The Blue Angels chose the A-4 in the early '70s, replacing the thundering F-4. By adopting the Skyhawk, the team now had an aircraft that was much more aerobatic than before. This allowed for a tighter display and the ability to keep much of the performance in front of the audience.
The A-4 Skyhawk was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Corporation and was designed by Ed Heinemann. Its primary users are United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Its maiden flight happened on the 22nd of June 1954 but it was introduced in 1956.
The A-4 Skyhawk is a lightweight, single engine attack aircraft. It is said to be one of the most famous attack aircrafts ever designed. The short range attack and close support aircraft was originally intended for the U.S. Navy and Marine forces. The A-4F variant was a refinement of A-4E. It has extra avionics housed in a hump on the fuselage spine. Some of this variant served with Blue Angels acrobatic team during 1973 to 1986.
The Blue Angels are the best U.S. military aerobatic team. They fly different kind of aircrafts including Grumman Hellcats, Bearcat, Panther, and the Skyhawk. The A-4 Skyhawk was chosen in the early 70s over F-4 as Skyhawk is said to be more fuel efficient than the Phantom. It was chosen because it was the aircraft that was more appropriate that time in the midst of an oil crisis. With the A-4 used by the team, different display was done. The Skyhawk was more aerobatic than the other aircraft. This allowed them to have a tighter display and be able to keep their performance in front of the audience.
The pilots of the Blue Angels enjoyed flying the A-4 Skyhawk because it is easy to maintain and the accident rate was quite low. Eventually, there were new aircrafts that replaced the Skyhawk. It retired in 1976 for the U.S. Navy while in 1998 in U.S. Marine Corps. However it is still active in other countries.