Blue Angel air-crobats plan show here in '07
The Navy's aerial demonstration team, the Blue Angels, will perform over Oahu next year, the second elite air unit to announce a trip to the Islands this week.
The Air Force's Thunderbirds will perform their intricate aerial maneuvers off Waikiki on Sept. 15 and a month later the Blue Angels will zoom over the skies at Kaneohe Bay Oct. 13-14.
THE F-18 HORNET
Prime contractor: Boeing
Power plant: Two General Electric turbofan engines
Length: 56 feet
Height: 15.3 feet
Wingspan: 40.4 feet (with missiles)
Wing area: 400 square feet
Speed: Mach 1.7+ (1,200 mph)
First flight: November 1978
Crew: One (two in trainer version)
Source: U.S. Navy
The last time the Blue Angels performed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe was in October 2004.
The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform 66 demonstrations at 35 air shows throughout the United States.
The team is stationed at Forrest Sherman Field at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida during the show season.
However, the squadron spends January through March training pilots and new team members at El Centro Naval Air Facility in California.
Sixteen officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels.
"We are very excited that the Blue Angels are coming back to Kaneohe Bay," said Marine Col. Mark A. Dungan, deputy commander at the Kaneohe Bay base.
"The 2004 show was a very positive event, and we are happy to again have the opportunity to thank the community for their support and show them some of the amazing things the Navy-Marine Corps Team can do."
The last time the Thunderbirds performed off Waikiki Beach was in 1997, although it did put on an air show at Hickam Air Force Base in 2003. The Thunderbirds aerial show is part of a weeklong celebration in September marking the 60th birthday of the Air Force.
Altogether, 223 aviators have served on the team since it was formed by Adm. Chester Nimitz in 1946.
Last month, the Blue Angels held a reunion and an air show at Pensacola to mark the team's 60th anniversary.