Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

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sylvancatharsis
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Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by sylvancatharsis »

A little while ago, I decided I needed one last air show fix for the year, so a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Florida Panhandle was in order. That certainly turned out to be a good decision, as this weekend was blessed with sublime weather (albeit a tad chilly in the morning), outstanding flying, and, some traffic frustrations notwithstanding, a jolly good time. I attended the Friday edition - Pensacola hosts its show on Friday and Saturday rather than the usual Saturday/Sunday format - which had the slightly better weather forecast.

Starting with the home team:

1.
ImageWell Done, Blues! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

2.
ImageThe Hometown Heroes by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

3.
ImageShockwave by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

4.
ImageNumber Three by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

5.
ImageBlue Angels by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

6.
ImageUp or Down? by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

7. Going up...
ImageBurning Skyward by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

8. ...and coming down.
ImageLoopin' Dirty by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

9.
ImageKeep it Low by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

10.
ImageFaaaaaat Albert by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

A particular highlight was the Trainer Parade, not least because it wasn't even announced until the morning of the show. I was really hoping to catch some action from the "other" home team - the one with aircraft painted orange and white rather than blue and yellow - and would've settled for a couple Goshawks or Texan IIs. All we ended up getting was a review of the entirety of the USN training fleet.

11. I was over the moon to see these guys, especially with the recent news that the Goshawk fleet is going gray soon. The Goshawks, verily, were quite underneath the moon...
ImageMoonlit Hawks by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

12. Fresh look at the new TH-73A Thrasher...
ImageThrashin' by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

13. ...plus the old TH-57C SeaRanger.
ImageThe Old Guard by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

14. Lots of T-6s; these four from Whiting Field, just up the road, plus three more USN and a USAF example from Pensacola.
ImageWhiting Field Lads by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

15.
ImageWildcats by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

16.
ImageDon't Forget the Air Force! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

17. Good to see the locally based Jayhawk too, as they're not long for the world.
ImageJayhawk by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

18. Ditto for the T-44C. The Pegasus's flyby was too high to get a good image, but I just happened to be in the perfect spot to catch it taking off as I was entering the show ground.
ImagePegasus Go by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

19. Goshawks, again, because they're just so photogenic.
ImageGoshawks. by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

The modern military segment of the Trainer Parade was actually the third part. The whole sequence kicked off with some formation passes from the Stearman Flight Team, with six aircraft in total - these four plus two more behind the main formation:
20.
ImageStearmans. (Stearmen?) by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

21.
ImagePilot Makers by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Then came a trio of monoplane warbird trainers, namely a Navion, T-34B, and T-28.

22.
ImageTraining Legacy by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

23.
Image"Olivia" by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

24.
ImageThe Old Teacher by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

25.
ImageHook Down by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

26. My first time seeing the F-35C Demo, which isn't a fully aerobatic display like the USAF one, but more of an energetic role demo. Say what you want about the Lightning II, but the thing's got serious stage presence.
ImageSpeed of Stealth by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

27. Every time I see that enormous wing, I think of those Styrofoam gliders I used to play with as a kid.
ImageBig-Wing Beast by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

28.
ImageAd Astra by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

29. Legacy Flight with the CAF Airbase Georgia's Corsair. Shame the latter didn't perform its solo display, as the show really could've used some high-performance warbird action.
ImageTailhook Traditions by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

30.
ImageTwo Generations of Naval Airpower by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

31. The other branch was also present. Friday saw the Viper demo flown in a standard squadron jet; the folks that went on the Saturday got to see the "Venom" special scheme bird.
ImageJust Your Typical Viper... by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

32. And now onto the civilian side, featuring some of the top performers on the circuit, including THE top performer in my opinion, Rob Holland:
ImageTumblin' by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

33.
ImageMr. Rob Holland by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

34. Melissa Burns, there to help celebrate the show's theme of 50 Years of Women in Naval Aviation
ImageOn the Edge by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

35.
ImageEdgelady by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

36. Just a WACO Taperwing with a Learjet's engine strapped to the bottom. Nothing out of the ordinary.
ImageJet/Prop by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

37.
ImageThat's RAD!!! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

38.
ImagePower Climb by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

39. Third Strike Wingwalking
ImageBarnstorming! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

40. Adam Baker
ImageExtra Excitement by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

41. The Misty Blues. Been about twenty years since I'd seen these ladies.
ImageMisty Blues by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

And a few static displays. Others that I didn't photograph particularly well included an F-14, F-4, and MiG-29 from the co-located National Museum of Naval Aviation (pics from there to come), Blue Angel F/A-18F, and an ex-RAF Tucano.

42.
ImageHeavy Duty Dragon by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

43.
ImageLocal Specialty by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

44.
ImageFace-to-Face with the F-35 by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

45. Note the lighthouse in the background. It's still operational, but you can tour it and climb to the top (if you're in shape - yeah, I made it about halfway) and there's a great museum alongside it.
ImageThe New Hunter by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

46. Not officially part of the show, this MH-60T was on hand for search and rescue duties. I managed to catch it arriving before the show.
ImageAir Show SAR by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

And in conclusion, a couple artsy-fartsy images, just because.

47.
ImageClassic Agility by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

48.
ImageShake 'n Bake by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Hope you enjoyed these!
Author of CULT OF THE WYVERN, a novel about Westland Wyverns and aliens. (Really.)
Flicky Flicky

Stagger2
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by Stagger2 »

Always one of my favourite show locations with virtually unlimited pre & post-showdays access. But that was back then, now I don't think there is even access to the Museum as a non-US Resident, even with a Military Sponsor?
The Trainer presentation was a brilliant addition yielding some great photo opportunities. You have a fine selection of images here. Shot 19 is spot-on, but #29 is excellent & gets my vote!

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sylvancatharsis
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by sylvancatharsis »

Many thanks for the kind words!
Stagger2 wrote:
Wed 08 Nov 2023, 10:35 am
Always one of my favourite show locations with virtually unlimited pre & post-showdays access. But that was back then, now I don't think there is even access to the Museum as a non-US Resident, even with a Military Sponsor?
According to the museum's website, non-US citizens can gain access but only if they're escorted by a US citizen.
Author of CULT OF THE WYVERN, a novel about Westland Wyverns and aliens. (Really.)
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Blackbird
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by Blackbird »

Great set Sean - many thanks for posting.

Stagger2
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by Stagger2 »

Excellent update sylvancatharsis. I must admit to Not even checking the National Naval Aviation Museum website for the latest conditons of entry!
Still not gonna help much as my Number One candidate for Sponsor duties has a US Work Permit, US. Residency & Social number....but a UK. Passport! :grimacing:

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Aquarious
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by Aquarious »

what a lovely set Sean, many thanks for posting.it brightens up my day on a sunny, squally and showery Autumn day . its hard to pick a favorite , but I'm a sucker for a moon shot so it's number 11 for me, I think that would look great printed large. :100:

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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by Ledhead27 »

Great set Sean, really nice to see the trainer stuff. Amazing how little we see of the TH-57 SeaRanger and the T-44C Pegasus. And the F-35C really does look leagues better than the A and the B variant
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sylvancatharsis
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by sylvancatharsis »

Many thanks for all the kind words!
Author of CULT OF THE WYVERN, a novel about Westland Wyverns and aliens. (Really.)
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Snj2
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by Snj2 »

awesome set 1st picture I was standing right in front of the guy in front of you !

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sylvancatharsis
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Re: Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow - NAS Pensacola

Post by sylvancatharsis »

Snj2 wrote:
Sun 19 Nov 2023, 7:10 pm
1st picture I was standing right in front of the guy in front of you !
Ha! Small world. Thanks.
Author of CULT OF THE WYVERN, a novel about Westland Wyverns and aliens. (Really.)
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