The Seafair, an annual event that allows civilians to get a glimpse of powerful jets and interact with marines, will have a special day today. The hugely anticipated Blue Angels, which did not make an appearance last year, are sure to be the star attraction on Sunday as they do a royal fly-by and amaze the crowds with their ace skills and tight maneuverability. But Boeing’s other pride and joy, the Boeing 787-9, will also make an appearance.
More than 700 active Marines have congregated in Seattle for the eagerly awaited Marine Week, a celebration held in a different city every year that features the latest in equipment and technology, as well as combat demonstrations. Skilled pilots will display breathtaking acrobats with jets and other planes. Pilots will fly in tight formations that defy logic and cross each other mid-air in death-defying maneuvers.
However, trumping all other planes, both civilian and military, the star attraction is bound to be the Blue Angels, a regiment of war-primed Harriers and F/A-18 Super Hornets. The Blue Angels, a U.S. Navy team of six Super Hornets, will give their annual Seafair performance on Sunday, reported KIRO TV.
Though the Blue Angels are the primary crowd-puller, hardcore aviation fans will surely appreciate the new design modifications and tweaks that Boeing has made in its Dreamliner, the Boeing 787-9. Incidentally, Boeing is the manufacturer for the Blue Angels’ Hornets as well as the jumbo-jet, but the stark differences will not be missed by aviation aficionados.
One of the biggest differences will be the toned-down noise signature of the Boeing 787-9. While the Hornets that the Blue Angels fly have an engine that is mere 1/6th of that found in the jumbo jet, their noise signature, measured in decibels, is considerably higher, reported Puget Sound Journal.
Noise emission was never an issue with the F/A-18 Super Hornets that the Blue Angels have traditionally used to fly sorties and reconnaissance missions. Super Hornets were designed for power and light weight, and they can be very loud. As reported by the Navy Times, on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, Blue Angels’ Hornets can exceed 150 decibels. Moreover, with their speeds going beyond the speed of sound, they usually cause a loud sonic boom too. However, all such parameters don’t pose a threat to the Blue Angels since they are already far out of reach by the time the enemy realizes their presence.
On the other hand, the Dreamliner is a civilian aircraft and needs to be much quieter. The Dreamliner’s Rolls-Royce Trent engines are rated up to 74,000 pounds of thrust, while the Super Hornet’s General Electric engines are rated at 13,000 pounds of thrust, without the afterburners, or 22,000 when those are on. Despite this, the difference in noise signature will be remarkable. Blue Angels fan could take a note of this.
[Image Credit | Boeing, MC2 Kathryn E. Macdonald]