The Blue Angels were established as a Navy flight exhibition team on 24 April 1946 by order of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Chester Nimitz to generate greater public support of naval aviation. The first four pilots assembled to train for a flight demonstration team, and those after them, were and are some of the best and most experienced aviators in the Navy.
On 8 Nov 1986, the Blue Angels unveiled their present aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The power and aerodynamics of the Hornet allows them to perform a slow, high angle of attack "tail sitting" maneuver, and to fly a "dirty" (landing gear down) formation loop.
In July 2016, Boeing was awarded a $12 mil contract to begin an engineering proposal for converting the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for Blue Angels use, with the proposal to be completed by September 2017.