What the devil? The Blue Angel has landed in Ferndale, Michigan.
They sometimes call this bird, Bravo. Bravo indeed for the Detroit Science Center Exhibit Shop - a 25,000 square-foot full-service exhibit facility, where I work on exhibit content and design.
Technically, our latest acquisition - Blue Angels 7 - is the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet jet fighter, retired from service, now in the Navy fleet of planes displayed in museums. In flight, the Hornet (F/A for Fighter Attack) is a supersonic, all-weather, multi-task fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets.
The plane, valued at $36 million, will be the centerpiece of a new exhibit gallery designed to inspire young people to consider careers in technology and aerospace. To obtain the plane (on permanent loan) the Science Center went through an extensive, competitive process through the Naval Aviation Museum.
Length: 56 feet
Height: 15.3 feet
Wingspan 40.4 feet
Speed: MACH 1.7+
Combat Ceiling: 50,000 Ft.
Fuel Capacity: 11,000
Weight: 66,000 lbs.
At its reduced weight for display, the craft stands at nearly 10 tons. When fully refurbished, it will be transported to the Science Center, where windows of the building will be removed to provide entry. Mounted on a cantilever constructed over the science stage, Blue Angel 7 will be the first F/A-18 to be displayed in a Michigan museum.
Launch date is set for July. Will keep you posted.
Cranes, wings and wheels. Delivery of this bird is a long story in itself.
Ed - V.P. and Director of Exhibits, in a rare, playful moment.
Blue Angels on signature Delta Formation.
Blue Angel 7 seen in flight in 2007 air show over the San Francisco Bay.
Photos: V. Henoch
In-flight photos: Wiki
Thanks for flying by.