After months of preparations and discussions with the Navy, the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum (PRNAM) is thrilled to announce the addition of a retired Blue Angels aircraft to its flight line.
The FA-18B, formerly Blue Angel #7, took its final flight from Jacksonville, Florida and arrived at NAS Patuxent River June 10. Once proper actions were taken to defuel the aircraft, the Blue Angels demonstrator was brought to the PRNAM where it will remain for the foreseeable future.
Before arriving at Pax River, the aircraft was assigned at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE). Prior to that, it was assigned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Pax River and VMFAT-101 in California. The Blue Angel also received modifications at Pax River during its long career. Now after just a 1.9 hour flight, the aircraft is back at Pax — only this time it is to retire here.
The museum’s Executive Director Amy Davis described the recent addition to the museum’s flight line as “an exciting new exhibit that will highlight one of the most well known and highly esteemed programs of the U.S. Navy.”
The incorporation of the Blue Angel on the flight line will honor all those who have worked, and continue to work, on the Blue Angels Program at NAVAIR, as well as inspire generations to come.
“The arrival of the museum’s latest acquisition culminates several months of negotiations,” said Clark Jones, the museum’s supervisor of aircraft maintenance. “Organizations throughout the Navy were involved with bringing this to fruition and without their support, it wouldn’t have ended so successfully.”
Over the next few weeks, visitors can expect to see the fenced-in Blue Angel as the flight line maintenance team prepares the iconic aircraft for viewing by the general public. During this time, the museum asks guests to be respectful and patient during this laborious process. Guests can look forward to the final reveal of the exhibit in six to eight weeks.