Home Air Blue Angels’ new Fat Albert C-130J departs UK for the US

Blue Angels’ new Fat Albert C-130J departs UK for the US

Blue Angels Fat Albert
US Navy photo of the Fat Albert aircraft during a test flight in England

A former Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules converted to a dedicated “Fat Albert” aircraft for the US Navy’s Blue Angels aerobatic flight demonstration squadron has started the journey to its new home in the United States.

The C-130J was purchased by the US Navy from the UK defense ministry following the reduction in the size of the Royal Air Force Hercules fleet. Prior to delivery, Marshall Aerospace and Defence group at Cambridge carried out maintenance work and painted the aircraft in the iconic Blue Angel’s livery.

The US Navy purchased the aircraft under a $29.7 million contract from June 2019. The US Naval Air Systems Command said at the time that cost savings associated with acquisition of the used aircraft and other airworthiness requirements was approximately $50 million less than the cost of a new aircraft.

“The UK MOD was proud to work alongside multiple stakeholders to help deliver this great aircraft to the United States Navy Blue Angels. It really was a team effort from both sides of the Atlantic,” RAF Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, said.

“This C-130J aircraft served the Royal Air Force well over the years, and I am delighted that following a refurb it will now go on to serve another military force. With its bright, new livery I’m sure the new Blue Angels C-130J will turn heads wherever it goes.”

The last dedicated Fat Albert, a C-130T Hercules, retired May 2019 and now serves as a ground-based training platform in Fort Worth, Texas. The Blue Angels are flying Navy or Marine Corps C-130 Hercules assets until the new Fat Albert arrives.

The new aircraft took off from the Cambridge Airport’s runway 05 on August 4 and landed in Iceland for its first fuel stop. Following a transatlantic flight, Fat Albert will land at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, where the Blue Angels are based.

Photo: US Navy