The Blue Angels is the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron. It was formed in 1946, making it the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team (flying under the same name) in the world. The Blue Angels' six demonstration pilots fly the F/A-18 Hornet in more than 70 shows at 34 locations throughout the United States each year, where they still employ many of the same practices and techniques used in their aerial displays in 1946. An estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each year. The Blue Angels also visit more than 50,000 people a show season (March through November) in schools and hospitals. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators.
The mission of the Blue Angels is to enhance Navy and Marine Corps recruiting, and credibly represent Navy and Marine Corps aviation to the United States and its Armed Forces to America and other countries.
The Blue Angels use a United States Marine Corps C-130T Hercules, nicknamed "Fat Albert", for their logistics, carrying spare parts, equipment, and to carry support personnel between shows. Beginning in 1975, "Bert" was used for Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO) and short aerial demonstrations just prior to the main event at selected venues. "Fat Albert Airlines" flies with an all-Marine crew of three officers and five enlisted personnel.