The Blue Angels – Book Review
Book Review: The Blue Angels: A Fly By History, Sixty Years of Aerial Excellence
Zenith Press, 2005
The Blue Angels are unarguably one of the greatest aerial acrobatic teams in the world. The Blues have flown just about every combat plane flown by the United States Navy with the exception of the F-14 Tomcat. The Blue Angels: A Fly By History, Sixty Years of Aerial Excellence details the history of the group in photos and text. From the vulnerable F6F Hellcat from Grumman which had gold leaf lettering and the temperamental F8F Bearcat whose performance could, and did, lead to disaster and the first Blue Angel to die with the squadron, up to today’s F-18 Hornets. Lavishly illustrated with black and white and color photography the text comes alive through the use of interviews with the various pilots who have flown for the Blue Angels.
The book is also full of sidebars with either technical data for the aircraft used or descriptions of aerial maneuvers. A special treat is in the indexes which not only list every pilot who has flown for the Blue Angels, but also the other officers who toil in the background for no fame, but whose contributions meant that the Angels achieved an envious flight record of any squadron. Another treat in the indexes was the tail number of every Blue Angel aircraft which is surely a modelers dream. One of the things I didn’t know was the Blue Angels did not receive brand new aircraft (the temperamental F8F Bearcat being one of the exceptions) but planes nearing the end of their service life. After their tour with the Blues is done; the aircraft either go to museums or to training depots where the next generation of mechanics and technicians are trained for the U. S. Navy.
Technically speaking the book is free of typographical errors or grammatical mistakes. The illustrations add depth and flavor to the text and are crisp and clear. With a list price of $34.95 the book is in the price range for most people wanting to learn about the Blue Angels. The book is highly recommended.