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Blue Angels and Space Needle
The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels streak past Seattle’s Space Needle. (Photo by Susy Davidson)

One of the F/A-18 Hornet jets used by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels is due to be landing in Seattle’s Museum of Flight … to stay.

Word of the deal was circulating even as the Hornets and their pilots wowed crowds during last weekend’s aerobatic demonstration at Seattle’s Seafair festival. Today, museum officials confirmed that a loan was in the works.

“I am 90 percent sure it’s going to happen,” Erika Callahan, the museum’s vice president for marketing and communications, told GeekWire. “I’m just keeping it real.”

Some of the details still have to be worked out: For example, it’s not yet clear whether the plane will be arriving assembled or disassembled. But the museum is aiming to get those details ironed out in time for a transfer by the end of August, Callahan said.

The museum already has a Blue Angels plane on display: a Douglas A-4F Skyhawk II, which was built in 1966, flew missions for the Navy in Southeast Asia and was transferred to the Blue Angels in 1980. The Blue Angels switched from the Skyhawks to the F/A-18 Hornets in 1986.

Like the Skyhawk, the Hornet would be on loan to the Seattle museum through an arrangement with the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla.

The Boeing Co. and the Navy have been laying the groundwork for the Blue Angels to make a transition from the Hornets to newer, larger F/A-18E/F Super Hornets next year.

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