Blue Angel On The Move: Yankee Air Museum Adds F/A-18 Hornet

The F/A -18 fuselage loaded on a trailer. Photo by Al Hudson via Yankee Air Museum
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Following close on the heals of our report covering the recent repaint of the Yankee Air Museum’s airworthy B-25 Mitchell, we have just received word that the museum has taken delivery of a retired F/A-18C Hornet which flew in the U.S. Navy’s famed Blue Angels aerial demonstration team. The aircraft arrived at the museum near Ypsilanti, Michigan on Wednesday, January 13th, following a nearly 1,000 mile journey by road from Pensacola, Florida; it represents another milestone addition to the museum’s significant collection.

We are honored to receive such an historic 4th gen. multi-role fighter for the museum’s collection. From its extensive combat history, to its assignment to the Blue Angels, and finishing its career flying the ‘America Strong’ flyovers, this is a true American piece of aviation history!exclaimed Kevin Walsh, President and CEO of Yankee Air Museum. Furthermore, this specific aircraft flew lead during the Blue Angels performance at the museum’s 2017 THUNDER OVER MICHIGAN Air Show.

The Blue Angels at Thunder Over Michigan in 2017. Photo by Al Hudson via Yankee Air Museum

The Blue Angels retired all of their legacy Hornets last November, and are now flying the more modern F/A-18E Super Hornets. The Yankee Air Museum is the last museum to receive a Blue Angel legacy Hornet on loan, but as readers might recall from our article last November, the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum was one of the first, obtaining their own example after its November 18th, 2020 flight to Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia for display at NASM’s Udvar-Hazy Center annex nearby.

The Yankee Air Museum’s example will remain on static display indefinitely. The particular Hornet is F/A-18C Bu.163485 which served with VFA-83 “Rampagers” during the first Gulf War in 1991. VFA-83 was then part of Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) aboard the aircraft carrier CV 60 USS Saratoga during its deployment to the Mediterranean and Red Sea between August 7th, 1990 and March 28th, 1991.

F/A-18C Hornets (BuNo 163485, 163495) from Strike Fighter Squadron 83 (VFA-83) “Rampagers” refuel from a U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker during a mission in the 1991 Gulf War.

About Yankee Air Museum:  Established in 1981 the Yankee Air Museum is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  The Yankee Air Museum dedicates itself to educating individuals through the history of American aeronautics, aerospace industry and its associated technologies while inspiring generations through personal experiences to instill pride in our national accomplishments. Yankee Air Museum, located at 47884 D Street, Belleville, Michigan on the grounds of historic Willow Run Airport. Visit to discover more or call 734-483-4030.


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