It's SG50 which is Singapore's 50th Birthday! This little red dot has certainly come a long way from its kampong days. To celebrate our nation's Golden Jubilee, I'm posting these pictures taken by The Straits Times Alphonsus Chern on my toy blog to share how awesome these pictures are :) You can see more pictures and the full article posted on The Straits Times website titled "Trailing the Knights" HERE
These are the Black Knights – the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) aerobatics team. First formed in 1973, the team pulls together some of the best fighter pilots in the service to perform at air shows, and this year in particular, at Singapore’s Jubilee weekend celebrations. Only flying instructors with at least 500 flying hours are eligible to make this year’s team, the 14th in the RSAF’s history.
Formed just six months ago, they train five days a week, practising over the Southern Islands. Unlike many aerial display teams, such as the Royal Air Force Red Arrows and the Patrouille de France, the Black Knights are not a permanent or full-time show.
The eight aircraft (two spares), six pilots and 50 ground crew are drawn from combat-ready squadrons and can be returned to operational duties at a moment’s notice. Because of this, the Black Knights fly unmodified front-line fighters, the F-16C Fighting Falcons, but painted in red-and-white livery featuring the crescent moon and five stars – symbols on Singapore’s flag.
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The six-ship vertical stack (top) is a particularly difficult formation to maintain as the pilots have to continually adjust their positions relative to one another, with the amount of correction needed by each pilot increasing down the stack. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Bottom pic: The six RSAF Black Knights gather over the South China Sea in preparation for a photo shoot. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The RSAF Black Knights fly in a Chevron formation as the sun rises over the South China Sea. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The six Republic of Singapore Air Force Black Knights fly in an Offset Right Stack formation over the South China Sea. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Black Knight 6 Major Chang Haw Ning performs the Low & Slow, flying his F-16C so slowly (120 knots or 222kmh) that the leading edge flaps are fully extended to prevent the aircraft from stalling. During this manoeuvre, the nose of the aircraft pitches up so that the pilot can barely see out of the front of the cockpit. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Demonstrating the agility of the front-line fighter aircraft, Black Knight 4 Major Derek Chan (left) flies his aircraft in a straight line while Black Knight 3 Major Kevin Lim makes a break to the left. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Black Knight 5 Major Eugene Lim and Black Knight 6 Major Chang Haw Ning, the Lead and Opposing Solos of the Republic of Singapore Air Force aerobatic team, execute a rolling manoeuvre close to each other. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Major Chang Haw Ning, call sign "Jerky", flies the Opposing Solo position in the Black Knights aerobatics team. The 35-year-old is a flying instructor with 145 Squadron, and has flown over 2,500 hours in his 14 years with the air force. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
After the final flypast today, the aircraft will be returned to their grey paint scheme, and the crew will rejoin their operational squadrons. The Black Knights will once again disband, until the next big occasion.
August 9, 2009 - Singapore's National Day, August 9
August 9, 2010 - Happy National Day!
August 10, 2010 - Red, White and WOW :)
August 9, 2011 - Celebrating National Day with G.I. Joe Golden Knight
August 9, 2012 – Happy National Day to all Singaporeans posted on my toy blog HERE
August 9, 2013 – Happy National Day to all Singaporeans with 3D Crystal Jigsaw Puzzle Astro Boy HERE