Look! Up in the Air! Navy Style

Earlier this spring, we took our RV to Montgomery, Alabama to see an air show at Maxwell Air Force Base which featured the USAF Thunderbirds.   Three weeks later we made a day trip to the  Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina for their air show featuring the United States Navy’s flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels.

This was my first time on a Marine Corps station and my first time seeing the Blue Angels perform. It was a thrilling day from beginning to end.

Before the performances began we wandered around the static displays featuring historic and modern aircraft from the Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

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USMC Osprey
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Spirit of America used in Berlin Airlift
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Historic USAF Plane
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USMC Helicopter
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We were able to get up close to this USAF Thunderbird on display

We were able to snag front row seats beside the runway. That meant some of the planes went right in front of us as they taxied to their position for takeoff. The USMC AV-88 Harrier II and the F-16 Viper were just two of the military aircraft that performed impressive demonstrations.

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The pilot waves to the crowd as he taxis down the runway before take off
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The Wild Weasel
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Hovering in front of the crowd
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Refueling Demonstration
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US Marine Corps Helicopter Demonstration

The Geico Skytypers and other performers kept us entertained for several hours.

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Geico Skytypers at MACS Beaufort Air Show
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Geico Skytypers at MACS Beaufort Air Show
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Love when the planes fly upside down
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These historic military planes put on a great show

The US Navy Blue Angels put on a fantastic show that wowed the crowd with each new formation. They flew by so fast it wasn’t until I got home and looked closely at my photos that I realized how really close together they fly. Their precision is just amazing.

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U. S. Navy Blue Angels

 

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I am so grateful we had the opportunity to see both the US Air Force Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels this year. Both teams will be performing at more air shows around the United States this year. If you have a chance to see a show near you, it will be a day you always remember.

National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Lighthouse

Blue Angels in the atrium

From the top of the walls of Fort Pickens we could look across Pensacola Bay and see the Pensacola Lighthouse. To get there by roads, we had to drive about 45 miles, crossing bridges and driving through downtown Pensacola before arriving at the Naval Air Station Pensacola where the museum and lighthouse are located.

National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum is one of the world’s largest aviation museums and has been rated by TripAdvisor as the number 12 museum in the United States. The history of U.S. Naval aviation comes alive with more than150 beautifully restored aircraft hanging from the ceiling and on display on the floor for close inspection. In addition to the aircraft there are exhibits including an Apollo Space exhibit, models of air craft carriers, flight simulators, an IMAX theater, and the Blue Angel 4D experience (great fun!).

National Museum of Naval Aviation
National Naval Aviation Museum
Old U. S. Naval Biplane
Old U. S. Naval Biplane
Old U. S. Naval Biplane
Old U. S. Naval Biplane
Flying Tiger from WWII
Flying Tiger from WWII
The Turtle
The Turtle
Helicopter from the U. S. Coast Guard
Helicopter from the U. S. Coast Guard
Marine 1 used by President Nixon
Marine 1 used by President Nixon
Blue Angels in the atrium
Blue Angels in the atrium
Up close with one of the Blue Angels
Up close with one of the Blue Angels
Apollo Lunar Module
Apollo Lunar Module
NASA Capsule
NASA Capsule
Pensacola Lighthouse
Pensacola Lighthouse
Pensacola Lighthouse

Across the road from the museum is the Pensacola Lighthouse. The lighthouse is still in use as an aid to navigation. We had planned on climbing the 177 steps to the top but the tower was closed for renovations the day we visited. We wandered around the grounds and visited the keeper’s cottage before walking across a boardwalk to the beach for a look back at the lighthouse.

Pensacola Lighthouse
Pensacola Lighthouse

Next up, a wrap  up of our Ft. Pickens stay.