Flying high: Nissan visits elite Blue Angels for future sports car innovation

NISSAN CANADA - The U.S. Navy's flight demonstration squadron, better known as the Blue Angels, like to go faster than most people will ever go. The Blue Angels know every inch of their fighter jets, so they can make loops and rolls in the air like acrobats. It's why a group of product planners and designers from the global car company, Nissan, arranged to meet the Blue Angels at their hanger in Pensacola, Florida.

"We were gathering inspiration, taking ideas, that are going to shape the future development of our products," said Nissan product planner Jared Haslam.

Nissan's team asked members of the Blue Angels to tell them what matters most when it comes to their jets. Blue Angels pilot John Hiltz said it's all about accessing technology easily and efficiently.

"The easier it is to interface with whatever it is you are flying or driving, it just makes the driving experience that much more pleasurable and also that much more comfortable," said Hiltz.

Nissan knows about speed and so do the Blue Angels. Now Nissan plans to learn from the Blue Angels more about fighter jet interface and about accomplishing fighter jet speeds.

"A lot of the things that they do in the cockpit are things that we can pull in and help our drivers and our customers do inside the car," said Haslam.

"Nissan has always been a front-runner in the edgy go-fast department, and what better place to come out and get better insight than an edgy go-fast command," said Blue Angels airframe structural mechanic Eric Vandamme.

Eric Vandamme is a Blue Angels Airframe Structural Mechanic. He lives to make machines fly but not always in the sky. He builds his own hot-rods when he is away from work.

"If I'm not working on an aircraft, I am probably either in the gym or in the garage," said Vandamme.

While Nissan's team studied the jets, Nissan let the Blue Angels try out the Nissan GT-R. Vandamme now wants his own GT-R.

"If I had the keys to the jet I would trade you," said Vandamme.

"The GT-R is an incredibly quick car, and it's an incredibly high performing machine. So to put those two together is just a natural thing to do," said Haslam.

Nissan's team said you can expect to see innovation from the visit with the Blue Angels brought to life in future Nissan sports cars.