Blue Angels Get New “Fat Albert”


The U.S. Navy has announced a $29.7 million contract with United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (U.K. MOD) for a C-130J Super Hercules to serve as the Blue Angels Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron’s next “Fat Albert” logistics cargo plane. According to the U.S. Navy, acquiring a used aircraft to fill the role was approximately $50 million cheaper than the cost of a new aircraft. The new “Fat Albert” is scheduled for delivery in spring 2020.

“This is a win-win for the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense,” said PMA-207 program manager Capt. Steven Nassau. “Just as the Navy recognized the imminent need to replace the Fat Albert aircraft, the U.K. MOD was divesting of an American made C-130J aircraft, allowing us to acquire a suitable replacement aircraft at a major cost savings.”

The Blue Angels’ previous “Fat Albert,” a C-130T Hercules, was retired last May and is now serving as a ground-based training platform in Fort Worth, Texas. As previously reported by AVweb, the Blue Angels are also in the process of switching from F/A-18C/D Hornets to F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornets. The process of converting eleven Super Hornets for use as demonstration aircraft is expected to be completed by December 2021.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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