Blue Angels Thunderbirds Flybys Explained

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description
Blue Angels Thunderbirds Flybys Explained 5

In late April 2020, the Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds dazzled the country with a series of 12-ship flybys of major American cities. In this video, former Thunderbirds commanding officer Richard McSpadden comments on what it takes to fly those demos and formations.

💬 Comments on the video

Sir, just want to say I recently discovered your channel and greatly appreciate your content. As a student pilot this is a wealth of information. I really enjoy learning from your “safety/accident” oriented videos. Again, as a student pilot that is a bit older than most and a combat veteran, I can certainly appreciate your analysis of the aeronautical decision making with regards to the risk involved in many of the scenarios you review. Thank you for this channel. You’ve got a new subscriber.

Author — Army4Runner


I live in celina texas, I went into town into Mckinney to get some things, and right as I got into the area I see some planes in the distance flying away from me with the smokes on. The secret I get into town I get stuck in the traffic of everyone leaving uuughhh. Why didn't I knowwww

Author — Anna M


Great video! Thank you for the top notch commentary Paul!

Author — Joseph Tucker


Great video! I was watching for the 104th Fighter Wing F-15's up here in MA - they were flying to Worcester from eastern MA, and then off to Springfield / Westover. Was hoping to see them, but we were a bit too far north. I heard the distant rumble only briefly.

The skill shown in the video blows my mind! Just amazing! Thanks for sharing! 👍🍻

Author — Smitty Smithsonite


I was surprised to see the high amount of throttle input needed! AWSOME

Author — Dunes4321


Great video! Love when USAF and NAVY represent so well

Author — TheAirForce1


Paul you rock bro! I could watch these all day. Thank you

Author — Brian Woods


They fly with Stratus! That's either cool or frightening.

Author — SquawkCode


It's great how world wide calamity brings opposing sides together!
2 heads better n 1, house divided cannot stand, n all that.
Oh, wait. Oh. So, nevermind....

Author — Jameson Pace


When flying good / tight formations, there are usually 2-3 reference points the pilots use for position keeping, such as down the wing’s leading edge and lining up the engine exhaust rings, as well as a preferred vertical stack, such as putting the horizon through the lead pilot’s head or just below the lead’s fuselage. The Blues have “contracts” to stay in position as exact as putting the wingtip missile rail on a certain letter on the lead aircraft’s canopy rail. It varies with every formation, but the slot pilot could be just maintaining his position and that’s why you see him looking forward and left a so much. Great video!

Author — Porkins Red Six


the angels do shows over my house twice a year in Annapolis to celebrate the Naval Academy. They are so cool and worth seeking out if you have never seen one of their shows.
Go Navy beat Army!

Author — Mr. Safer


Incredible skill and training. I’ve never had the opportunity to see the thunderbirds or blue angels, but I’m lucky enough to have see the Red Arrows several times a year for many years.

Author — Matt Hayward


Fantastic seeing this explained!! Thanks Paul!

Author — Michael Livote


I met the blue angels crew 3 years ago. Not sure if they’re the same guys. But they were such awesome dudes.

Author — Jacob Scrapchansky


Undoubtedly the pilots also have to deal with turbulence from aircraft ahead of them, including wingtip vortices. The lead pilot gets to slice into undisturbed air (which may also have a little turbulence of its own from convective activity), but the ones behind have additional challenges. A lot of skill is demonstrated there.

Author — Vladimir O'Brien


In Vegas we didn't get Blue Angelo, only Thunderbirds. They made up for it by doing low fly bys for around 13 hospitals. It was amazing to see that. I can't imagine the work that went into pulling off that level of formation flying with that many points of low passes in fighter jets.

Author — Nicholas Kaiser


It never made any sense to me why the aviation industry did not go to the side stick for all fighter aircraft. It just looks so bizarre to me with the stick in between the pilots legs knowing that is not the optimal position for it to be. It seems that every F-16 fighter jock I ever talked to says it's the greatest advancement in cockpit ergonomics. What do you think?

Author — Ronald Tartaglia


Astonishing discipline, skill and trust.

Author — Bob Gilchrist


We should be showing financial restraint as a nation not to encourage mass gatherings during the peak of pandemic with no cure yet, while spending 8-10 jets at $10, 000/min. I love them but we have people starving on the ground?

Author — Rex Irby


Sure is cool, but simply "bread and circus" for the ignorant peasants

Author — Spinnetti