After just a little over a year since the replacement was announced, the Blue Angels are preparing to receive the new C-130J that will replace the C-130T “Fat Albert”.
The Blue Angels released the picture of their latest Fat Albert on their Facebook page on June 30, 2020. The aircraft is presently at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group’s facility at Cambridge City Airport in the United Kingdom, where it is undergoing final fit checks.
The new photos provide a better look at the new livery that has introduced some pretty evident changes from the previous C-130T paint scheme: the flight surfaces’ yellow tips; two yellow stripes along the fuselage, instead of the old single stripe; the white top changed to a tear drop design; the “Blue Angels” marking in yellow instead of blue.
Here’s a cool timelapse video thar features the reveal of the new blue angels C-130j fat albert
After completing the scheduled maintenance tests (that include an aircraft systems operational check out and a functional check flight) the new Fat Albert will undertake the transatlantic flight to reach the team’s homebase at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.
The Navy formally acquired this ex-U.K. Royal Air Force C-130J as the Blue Angels next Fat Albert in 2019 at the cost of around $29.7 million.
The U.K. Ministry of Defense had previously decided to retire all of the RAF’s short-fuselage J models, which that service had designated Hercules C5s, based on the recommendations of the country’s 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review. It has now revised that plan to retain one of the Hercules C5s through at least 2021. The RAF will also continue to fly 14 long-fuselage C-130J-30s, which it calls Hercules C4s.
It remains uncertain, especially given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when the Blue Angels’ latest Fat Albert will make its public debut.