the support of the team. We’re all cogs in a machine and without just one of those pieces, it wouldn’t function properly.”
Higgins said she was greatly influenced by her family’s legacy of aviation, her pilot grandfathers, uncles and father played a key role in her decision to fly.
“I am a third-generation pilot,” Higgins said. “I am also the first female and the first Marine. My family was supportive of my decision to commission, and they were all excited when I told them I was going to be flying. My father was especially excited, being able
to share that side of his life with me — it’s like officers gathering to talk about Officer Candidates School or enlisted (Marines) talking about boot camp. We got to share stories of our time in aviation, and it was our common bond.”
Higgins later said she hopes women keep pushing toward breaking down barriers because that is the team’s mission — to inspire people to excellence.
“I hope women in the military and civilian worlds know they are capable of anything they put their minds to,” Higgins said. “For those who may think women don’t belong in any particular position, give them a shot. Let them show you their skills and abilities, that they can exceed the standard. Give them the benefit of the doubt and don’t be quick to judge because of their gender, skin color or religion.”
“No matter what obstacles or hardships you are facing, persevere through it,” Higgins said. “Whatever path you choose, be excellent and don’t settle for mediocrity. If you strive to be the best, nobody can question you or your capabilities.”