Boeing will receive a contract to draw up the engineering plans needed to convert the single-seat Super Hornet into a configuration specific to the Blue Angels role, the navy said in a 3 December acquisition notice.The engineering work will support engineering change proposal 6480, which is entitled, “Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) Super Hornet Conversion”, the acquisition document shows.
The Blue Angels squadron is composed of a mix of one-seat F/A-18As and Cs and two-seat F/A-18Bs and Ds. The F/A-18A/B Hornets replaced the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk as the Blue Angels aircraft in 1986, and recently have been showing their age. Structural panels escaped from two different F/A-18As in aerial demonstrations a week part in late May and early June.
There’s a real shortage of legacy A/B/C/D Hornets in the fleet, and something of a surplus of early block E model Supers, so the Blues would trade a wee bit of agility for a much younger platform.