Black Knights' grand show for all

They will put up aerobatic display at Marina Barrage this weekend

The RSAF Black Knights fly in a Arrow Head formation.
The RSAF Black Knights fly in a Arrow Head formation. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Black Knights are set to wow the crowds this jubilee weekend with their heart-stopping manoeuvres.

At noon each day from Friday to Sunday, the six Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Black Knights will perform 22 manoeuvres in the skies just off the Marina Barrage, in what will be one of their grandest shows yet. This is the first time they will be performing in front of the public at the Marina Barrage.

The aerobatic performance will last about 25 minutes and include aerial displays never seen before.

These include the Double Heart, where four pilots form two concentric hearts with their smoke trails; and the Dedication Pass, where four pilots arc across the skies in a diamond formation while the other two spiral around their smoke trails.

Black Knights pilot Derek Chan said these two manoeuvres bore special significance. "The Double Heart is dedicated to our country and the people of Singapore," said Major Chan, 37, who has more than 3,000 flying hours under his belt.

He added that the latter manoeuvre was a special one for the pioneers of Singapore. "It's dedicated to the pioneers of Singapore who had given their lives and put in (effort) for the country for the last 50 years."

Colonel Nalpon Patrick Selvan, chairman of the Black Knights Flying Display committee, said the entire aerial display took about six months to conceptualise. "Each pilot spent about 150 hours in the air training," said Col Nalpon at a media preview yesterday.

Even the new design on the aircraft took time to complete. Three months were spent finalising the Black Knights' new livery, which features the crescent moon and five stars emblazoned on the six F-16Cs.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who was at the preview, said Singaporeans are in for a good show. "I would say that Singaporeans who see this will be very wowed by this awesome display of precision flying," said Dr Ng.

The F-16Cs will travel at an average speed of 700kmh in the show and reach a top speed of 2,000kmh.

Dr Ng expressed appreciation for the pilots and ground crew who have spent their weekends rehearsing. "I want to thank all the Black Knights pilots, the ground crew, all (from) the RSAF who are spending time away from their families this weekend to put up this show for Singaporeans."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2015, with the headline 'Black Knights' grand show for all'. Print Edition | Subscribe