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Photos from NAS Pensacola

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My parents recently took a trip to Pensacola and visited the National Naval Aviation Museum while they were there. My father took some photos and I thought some of my readers might be interested in some what they saw. In addition to the museum, they saw USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) undergoing testing, saw some of the VMFAT-501 F-35Bs still left at Eglin, and got the chance to see the Blue Angels practicing.

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4), was just accepted into Military Sealift Command service in September and is one of the US Navy’s Joint High Speed Vessels. The Joint High Speed Vessels are catamaran hulled transport ships designed to transport a USMC or US Army company with roll on roll off and helicopter capability. At 103ft long and 600 tons, they can move at speeds up to 43 knots and are very interesting looking vessels. My parents reported that  went in and out from Pensacola each day they were down there and a news report from Mobile, AL where it was built indicates it is undergoing testing at Pensacola before going to its as yet undecided home port.

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) at Sunset near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) at Sunset near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

USNS Fall River (JHSV-4) near Pensacola, FL (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

The Blue Angels were home in Pensacola practicing during that time; my parents went to one of the practice sessions and also got to see a pair of F-35Bs from VMFAT-501 that are still flying out of Eglin AFB. During the Blue Angels practice sessions, #4 had a mechanical issue and had to land, so some of the photos my father took shows three-ship formations as opposed to the usual four-ship formations.

Flight of two F-35Bs from VMFAT-501 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Flight of two F-35Bs from VMFAT-501 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels' C-130 "Fat Albert" (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels’ C-130 “Fat Albert” (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels' C-130 "Fat Albert," note the contrails from the propellers (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels’ C-130 “Fat Albert,” note the contrails from the propellers (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angel 2 and 6 ready for take off (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angel 2 and 6 ready for take off (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angel 2 and 6 taxiing priort to take off (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angel 2 and 6 taxiing priort to take off (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

The Blue Angel Diamond before #4's issue (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

The Blue Angel Diamond before #4’s issue (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

The Blue Angel diamond after #4's issue (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

The Blue Angel diamond after #4’s issue (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels 1, 3, and 7 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels 1, 3, and 7 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels 1, 3, and 7 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels 1, 3, and 7 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels 6 and 2 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Blue Angels 6 and 2 (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Emergency Vehicles tend to Blue Angel 4 after it landed with a mechanical issue (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

Emergency Vehicles tend to Blue Angel 4 after it landed with a mechanical issue (photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

I am very much looking forward to visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum after hearing my parents tell me about it. They have a lot of good aircraft and all of their restored aircraft but two are inside. A very well turned out F-14B is on a pedestal outside of the museum; also outside the museum is an E-2C+ Hawkeye with the 8-bladed propellers. One of the historically important aircraft they have is the NC-4, a Curtiss seaplane that was the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. There is also a very nice display of Blue Angels A-4s suspended from the museum’s ceiling. Another aircraft of interest is an X-47B, but I’m wondering if it is a mock-up or a prototype painted to look like NG-501 because NG-501 is still listed as an active aircraft (my parents were told that the museum has no mock-ups).

F-14 on a pedestal outside of the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

F-14 on a pedestal outside of the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A-4 Skyhawk inside the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A-4 Skyhawk inside the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

NC-4, the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

NC-4, the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

One of my favorite military aircraft, the F4U Corsair (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

One of my favorite military aircraft, the F4U Corsair (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A very nice A-4 Blue Angels Display at the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A very nice A-4 Blue Angels Display at the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A very nice A-4 Blue Angels Display at the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A very nice A-4 Blue Angels Display at the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A very nice A-4 Blue Angels Display at the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

A very nice A-4 Blue Angels Display at the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

X-47B  (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

X-47B (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

E-2C+ outside of the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

E-2C+ outside of the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

E-2C+ outside of the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

E-2C+ outside of the National Naval Aviation Museum (Photo by Mac McCormick, AF4KL)

All in all, their story from the trip and the photos have me ready to make a trip down to Pensacola and I’m hoping to go down in early April. If I do, look for more photos as well as a radio report from the area (I’m excited just thinking about it!)


5 Comments

  1. Guy says:

    If we can make it work out, I’d love to join you down there Mac!

    • KF4LMT says:

      They want to go back down and asked me to go with them, so we’ll have to work it around all of our schedules. We should have it figured out soon so I can put in a leave request – I’ll let you know once we do.

  2. Orlando Gallardo says:

    On what days exactly did your parents take the photos onboard NAS Pensacola?

    • KF4LMT says:

      I know they were there between 27 October and 1 November but I don’t know what days the photos were taken. I’ve got copies of the originals somewhere; I’ll try to find them and get the dates off of them.

  3. […] readers of this blog may remember a post from a couple of years ago that included photos of the USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) undergoing tests in Pensacola. In the time since those photos, the Navy has changed the […]

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