Blue Angels and Air Force F-35 Performance Preview for Air Show

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: July 18, 2019 06:27 PM

The Duluth Air Show starts this weekend and performers like the Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force F-35's have landed in the Northland.


The pilots of the F-18's and F-35's said the show will keep you on the edge of your seat.

"The U.S. Air Force F-35A is a fifth generation airplane. It's the newest and most advanced fighter jet in the world. It's a fifth generation fighter, which means it's stealthy and has sensor fusion," Andrew Olson, the U.S. Air Force F-35 demonstration team commander and pilot, said.

"The fastest the F-18 goes is 1400 miles per hour but during the show it's going to be going 700 miles per hour and the lowest it's going to be is 50 feet off the ground," Stephen Reardon, A U.S. Navy First Class Petty Officer, said.

Reardon is a Minnesotan. He's from Rosemont and was excited to be back home for the air show.

"I'm from this area so I know what the people are like and talked to the crew and we're all excited, the people are great," Reardon said.

"Our goal is to bring a little of the Navy Marine Corps to Duluth and show you the great things that happen in the Navy Marine Corps," Eric Doyle, a Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader, said.

The Blue Angels are a popular performance that thousands of people look forward to watching.This year they'll be putting on a 45 minute performance showcasing the F-18's capabilities.

"The F-18 has been our work course for a long time. We've been flying that for over 30 years in the Navy Marine Corps. It's been part of our team for 33 years and it's a great airplane, we love flying it," Doyle said.

The U.S. Air Force's F-35's are back in Duluth this year. The planes go 1.6 times the speed of sound.They have the biggest motor ever put in a fighter jet. Pilots of the F-35 said everyone will be feeling its full force during the show.

"When it takes off, by far it's going to be the loudest airplane and you're going to feel it in your chest," Olson said. "It'll be going 740 miles per hour and as slow as 70 miles per hour. It's going to look like it's falling out of the sky but in complete control."

The F-35 will start off on its own with a 15 minute performance, then it'll team up with another plane in the show for an adrenaline packed performance.

"There's going to be a P-51 World War II era airplane flying around and I'm going to rejoin on that thing and we're going to fly fingertip close," Olson said.

What performers are looking forward to the most besides flying their planes, is the interaction with the crowds.

"It's a flow of energy that reinvigorates me and the entire team. Inspiring people, little kids, and all the way up to grown ups is super fun," Olson said.

"I see myself as a four-year-old kid that came to the air shows like this and was inspired to do something awesome. Watching the Blue Angels at a young age, they did that for me so it's fun to be able to pay that back to a little kid and seeing those crowds," Doyle said.


Alejandra Palacios

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