US Navy Blue Angels F-18 trekking through Arizona in cross-country journey
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A piece of history had drivers cruising along Interstate 10 doing a double-take on Tuesday afternoon. A former U.S. Navy Blue Angels F-18 jet was being hauled through Arizona to its final destination after a week-long journey.
Marty Batura, vice president of the Worldwide Aircraft Recovery, is personally driving the F-18 to the Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California. The jet has been on quite the journey, beginning in Pensacola, Florida, and has been on the road for nearly a week. “We took it apart in Pensacola. We made it over to Mobile, Alabama, and spent a week in Mobile. From Mobile, we’re just cruising west!” said Batura.
Batura explained the company has transported other Blue Angels, World War I biplanes, SR-71s, F-15s and more! As a result, many people will recognize the Blue Angels trekking through the West Coast. “No. 1, the Blue Angel is iconic. You can’t mention the Blue Angels without people knowing, ‘yup, they’re flight aircraft, F-18s,’” he said. “For us, this is all we do is move aircraft. So it’s not unusual for us to have an aircraft on the trailer. But we don’t get a Blue Angel on the trailer every day.”
Batura said new aircraft models have phased out many older military jets. “They retired all of the legacy models, the A models, and so now the Blue Angels are flying the super hornets. That enables the other aircraft to be retired and to go out to museums throughout the country,” explained Batura.
As the entire plane, minus the engines, is sitting on the back of the trailer, it’s definitely caught the attention of drivers across the country! “I can’t drive down the road more than a couple miles without cars coming up, backing down, getting photos, getting the cameras out. So it’s really exciting,” he said. Keep an eye out on the road for the jet!
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