The US’s premier flight exhibition team just turned 70 — here’s what makes them the best

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The Blue Angels, perform a flyover during a graduation and commissioning ceremony for the Naval Academy Class of 2015.
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U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Anthony Koch/Released

On Sunday, the US Navy’s Blue Angels military demonstration team turned 70 years old. The pilots of the team are some of the world’s best, performing death-defying tricks in fighter jets.

While the individual skills of each pilot is admirable, what sets the pilots of the Blue Angels apart is their ability to work as a synchronized team.

Here are 14 of our favorite action shots showing this beautiful coordination.


The Blue Angels demonstrate choreographed flight skills during the annual Joint Service Open House.

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US Navy

The Blue Angels demonstrate choreographed flight skills during the annual Joint Service Open House.

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US Navy

The Blue Angels fly in formation above Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John P. Curtis/Released

The Blue Angels perform the Diamond Low Break Cross maneuver at the Randolph Air Force Base Air Show during San Antonio Navy Week.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jen Blake/Released

The Blue Angels, demonstrate choreographed flight skills during the annual Joint Service Open House.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Todd Frantom/Released

The Blue Angels lead the diamond in the Echelon Parade during a performance at the Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show.

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US Navy

The Blue Angels, perform a flyover during a graduation and commissioning ceremony for the Naval Academy Class of 2015.

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U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Anthony Koch/Released

Cmdr. Dave Koss, flight leader of the US Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, calls for smoke before take off at the Sun ‘N Fun Air Show as part of the 2011 show season.

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Flickr/US Navy

The Blue Angels fly in formation over Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released

The Blue Angels perform a Diamond 360 at the Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jen Blake/Released

Pilots assigned to the US Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, join their F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter over the Gulf of Mexico into the diamond formation while approaching Naval Air Station Pensacola.

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Flickr/US Navy

The Blue Angels, perform a breakaway maneuver at the Fargo AirSho during Fargo Navy Week, one of 21 Navy weeks across America in 2011.

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U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Susan Hammond/Released

The US Navy fight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, demonstrate choreographed flight skills during the annual Joint Service Open House.

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Flickr/US Navy

The Blue Angels perform their Double Farvel maneuver.

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Flickr/Official US Navy Page