Museum to be Permanent Home to U.S. Navy F/A-18 Blue Angel

Technicians begin preparing the Museum's Blue Angel for the road trip from Florida.
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

Technicians begin preparing the Museum's Blue Angel for the road trip from Florida.
Technicians begin preparing the Museum’s Blue Angel for the road trip from Florida.

The National Naval Aviation Museum has granted The Museum of Flight the permanent loan of a McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C retired this year from the Blue Angels flight demonstration team. Distinguished as “Number 2” in the famous group of flyers, the big blue jet will be trucked from Pensacola, Fla. to the Museum this week. The aircraft will be partially disassembled for the trip, with its arrival at the Museum estimated to be Aug. 22. The plane will immediately be reassembled on the parking lot west of the Aviation Pavilion, and rolled directly into its new Pavilion within days. The public is invited to see the plane as it is being prepared for exhibition.

Please follow the Museum’s social media outlets for the latest news and photos of the plane on its journey across American and into the Museum’s Aviation Pavilion.

The plane-Navy registration number 163106-joined the Blue Angels in early 2004, and served with the team until 2016. The plane will be delivered to the Museum as Blue Number 2.This particular F/A-18 has a distinguished combat record. It was delivered to its first squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87, in 1986. It was used in combat operations during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Southern Watch over Iraq, and Operation Continue Hope in Somalia. The plane was also flown over Afghanistan after 9/11, and flew strikes over Iraq in 2003.

About the Museum of Flight

Founded in 1965, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The Museum’s collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today’s 787 Dreamliner. Attractions also include the original Boeing Company factory, and the world’s only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum’s aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 150,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum’s on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission for adults is $23 on-site and $21 online. Youth 5 through 17 are $14 on-site and $13 online, youth 4 and under are free. Seniors 65 and over $19 on-site and $18 online. Groups of ten or more: $21 per adult, $13 per youth, Thanks to Wells Fargo, on the first Thursday of every month, admission is free from 5 to 9 p.m. And parking is always free. There is a full lunch menu café in the Museum and a limited menu café in the Aviation Pavilion, both operated by McCormick & Schmick’s. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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