Only in America are college sports arenas larger than many professional venues elsewhere in the world. But even here, retired fighter jets mounted at stadium gates are rare. Fittingly, this McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F-18 Hornet stands outside the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, and could be described as the ultimate stadium accessory.
The former fleet aircraft, which ultimately served with the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron better known as the Blue Angels, is a striking fixture outside the stadium, which stands near the US Naval Academy.
(Image: Jon Sullivan, public domain)
The Blue Angels have operated six F-18 Hornet multirole fighter aircraft since 1986, receiving updated models over the years. The modified combat jets are generally passed to the team when they come to the end of their carrier arrestment capability – meaning they can no longer serve on aircraft carriers due to the punnishing nature of catapult takeoffs and arrested landings. Learn more about the Blue Angels here.