Flying through history: How the Blue Angels became the main attraction of San Francisco's Fleet Week

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Fleet Week is now here in San Francisco, and that means the Navy's Blue Angels roaring through the city.

We know they fly fast and perform intricate maneuvers - but how did the team get its start?

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As the nation demobilized after World War 2, the services were fighting for ways to keep budgets intact and stay in the public eye. The Navy thought a flight demonstration team was the answer.

So a handful of veteran fighter pilots in the propeller-driven aircraft they used in the war began performing in air shows.

One of the pilots saw the name "Blue Angels" in The New Yorker magazine and thought it was perfect. The name stuck.

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Over the years, the team transitioned from prop planes, to early jets, to the supersonic F-18 Hornet.

They fly as fast as 700 miles an hour and as slow as 120, and as close as 18 inches apart. And they are something to see!

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