Fat Albert’s Last Flight

Swan song for a C-130

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Fat Albert arrives at Traverse City, Michigan in 2018 with the crew chief (on top) spotting for any obstruction as it taxis on the tarmac.

“It’s a bittersweet day for us as we say our final farewell to our venerable C-130T, Fat Albert,” the Blue Angels announced on May 22. The aircraft—famous for its jet-assisted takeoffs—performed double-duty for 17 years as the Blue’s opening act at airshows while also hauling equipment and support crews around the country. The Navy is looking at potential replacements, including a C-130J from the British Royal Air Force. Fat Albert will serve its remaining years as a ground training aid.