Blue Angels Headline 2010 Vectren Dayton Air Show





Blue Angels Headline 2010 Vectren Dayton Air Show

By Daniel Guevarra
United States Navy's Blue Angels

December 8, 2009 - Vectren Dayton Air Show officials have learned that the world renowned US Navy Blue Angels will appear at the 2010 Vectren Dayton Air Show Presented by Kroger on July 17th and 18th.

The announcement was made at the International Council of Air Shows’ annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Last appearing in Dayton in 2006, the celebrated US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is eagerly sought after by air show venues all over the world.  

Performing at 35 show sites during the season, the Blue Angels have been seen by over 400 million spectators since their first demonstration in 1946. Thrilling audiences for over 60 years, the Blue Angels fly six powerful F/A–18 Hornets during their tightly choreographed, high-energy demonstration.


New to Dayton in 2010 will be Pirated Skies, an innovative wing-walking act complete with costumed performers, Kyle Franklin, playing Captain Kyro and his wife, Amanda Younkin-Franklin, portraying his lovely lady. Kyle and Amanda are the children of air show legends Jimmy Franklin and Bobby Younkin. Jimmy and Bobby were both killed in 2005 during an air show in Canada. Kyle and Amanda continue as the third generation of aviators in both families. Their intriguing routine will also feature the Waco “Mystery Ship”. The big bi-plane built in 1940 in Troy, Ohio has undergone numerous modifications over the years and will also be flown by Kyle in a solo routine. 

Also added to the lineup is Greg Poe, who will put his new Fagen ethanol-powered MX-2 monoplane through its paces with exhilarating aerobatic maneuvers. A world record holder in multiple aerobatic categories, Greg has also been featured on television on such shows as Modern Marvels, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and The Discovery Channel. “This is a fantastic beginning of a blockbuster lineup,” stated Michael Emoff, Chairman of the United States Air & Trade Show Board of Trustees, the governing organization of the show. “It’s just terrific to have the Blues come back to Dayton after three years, and soon the show expects to add more stars to the program,” he added.

The United States Navy's Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, popularly known as the Blue Angels, first performed in 1946 and is currently the oldest flying aerobatic team. The squadron's six demonstration pilots fly the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet in more than 70 shows at 34 locations throughout the United States each year, where they still employ many of the same practices and techniques used in their aerial displays in 1946. Since their inception, the "Blues" have flown a variety of different aircraft types for more than 427 million spectators worldwide. 


The Blue Angels show season runs each year from March until November. They perform at military and civilian airfields, and often perform directly over major cities such as San Francisco and Seattle during "Fleet Week" maritime festivals. During the aerobatic demonstration, the Blue Angels operate six FA-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the Diamond (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 and those performed by the Solos. The Diamond, in tight formation and usually at lower speeds, performs maneuvers such as formation loops, barrel rolls, and transitions from one formation to another.  

The Solos fly many of their maneuvers just under the speed of sound, showcasing the high performance capabilities of their individual Hornets through the execution of high-speed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls, and very tight turns. Some of the maneuvers include both solo F/A-18s 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 near the end of the show for a number of maneuvers in the Delta formation. 

The parameters of each show must be tailored to local weather: 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 an 8,000-foot (2,400 m) ceiling and visibility of 3 nautical miles (6 km) from the show's centerpoint. "Low" and "flat" ceilings are 3,500 and 1,500 feet (460 m) respectively. 

When initially formed, the unit was called the Navy Flight Exhibition Team. The squadron was officially redesignated as the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron in December 1974. The original team adopted the nickname Blue Angels in 1946, when one of them came across the name of New York City's Blue Angel nightclub in the New Yorker Magazine. The team introduced themselves as the "Blue Angels" to the public for the first time on July 21, 1946 in Omaha, Nebraska. 

The official Blue Angels insignia was designed by then team leader Lt. Cmdr. R.E. "Dusty" Rhodes and approved by CNO in 1949. It is nearly identical to the current design. In the cloud in the upper right quadrant, the aircraft were originally shown heading down and to the right. Over the years, the plane silhouettes have changed along with the squadron's aircraft. Additionally, the lower left quadrant, which contains the Chief of Naval Air Training insignia, has occasionally contained only Naval Aviator wings. 

Originally, demonstration aircraft were navy blue (nearly black) with gold lettering. The current shades of blue and yellow were adopted when the team transitioned to the Bearcat in 1946. For a single year in 1949, the team performed in a blinding all-yellow scheme with blue markings. The current paint scheme, including yellow stripe markings along the top of the fuselage, and "U.S. Navy" on the bottom of the wings, was designed by team member Robert L. Rasmussen in 1957.

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