Singapore Airshow 2018: RSAF aerial display to feature new manoeuvres by F-15 and F-16s fighter jets

A Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SG (left) and two RSAF F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets perform during a preview of the aerial display ahead of the Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre on Feb 2, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - Six never-before-seen aerial manoeuvres will be performed at this year's Singapore Airshow by the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The 15-minute segment will involve one F-15SG and two F-16C fighter jets and it will be the first time that these two aircraft models will be performing together.

There will be a total of 15 manoeuvres to show off the distinct characteristics of each plane - the agility of the lighter F-16Cs, and the raw power and speed of the twin-engined F-15SG.

The F-15SG fighter jet will be pulling a top speed of more than 1,000kmh during the 15-minute performance.

The line-up of RSAF activities at the Airshow was announced at a media briefing at the Changi Exhibition Centre on Friday (Feb 2).

Colonel Sim Peng Shin, 44, who is the chairman of the flying display committee, said: "There's a reason why most air forces don't have different types of aircraft together doing acrobatics display. The performance difference in terms of engines, aerodynamics, how fast the aircrafts accelerate... it's actually very challenging.

"So this performance is quite unique. To our knowledge, we're the only team in the world with one F-15SG and two F-16s (performing together)."

New manoeuvres include one called the victory flypast, where the three aircraft approach the show centre from the left in a "V" formation, executing a synchronised roll in front of the crowd, before pulling away.

The show, which took three months to prepare, will be performed twice on each of the two public days of the Airshow - Feb 10 and 11. The two timings per day are 11.30am to 12pm, and 2.30pm to 3pm.

SPH Brightcove Video
Two F-35B fighter jets from the US Air Force landed in Singapore for the first time on Saturday (Feb 3). Both jets will be on display at this year's Singapore Airshow from February 6 to 11.

Major Chang Haw Ning, 38, the aerial display team lead, said: "We wanted to showcase these two platforms that the air force had. It gives a contrast, especially to our pioneers, how far we've come from the Hunter F-5 days."

"To have it as a three-ship (display), obviously it's more impressive, even though it means harder training," added Major Chang, a pilot instructor who has more than 2,500 flying hours under his belt.

ME3 Ganisen Subramaniam, 44, one of the commentators for the performance, said: "My favourite manoeuvre would be "the low and slow", because it shows that the F-16s can fly at a very slow pace, while the F-15 comes in at a thundering high speed."

Other than the aerial display, there will also be a static display of RSAF aircraft and weapons and the launch of the RSAF50 celebrations by President Halimah Yacob on Feb 7, with the unveiling of an F-15SG plane painted in a special RSAF50 colour scheme.

An indoor RSAF50 Pavilion, with a total floor area of 3,000 sq m, will narrate the history of the air force, detail its current platforms and capabilities and highlight the work of airmen and women.

New components include more graphics, interactive panels and simulators, such as at the RBS-70 short-range air defence weapon system booth where visitors can "fire" at "targets" in the sky in virtual reality.

Aircraft and weapon systems on display - 20 in total, twice the number at the last Airshow - include the AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, Hermes 450 and Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicles, and SPYDER and I-Hawk ground-based air defence (GBAD) systems.

Military Expert 5 Darren Ng, 40, who is in-charge of the exhibition, said: "From our events throughout the years, we learnt that nothing beats giving more impactful visuals and more interactive opportunities to our visitors.

"While they play along with the panels, they will be better able to associate with what the air force really does in protecting our skies."

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