The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team is replacing the team’s “Fat Albert” transport plane and the new plane is almost ready to fly home. The ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Super Hercules will replace an older model C-130T as the team’s official chaperone. Fat Albert flies everywhere the team flies, carrying maintainers, spare parts, luggage, and other items as the Blues travel across America during airshow season.
The plane, according to The Aviationist, is currently undergoing test flights in the United Kingdom. The C-130J Super Hercules was originally built in the United States and entered Royal Air Force service as RAF Hercules C5 ZH885. The RAF mothballed its older C-130Js early, relying on the longer C-130J-30 instead. Meanwhile the Blue Angels’ own aging C-130T was facing obsolescence, with the U.S. Navy and Marine set to retire their small fleet of -T transports in the early 2020s. The U.S. Navy offered to buy a C-130J from the RAF and the two services made a deal.
Source: Popular Mechanics.