Asian aerobatic teams set to soar at Singapore Airshow

Korean and Indonesian groups will perform in flying display segment, which has been cut down to 30 minutes

The Korean Black Eagles - one of Asia's premier aerobatic teams - will make its third appearance at the Singapore Airshow which rolls into town next month.

Also coming back to the biennial event is the Indonesian Jupiter team, which last wowed spectators with its moves in 2014.

Public visitors to Singapore Airshow 2018 will, however, have to contend with a shorter flying display segment this year.

Instead of the usual 40-minute show, held twice a day, the time has been cut to half an hour for each session.

Other highlights at the show, which will run from Feb 6 to 11 - with the last two days being public days - include an opportunity for visitors to fly on a Super Puma military helicopter.

This is part of a slew of activities being planned by the Republic of Singapore Air Force, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The sixth edition of the Singapore Airshow, which is held every two years at Changi Exhibition Centre, near the airport, will also feature more than 50 commercial and military planes, which will be part of the static display.

The centrepiece for the static display will be the wide-body Airbus 350-1000 that will enter into commercial service in the coming weeks.

Key players in the business jet market such as Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream will also showcase their sleek flying machines.

More than 1,000 companies from about 50 countries are set to participate in the show, touted to be among the top three in the world, outranked only by Le Bourget in France and Farnborough in Britain.

Mr Sean Lee, Asia-Pacific spokesman for European plane-maker Airbus, said: "While we regularly attend several other shows and exhibitions around the region, Singapore is the premier event on the calendar with international reach, and we expect to welcome visitors from across Asia and the Pacific."

The firm's presence and investment in the Singapore Airshow reflects the importance of the region, which accounts for about a third of Airbus' aircraft backlog, he said.

Apart from showcasing new planes and the latest technologies in the aviation industry, the Singapore Airshow, organised by Experia Events, is also a major contributor to the economy.

The last edition in 2016 generated close to $330 million in spending, representing a 3 per cent increase from the 2014 air show.

According to the survey done by Kadence International, the total spending included everything from flights and accommodation to rental and set-up of exhibition spaces, as well as transportation, client entertainment, food and drink, leisure activities and shopping.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2018, with the headline 'Asian aerobatic teams set to soar at Singapore Airshow'. Print Edition | Subscribe