SEATTLE — On Nov. 17, 2017, the Museum of Flight‘s Navy F/A-18C Blue Angel was relocated from a corner in the Aviation Pavilion to its new home on free display atop a pedestal near the museum’s south lawn entrance.
Canted skyward to a height of almost four stories, the plane is a tribute to the Blue Angels and the spirit of flight.
This particular F/A-18 Hornet joined the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight team in early 2004, and served with them until 2016.
Nicknamed Holly by its Blue Angels crew, Holly was a fixture in Seattle skies during the city’s annual Seafair air shows. The plane has been exhibited in the museum’s Aviation Pavilion since August 2016.
Number 2 has a distinguished combat record. It was delivered to its first squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87, in 1986. It was used in combat operations during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Southern Watch over Iraq, and Operation Continue Hope in Somalia. The plane was also flown over Afghanistan after 9/11, and flew strikes over Iraq in 2003.
Founded in 1965, the Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The museum’s collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today’s 787 Dreamliner. Attractions at the 20-acre, five-building Seattle campus include the original Boeing Company factory, and the only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, and the only display of engines that launched Apollo astronauts to the Moon.