Initially a six-plane team was envisioned as performing for only one year with the Canadair Sabre, but the Golden Hawks were so popular after their single 63-show season that the team was expanded. Another Sabre was added to the team, allowing for a five-aircraft main formation with two solo jets. They continued performing for three more seasons until they were disbanded for financial reasons, on February 7, 1964, having flown a total of 317 shows across North America.
Not only did the team perform the loops, rolls and other maneuvers standard to military formation flying, they had their own trademark maneuvers. One of the Golden Hawks' signature stunts was a low-level flyby of the crowd with their canopies open, waving at the spectators. The Golden Hawks pioneered the bomb burst maneuver and a two-aircraft coordinated solo program which virtually every military team since has adopted in various ways.