Blue Angels' Classic F/A-18 Hornets Take Final Flights After 34 Years

The Blue Angels fly a delta formation in their F/A-18 Hornets
Blue Angels pilots fly their F/A-18 Hornets in a delta formation during a training flight over Pensacola, Florida, on Oct. 23, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Terrence Siren)

The legacy F/A-18 Hornets that have wowed Blue Angels spectators for more than three decades will make their final flight Wednesday.

The Navy's flight demonstration squadron will take to the skies in the F/A-18 A/B/C/D Hornets for the last time during a 30-minute flight over Florida and Alabama. The flight will mark the Blue Angels' official transition to F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

The team got its first Super Hornet in July.

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"We are incredibly honored to have the opportunity to salute those teams who have flown, maintained and supported this platform for over three decades of service," Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, the Blue Angels' commanding officer and flight leader, said in a statement about the flight. "We deeply appreciate the expertise and operational knowledge Blue Angels past and present have brought to the team, and we look forward to enhancing our operations as we fully transition to flying the Super Hornet."

    Fans should be able to spot the team between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday at multiple spots after they take off from Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

    Viewing locations include Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan in Alabama, along with Ferry Pass, Navarre Beach, Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key, Community Maritime Park, and Palafox Street in downtown Pensacola in Florida.

    In a news release, Navy officials reminded anyone stopping to catch the flyovers to follow coronavirus health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommend wearing face masks and maintaining at least six feet of distance between people.

    The Blue Angels will kick off the 2021 season, which will be the team's 75th anniversary, in their new Super Hornets. They're scheduled to start their winter training syllabus in Pensacola on Nov. 16, with plans to head to their winter training site in El Centro, California, in January.

    -- Gina Harkins can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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