At our most recent Don Davis Squadron reunion we were privileged to visit the Blue Angels squadron operating spaces. Additionally, we all go to see the iconic “Fat Albert.” Recent article (paraphrased below) provides some interesting details regarding our beloved partner of the team. We were all able to participate in viewing some of the final days of Albert’s history!
The Navy Flight Demonstration Team’s beloved C-130T cargo plane (BuNo 164763), better known by its Fat Albert nickname, has taken to the skies for the last time. The iconic blue, white, and gold Hercules transport was flown from the Blue Angels’ home base at NAS Pensacola in Florida to Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in Texas where it will spend the rest of its life as a ground training aid.
Since this particular airframe took over the role of Fat Albert in 2002, it has flown over 30,000 hours in support of the Blue Angels mission and performed in front of millions of people at air show locations all over the world. It was also the last Navy or Marine C-130s to execute a jet-assisted takeoff—a highlight of the Blue Angels’ shows up until 2009 when surplus JATO bottle stocks finally ran out.
Fat Albert didn’t just move the team and its gear around from location to location, it also served as the high-profile unit’s on-demand airlift service, often shagging urgently needed spare parts and other items on short notice because ‘the show must go on.’ It even carried the bodies of fallen comrades home when disaster struck