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Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Sat Feb 09, 2002 10:56 pm

For those of you who have seen both of these teams perform, which did you enjoy more?

I have seen the Thunderbirds on numerous occasions(even had the opportunity to listen to the radio calls used to coordinate maneuvers) so I am very familiar with their performance. However, I've never seen the Blue Angels demonstration. The Thunderbirds seem to focus mostly on precision maneuvers and utilizing viewing angle illusions to enhance the show. I've heard the Blue Angels is a more rugged show that seems to rely more on stunt-like maneuvers.

Anyone care to share opinions?
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RE: Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Sun Feb 10, 2002 2:32 am

I saw the Thunderbirds first and thought it was awesome. Then I saw the Blue Angels and it was an entirely higher level as far as I'm concerned. I can't really pinpoint a reason why, but I think the Blue Angels were much better.
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RE: Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Sun Feb 10, 2002 4:04 am

Thee Blue Angels do the best show. The formation flying appears tighter and more precise. The T'birds show seems more distant, a going through the motions type thing. Having said that I was lucky to go see the RAF Red Arrows this past summer at a UK show...They were excellent....Right up there with the BA's.
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RE: Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Sun Feb 10, 2002 2:36 pm

Does anyone know if/when the Thunderbirds are going to replace their F-16s? If so, what will they replace them with? JSF? F-22?

Topic Author
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RE: Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Sun Feb 10, 2002 11:10 pm

I would not expect the Thunderbirds to change to a different aircraft anytime soon. For what they do, the F-16 is such a perfect aircraft. Sure, it will one day become too old, but there is still a lot of life left in the Falcon. Especially with the level and quality of maintenance the team performs.

My guess for the next aircraft would probably be the JSF for one simple reason--they may not have any other choices when that time comes. The F-22 will probably be too expensive to dedicate eleven jets to the team. The JSF is the only other new fighter...for now.
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RE: Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Mon Feb 11, 2002 12:26 am

At the Fort Lauderdale Airshow every year they rotate.I have seen both often,both are great, but I think the Blue Angels for some reason are more exciteing!
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RE: Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Mon Feb 11, 2002 3:07 am

I first saw the T-birds when they flew F-100's and the B.A.'s flew F-11's. Numerous airports, but to me the best show is Fleet Week in SFO. 750 mph.from the Golden Gate Bridge sucking water into the air, 1/4 mile radius turn in front of Alcatraz, and coming in unheard at a real high speed from behind you. You can see some pics @ http://www.steehouwer.com
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 9:40 am


Mon Feb 11, 2002 3:18 am

Great site...got me warmed up for the upcoming show season. First stop--Tyndall AFB(March23). Blue Angels, Patty Wagstaff, Dave Dacy, MiG-29 and.....an F-22 on display!!

Link: http://www.gulfcoastsalute.homestead.com/
Posts: 1978
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RE: A Different A/c

Mon Feb 11, 2002 5:07 am

I wonder if the T'birds (and the B.A.'s) would consider using something like the T-45 Goshawk. It would be similar to the A-4's the Blue's flew for a number of years. An advanced training aircraft can do all of the tactical manuvers, just at a lower speed which tends to be better for the arishow crowd, not to mention being cheaper to operate.
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RE: A Different A/c (Not A Chance)

Mon Feb 11, 2002 5:46 am

There's no way the teams would switch to something like the T-45.

The Thunderbirds once flew the T-38 Talon(Trainer). That aircraft was involved in the team's worst accident (the Diamond crash). At that time, the Air Force practically begged to get the team into a fighter-type aircraft.

The F-16, in my opinion, is the most perfect aircraft for the Thunderbirds to fly. Plenty of power, lots of noise and agility to match most any other aircraft.

Also, you can't forget why these teams exist in the first place--to demonstrate the professionalism of the US Air Force and as an enhancement to recruiting. Flying around in some unimpressive, slow (and ugly) training aircraft would accomplish neither.
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RE: Thunderbirds / Blue Angels

Mon Feb 11, 2002 10:54 am

I do know this, the two teams trade off every other year at the Cleveland National Airshow on Labor Day weekend....Blue Angels one year, T-Birds the next.

The Thunderbirds fly above downtown as part of their manouvers.

The Blue Angels fly through downtown.

Does that help?  Wink/being sarcastic

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