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Old 11-14-2020, 07:16 AM   #15
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El Centro, CA

NAF El Centro, CA is the winter home of the Blue Angles.

One year we spent two months at the NAF Palm Oasis RV Park & Resort. It was peaceful and quiet for the first week and then the Blues arrived with all aircraft and maintenance personnel. Five days a week they practiced. When they started at 0800 you could get out your lawn chairs and a cup of coffee and watch the aerobatics “till your heart’s content”.

Here are pictures I took of the aircraft on display at the main gate.

The link is active and some of the pictures used in the link are mine including our parking site. Larry, a retired USAF MSGT owns the link and maintains it. I’ve been a member for more than 17 years and have always provided Larry with feedback and pictures of the military CGs we have stayed at. He uses most of them.

https://www.militarycampgrounds.us/c...naf-campground


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Old 11-19-2020, 04:52 PM   #16
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We lived on Pensacola Beach and then in Gulf Breeze for many years beginning in 1982. I remember a Blue Angel flying so low over the beach that he appeared to climb to clear a catamaran mast. This was before the F18. My memory was that he was flying a Phantom but I just checked a timeline and it would have been an A4 Whatever, it was massive and loud! Never tired of seeing (and hearing) the Blue Angels and was fortunate to see the Thunderbirds and others at nearby Eglin AFB. So impressive.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:12 PM   #17
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I missed the OP point. Was it the last flight, or the last flight with the F-18 for the Blue Angles?

For a few years we did a lot of camping in Pensacola. DD was going to flight School for the NAVY. Most of the time we camped at Big Logon State Park. We were always seeing the Blue Angles.

DD when she got her wings the Commander of the Blue Angles spoke.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:23 PM   #18
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Was it the last flight, or the last flight with the F-18 for the Blue Angles?
Actually, neither...sort of.

This was the last season the Blue Angels flew the F/A-18A aircraft. That model is regularly referred to the "legacy" Hornet.

Next season, the Blue Angels will be flying F/A-18F aircraft, commonly referred to as the "Super" Hornet. The Super Hornet is about 25% larger and has more powerful engines (along with numerous other advancements in capability).

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Old 11-19-2020, 10:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyM View Post
We lived on Pensacola Beach and then in Gulf Breeze for many years beginning in 1982. I remember a Blue Angel flying so low over the beach that he appeared to climb to clear a catamaran mast. This was before the F18. My memory was that he was flying a Phantom but I just checked a timeline and it would have been an A4 Whatever, it was massive and loud! Never tired of seeing (and hearing) the Blue Angels and was fortunate to see the Thunderbirds and others at nearby Eglin AFB. So impressive.
That's the first time I have ever heard an A-4 aka "Heinemann's Hot Rod" aka the "Scooter" aka the "Tinkertoy" described as massive. If you ever saw an A-4 flying formation with an F-14 from below or above you would immediately notice a wing of the A-4 was almost identical in size and shape as a horizontal stabilator of the F-14.
The F-4 was big and loud and put on a show emphasizing it's power. The A-4 was small and maneuverable putting on a more compact display in a smaller airspace closer to the audience where they could better see the precision of the maneuvers. Having never flown the F/A-18 I can only say my impression of the numerous shows I have seen them fly seem to fall somewhere in between.
I loved the single-seat A-4E Mongoose but hated to fly it cross- country as both my shoulders would be touching the aluminum canopy rails. At cruising altitude they would be ice cold. Fortunately, I seldom had to take it very far.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:22 AM   #20
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We have lucked out twice on air shows. We happened to be in Muami prior to a cruise the year they had the first air show at Homestead after it had been decommissioned. Wonderful show plus they had National Guard air craft on the ground to view. One air craft, a weather station , was called into service they closed up and took off.

A couple of years ago we stopped in Pensacola on our way hone and discovered it was the Blue Angels home coming we attended their last performance of the year.

Explained why we had trouble getting a campsite.
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:18 PM   #21
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A couple of years ago we stopped in Pensacola on our way hone and discovered it was the Blue Angels home coming we attended their last performance of the year.

Explained why we had trouble getting a campsite.
Was that in November of 2017? We were there for a squadron reunion.
We found it impossible to find a campsite within 50 miles. Thankfully the Walmart on N. Navy Blvd allowed us and another Class A to stay several days. We had one corner of the flat parking lot next to some nice foliage all to ourselves. Very quiet with not even a single car or van squatter.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:17 PM   #22
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That's the first time I have ever heard an A-4 aka "Heinemann's Hot Rod" aka the "Scooter" aka the "Tinkertoy" described as massive.
Thanks, now I'm even more confused As I said, my memory was of an F-4 but not being more than vaguely familiar with the various aircraft I looked up a timeline before I posted. What I read indicated they had moved on from the F-4 to the A-4 by that time. Anyway, whatever it was seemed low, loud and big at the time.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:28 PM   #23
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Thanks, now I'm even more confused As I said, my memory was of an F-4 but not being more than vaguely familiar with the various aircraft I looked up a timeline before I posted. What I read indicated they had moved on from the F-4 to the A-4 by that time. Anyway, whatever it was seemed low, loud and big at the time.
Hey, if you had fun that's all that counts.
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