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The Milwaukee Air Expo 05

This strikingly painted C-130, is fat Albert, the support plane for the Blue Angels. This plane holds tools, spares, fuel, and also houses, or at least transports, mechanics, and support staff. Because Fat Albert holds all of the support staff and gear, the Blue Angel pilots are able to simply fly from show to show in their aircraft.
It's Fat Albert

The Blue Angel Team
Here they are. This is the centerpiece event of the afternoon and of the airshow. These are the Blue Angels. The aircraft that they are flying are F-18 Hornets. This is the current Navy multi role carrier based aircraft, and as such is one of the world's most capable warplanes. The angels began their show just after 4:00, and a good thing it was. By this time much of the haze of the day had burned off, allowing for much more vivid photographs, with a bit more clarity than had been possible earlier in the day.

Length: 60.3 feet
Height: 16 feet
Maximum Take Off Gross Weight: 66,000 pounds
Wingspan: 44.9 feet
Combat: 1,275 nautical miles
Ferry: 1,660 nautical miles
Ceiling: 50,000+ feet
Speed: Mach 1.8+

Our first view of the Blue Angels as they fly over from  the airport. This photo makes it appear that they have picked up an extra member, flying in formation with the rest of the group.

The six aircraft divided themselves into two groups. The main group, shown here, consisted of four planes.

The second group was made up of the remaining two planes. These two planes did many of the stunts, and  occasionally joined up with the main group.

The crowd watches as the planes of the smaller group head straight towards each other at very high speed, passing within a hair of each other.

A closer look as the two panes pass, now beginning to rapidly draw away from each other.

Though the larger group was not as flamboyant as the smaller, the constant close formation flying was probably more difficult than the smaller group's more spectacular high speed stunts.

The smaller group flies off over the city, preparing for a spectacular entrance, while the larger group shows us formation flying.

The two wild planes show just how close they can follow. At several hundred mile per hour, this is no small feat. Or perhaps it is the way that planes mate.

The rest of the team shows that, they too, are able to fly pretty close.

Looking something like a freeway rush hour, after a winter storm, this is certainly nothing for the faint of heart to try.

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