Blue Angels Flying over Miami
The Blue Angels Salute the Miami COVID-19 Responders. The flyover was a show of support for health care workers, first responders, and other essential personnel on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is “to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.”
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 show season has been truncated. Currently, their first show will be in Eau Claire, WI, June 13-14. The “Blues” perform at both military and non-military airfields, and often over major U.S. cities and capitals. Canada is also included in the Blue Angels schedule for air shows, such as the Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Canada Air Show Atlantic.
Blue Angels in Delta Formation
During their aerobatic demonstration, the Blues fly six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the diamond formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and the Lead and Opposing Solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6). Most of the show alternates between maneuvers performed by the Diamond Formation and those performed by the Solos. The Diamond, in tight formation and usually at lower speeds (400 mph), performs maneuvers such as formation loops, rolls, and transitions from one formation to another. The Solos showcase the high performance capabilities of their individual aircraft through the execution of high-speed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls, and very tight turns. The highest speed flown during an air show is 700 mph (just under Mach 1) and the lowest speed is 120 mph. Some of the maneuvers include both solo aircraft performing at once, such as opposing passes (toward each other in what appears to be a collision course) and mirror formations (back-to-back, belly-to-belly, or wingtip-to-wingtip, with one jet flying inverted). The Solos join the Diamond Formation near the end of the show for a number of maneuvers in the Delta Formation.
The parameters of each show must be tailored in accordance with local weather conditions at showtime: in clear weather the high show is performed; in overcast conditions a low show is performed, and in limited visibility (weather permitting) the flat show is presented. The high show requires at least an 8,000-foot (2,400 m) ceiling and visibility of at least 3 nautical miles (6 km) from the show’s centerpoint. The minimum ceilings allowed for low and flat shows are 3,500 feet (~1 km) and 1,500 feet (460 m), respectively.