Blue Angels Cockpit
Crew Chief: Robert LanyonThis aircraft is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida.
Blue Angel F-4 SimulatorThis cockpit simulator was acquired from NAS Fallon, Nevada on March 8, 2006. This cockpit section was from an actual F-4B that flew sorties over Vietnam.
At the end of its flying life, the F-4 seemed to headed to the target range at China Lake, CA. But U.S. Navy personnel had another plan. They chopped out the cockpit, made up a trailer and did a huge amount of sheet metal work to make it look presentable and to make it portable.
With approval from the Blue Angels team (it is unknown at this writing if the plane it came from was actually flown by the "Blues") the simulator was painted in Blue Angel colors (the Blue Angels are the Navy's official flight demo team) and it hit the road with Navy recruiting teams on the West Coast. The Navy even brought it to our Wings Over Wine Country Air Show in the late '90's. Talking with the staff on hand that weekend, we were told that the simulator was soon to be retired, as the F-4 was no longer on active service with the Navy.
After extensive talks with the Navy command staff at NAS Fallon, the go-ahead was given to bring it to the Pacific Coast Air Museum. After sitting in the desert between two quonset huts for a couple years it was in rough shape. It took several months to clean it up, repaint the entire outside and acquire the logos.
The interior is complete, including the rear seat joy stick that controls the radar and the huge bank of circuit breakers on the lower right side. The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines flew the F-4. The major difference is the Marine and Air Force versions had flight controls in the rear.
Have a seat in both the pilot and RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) seats and see how busy they were while flying these aircraft.