Chennault International Air Show Announces Blue Angels Headlining
The Chennault Airport announced that the next airshow will feature none other than the United States Navy's Blue Angels as their headliner. The show will be held June 4 through June 6 in 2021. The airshow's executive team has been working for quite a few years to bring the fabled angels back to the southwest Louisiana area.
The headliner should not only bring in a larger audience, but attract other larger aerial demonstrators that perhaps have not made an appearance at the air show before. Preparation for the 2021 show began in 2019. When the International Air Show returned in 2013, it became a biannual event, being held on odd-numbered years.
Not only will the Angels be headed to SWLA, but they will also be flying in new aircraft for their Lake Charles appearance. In August of 2018, Boeing was put in charge of the new wings for the team. The new planes will be nine single seat F/A-18E Super Hornets and two F/A-18F two-seaters. The scheduled completion date for the planes from Boeing is 2021.
The team was formed in April 1946 as a Navy Flight Exhibition team, and in July flew their first air show mission introduced at the Blue Angels. The first planes were all propeller, and did not become jet powered until 1949 when they switched to Grumman Panthers. In 1973, the organization was officially commissioned at the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron in 1973. Each member of the team are made up of Navy and Marine Corps units. The pilots must have served two to three years and must formally apply for the position. Pilots must also have at least 1,250 hours in a jet, and be carrier certified to even apply. After selection, applicants are chosen to shadow for a year before they are voted in or out on the team. During their off time, training is done in California where all pilots must train twice a day, size days a week. They are required to fly 120 training missions before being able to perform.