Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Blue Angels

While the Royal Air Force’s flying displays by the Red Arrows are world famous, and the US Air Force has a Thunderbirds team, there’s a US Navy squadron that seems to be less well known outside America. The Blue Angels was first launched in 1946 and, in spite of some federal budget cuts, are still flying today with their standard blue and yellow livery. 

The Blue Angels current jet of choice flying in demos is the Boeing (MD) F-18 Hornet. A premium quality diecast model produced by Hobby Master proved un-affordable, so far, but I have a Motor Max version (in 1:72 scale) that’s a perfect place-holder, until I can find £40 to spare.

Older aircraft flown by the Blue Angels in previous decades, include the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II (1969-73), which is one of my favourite planes, and I have a Corgi model of this in 1:72 scale  

Another plane from an earlier period is the Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (alias, T-bird) used by the Blue Angels in the 1950s. The Falcon model is excellent quality in the much preferred 1:72 scale.

The Blue Angels use a US Marines-crewed Lockheed KC-130F Hercules, nicknamed Fat Albert, and my Corgi model of this (in 1:144 scale) makes a superb addition to the collection.

I hope to get older planes like Grumman’s F6F-5 Hellcat and F-11F1 Tiger, also in the Blue Angels colours, but the models of these planes by Falcon and Hobby Master are too expensive.

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