What will be the next Blue Angels and Thunderbirds aircraft?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by gjs238, May 4, 2015.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    What will be the next Blue Angels and Thunderbirds aircraft?
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The Blue Angels will be utilizing our ramp and hangars starting tomorrow or Wednesday. They are coming to town for the Airshow this weekend. Every year the "headliners" stage out of our FOB and use our facilities for the maint.
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    It will most likely be the F-22 but I am willing to bet that the F/A-18 will remain in their service for a while yet, since Congress would have to loosen the purse strings for them to get new rides.
     
  4. Token

    Token Active Member

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    At a guess, the Blues will stay with the Hornet for quite a while. However the next aircraft will probably also be a Hornet. They fly the legacy aircraft now, but they will likely transition into the Super Hornet in the next few years. The C/D legacy aircraft have a few more years of use, and the Blues recently went to them from the A/B. The E/F will probably be in the fleet until well into the 2030's. After that, who knows, but if I were to bet I would say the F-35.

    The Blues have always used operational aircraft, and there are really no current planned additions to Naval aviation beyond the F-35. I am sure there will be something else, but nothing on the looming horizon right now. Of course, the F/A-XX (Next Generation Air Dominance) fighter might be coming in the mid-late 2020's, but who knows if that one will ever really be funded or in what numbers.

    So, F/A-18 C/D for right now, into the E/F in a few years, and then into the F-35 for a long run.

    Similarly, the Thunderbirds will probably continue to use the F-16 for a few more years. Personally I doubt they ever go to the F-22, there are just too few of them and they will want to keep them operational, but I rather think they will go to an aircraft the Air Force has in numbers, probably the F-35.

    1969 to 1973 both the Blues and the Thunderbirds flew the Phantom II, the Blues with the F4J and the Thunderbirds with the F4E. We may see something like that again when both fly the F-35, the Blues with the F-35C and the Thunderbirds with the F-35A.

    T!
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    More than likely as has been said they will stick with what they have for a while. Could transition to a more Red Arrows type role with them sticking with the same aircraft for the long term.

    If they don't will likely be the F-35 as has been said already...
     
  6. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    You mean use trainers?
     
  7. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    The way things are going, it may be drones.
     
  8. Token

    Token Active Member

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    One of the claims of both the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds has been that the aircraft used are front line combat aircraft and the maneuvers used are based on skills required of any combat pilot, taken to extremes and polished up. I can't really see them going to trainers.

    T!
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    No. I meant that they would just keep the same aircraft for the long term (i.e. the F-16 and F-18) rather than change to newer models. So the same as the Red Arrows in that they stick with the same aircraft for the long term, whatever that maybe.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The first time I ever saw the Blue Angels, I was a kid and they were operating the F11F (MCAS El Toro was always nearby)

    It may be interesting to note that while the USN had much more modern aircraft, the Blue Angels operated the F11F for nearly 8 years after the F11F was retired from Front line Naval service.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Folks, I think both services will continue to fly their current mounts for a very long time. The F-16 and F/A-18 in later versions will be around for a while despite the introduction of the F-35. Both T Birds and Angels have operating budgets and it behooves both teams to operate aircraft where spares are plentiful and maintenance operating costs can be kept low. The Blue Angels could easily go with the T-45 to save money and I think they'll still be pretty impressive.
     
  12. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    There is somewhat of a precedent in Canada where the 'Snowbirds' demo team use the Canadair Tutor. The Canadian Air Force retired the Tutor trainer from service in 2000, but has kept it on just for the Snowbirds since then - and are expected to for some years yet.
     
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