F/A-18 Blue Angels cockpit


By Dario Leone
Jul 14 2017
Share this article

The Blue Angels announced last year that they will upgrade to Super Hornet soon

Taken on Jun. 30, 2017 from inside the cockpit of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 “Legacy” Hornet, the cool main picture of this article was shot as the jet was on its way back to the service flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, after center barrel rework at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).

The interesting photo at the bottom of the article instead features Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) workers hoisting a damaged F/A-18 Blue Angel on Jun. 29. The aircraft was involved in a bird strike at an air show in Shreveport Louisiana in May and was transported via flatbed truck to FRCSE for repairs.

Noteworthy, as we have previously explained, the Blue Angels announced last year that they will upgrade to Super Hornet soon.

As the actual jets, the new aircraft will be modified into a configuration specific to the Blue Angels role that requires the installation of a smoke generator and the removal of the fighter’s gun and missile launchers.

Still, the Rhino (as the Super Hornet is dubbed by its aircrews) is something more than the Legacy Hornet younger brother. In fact when it is strictly compared to the F/A-18A/B/C/D, the F/A-18E/F is 25 percent larger and the two General Electric F414-GE-400 engines have increased the aircraft thrust of 35 percent over the older model. Moreover an enhanced fuel capacity boosts the Super Hornet mission range.

Nevertheless all these improvements have made the “Super” heavier than the “Legacy” Hornet and because of its extra weight making of the Rhino the new aircraft of the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron could be a difficult task.

Photo credit: Victor Pitts / U.S. Navy and Vern via The Tailhook Association Facebook Page / U.S. Navy

Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. slipperyjimdigris says:

    the first photo is photoshopped or the pilot neglected to remove the canopy jettison handle safety pin!

Share this article

Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Error: Contact form not found.

Share this article
Back to top
My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate. In addition, this site installs Google Analytics in version 4 (GA4) with anonymous data transmission via proxy. By giving your consent, the data will be sent anonymously, thus protecting your privacy. We and our selected ad partners can store and/or access information on your device, such as cookies, unique identifiers, browsing data. You can always choose the specific purposes related to profiling by accessing the advertising preferences panel, and you can always withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on "Manage consent" at the bottom of the page.

List of some possible advertising permissions:

You can consult: our list of advertising partners, the Cookie Policy and the Privacy Policy.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices