The US Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Blue Angels, has amazed audiences with incredible aerial performances since their debut in 1946 flying the propeller-driven F6F Hellcat. In the 73 years since, the team has transitioned to the Bearcat and then jets including the Panther, Cougar, Tiger, Phantom II and Skyhawk. For the last 33 years the team has operated the Hornet. With each new aircraft comes several changes, seen and unseen, to their routine and how contingencies are handled.
On this episode, US Navy Captain Ryan “Little Guido” Bernacchi joins us to discuss the ongoing efforts to transition the team to their future aircraft: the F/A-18 Super Hornet. As the Blue Angels commanding officer during the 2016 and 2017 show seasons, Little Guido is uniquely suited to lead the effort that involves numerous Naval Aviation Enterprise stakeholders and hundreds of simulator hours to prepare the maneuvers and in-flight contingency plans. With an appreciation of the immense behind-the-scenes efforts required, you may never again watch a Blue Angels performance in quite the same way.
Due to the longer interview, no listener questions were addressed on this episode. Bonus segments of co-host Sunshine’s interview with Little Guido are available on our Patreon page.
Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell. Adapted US Navy artwork.