The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team has been all over the world, from Europe to Asia and across America.
Now, they have arrived in Goldsboro.
The Angels and their maintainers touched down at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Wednesday afternoon ahead of the Wings Over Wayne air show this weekend, where they will be the headlining attraction at the end of the day.
Five F/A-18 Hornets screeched by in formation overhead, rolling away one at a time to create a pattern in the sky with their contrails. After lining back up, the Angels landed on the runway and pulled into their destination, joining up with another F/A-18 to form a line six jets across. Their canopies opened in unison, and the pilots stepped onto terra firma.
Commander Frank Weisser, Blue Angels lead solo, said that audiences will see a professional fighting force at work.
"What people can expect is to see us showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States armed services," he said.
As lead solo, Weisser's role is to demonstrate the high-performance capabilities of the F/A-18 Hornet through a series of maneuvers, which include fast and slow passes, rolls and tight turns.
He and the opposing solo will face each other from around 10 miles away, then close with one another at nearly 1,000 miles per hour, Weisser said.
Blue Angels, unlike conventional fighter pilots, do not wear suits designed to combat G-forces, which could pull blood away from their brains and leave them unconscious in the cockpit. Instead, the pilots continually tense their muscles throughout the flight in order to force blood to their heads, in what Weisser said amounted to "doing a 40-pound curl for the entire flight."
The show will also feature the classic diamond formation, in which four pilots perform intricate rolls and loops from nearly wingtip-to-wingtip distances.
Weisser said the audience should stick around until the end of the show, when all six jets come back together in the Delta formation.
"My favorite part, and I certainly hope it's the audiences favorite, is when we all come back together at the end," he said. "The entire team comes together to demonstrate both the formation performance and the individual handling of the aircraft."
Blue Angel pilots can only apply once they have at least 1,250 hours of jet experience, which Weisser said comes out to be around five or six years. Making sure pilots have real military flying experience is part of the core mission, Weisser said.
"This isn't just about the air show, it's about showing people what our men and women are doing overseas," he said.