LAKELAND, Fla. — The first airshow performance of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels' newest jet is being showcased in Lakeland.
Larger, more powerful, and faster the F/A-18E Super Hornet is the Navy's premier strike fighter. And its capabilities will be on full display for the first time anywhere in the world at the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo in Lakeland.
“Super Hornet is about 30% larger than the ‘legacy’ Hornet. So, it’s pretty cool seeing the Super Hornet in the delta because it’s a much larger aircraft. Pretty neat to see that, but performance wise it does have increased thrust, bigger engines and upgraded avionics as well,” said Maj. Rick Rose, United States Marine Corps Pilot.
The move to the Super Hornet is the first time the Blue Angels have changed aircraft in 35 years. Also making its debut is the C-130J Super Hercules also known as Fat Albert. But don’t let the name fool you.
“It can move and it goes fast and it will get off deck off the runway pretty quickly and stop on a dime,” said Maj. Rose said.
Many of the Blue Angels’ airshows were canceled due to COVID-19. They said their excited to be performing again and are able to celebrate their 75th anniversary with aviation enthusiasts in Lakeland.
“Showcase the precision and teamwork of our squadron. It’s all about the team, so kind of showcasing that to the public is an incredible honor for us and a privilege that’s what we love to do,” Maj. Rose said.
The Blue Angels said you can expect the same great airshow this weekend with a few surprises.
Their debut performances are happening Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18.