Former RAF Transport Aircraft Leaves UK To Join Blue Angels

The Blue Angels are the US Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron and are based at Pensacola in Florida.

A former Royal Air Force transport aircraft has departed for the United States to join the US Navy aerobatic team, the Blue Angels. 

The RAF said the C-130J Hercules will provide "crucial support" to the display team by carrying tools, spare parts and engineers, as well as taking part in displays. 

The aircraft was purchased by the US Navy from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) following a reduction in the size of the RAF's Hercules fleet. 

Prior to the delivery, the aircraft underwent an in-depth maintenance and has been painted in the iconic Blue Angels' livery.

"This C-130J aircraft served the Royal Air Force well over the years," said Chief of Materiel (Air), Air Marshal Sir Julian Young.

"I am delighted that following a refurb it will now go on to serve another military force.

"With its bright, new livery I'm sure the new Blue Angels C-130J will turn heads wherever it goes."

The aircraft will be based at the team's headquarters at Pensacola, Florida.

Members of the Blue Angels stand in front of the former RAF Hercules (Picture: RAF).

The Blue Angels are made up of US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel. 

There are 130 service members, across a variety of roles.

The team flies six F/A-18 Hornet jets during performances.

Last year, the RAF's Red Arrows met up with the Blue Angels a number of times during a tour of North America.

The two aerobatic teams shared the billing at New York, Chicago, St Louis and Miramar.

Four Red Arrows pilots even experienced training sorties in the rear seats of the Blue Angels' F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. 

Cover image: RAF.