Five Reasons to Catch S'pore Airshow 2022The RSAF is set to wow spectators with its stunning flying displays and fearsome assets at the Singapore Airshow 2022!
// Story by Koh Eng Beng
// Photos by Kenneth Lin and Lionel Lee
The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) F-16C fighter jet and two AH-64D Apache attack helicopters will be performing 21 thrilling manoeuvres at the Singapore Airshow (SA2022). It is among the four air forces and two commercial companies performing at SA2022.
Here's five reasons why you should catch the action!
1. Watch as Apache helicopters perform a "dance" together
A pair of AH-64Ds will perform 12 manoeuvres – both in formation and individually – to showcase the different capabilities of the attack helicopters such as its agility and manoeuvrability.
"We designed the manoeuvres that put the aircraft as well as the air crew to their physical limits," said Colonel Kevin Wee, Chairman of the Flying Display Committee.
Flying two helicopters in close proximity, he said, is a complex operation. The pilots have to focus on executing their own moves, be precise in their timing, and at the same time keep watch of the other helicopter.
To prepare for the show, the pilots started simulator training in the second half of last year. Each pilot practised his moves individually before practising the manoeuvres together. When they moved on to flight training last December, they started off by flying with a greater margin of error before progressively tightening the manoeuvres.
"We are pushing the aircraft to the edge of their (performance) envelope," said Major (MAJ) Tan Yu Zhi, AH-64D Aerial Display Team Lead. For example, the Corkscrew manoeuvre requires the attack helicopter to pitch and roll 60 degrees, beyond its usual operating limits.
2. Witness the combat power of the F-16C
The F-16C fighter jet will carry out nine manoeuvres to show off its agility and power, such as the High-G turn which requires the pilot to pull up to nine times the force of gravity.
But the one manoeuvre to watch out for is the finale called the Vertical Roll, said MAJ Matthew Foo, F-16C Aerial Display Team Lead.
"The final manoeuvre is one that is significant to us – we want to bring the message of strength and dynamism… This will also be a perfect picture moment for the audience as we will be releasing flares."
3. Get up close with the latest RSAF helicopter
Assets used by the RSAF to protect Singapore's skies 24/7 will be on display at the Changi Exhibition Centre, where SA2022 will be held. Among them is the latest H225M Medium Lift Helicopter which will be making its debut at the airshow.
The H225M can be used for missions such as search and rescue, aeromedical evacuation as well as humanitarian and disaster relief.
"We hope the visitors and members of the public who view the livestream of the static display will be able to gain some insights into our operations," said Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Edwin Koh, Chairman of RSAF sub-committee.
Other RSAF assets on display are the F-15SG and F-16D+ fighter jets, AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport, Aster 30 Missile System, as well as Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
4. Support our airmen and women
The RSAF airmen and women have put in a lot of hard work and time to put up a good show for viewers. These include the ground crew that keep the aircraft in tip-top condition and the commentators that provide running commentary of the aerial display.
Air Force engineers also worked tirelessly to set up the static display. Because the aircraft and assets had to be towed from the air base to the display venue via public roads, they could only do so in the wee hours of the morning.
The RSAF had to work closely with external agencies such as the Singapore Police Force to close the roads, and remove any hazardous objects that might cause damage along the way. These tasks required meticulous planning beforehand.
"A lot of discussions were done virtually with the external parties, (and) that's not easy," said LTC Koh, citing COVID-19 restrictions as one of the challenges faced by the RSAF.
But he noted that the airmen and women had shown great resilience and determination.
"Our primary job is to provide air defence for the nation, but the ability to coordinate and put together such an event showcased the professionalism of our airmen and women," he said.
5. You can watch the airshow from home
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are no public visiting days for SA2022. But the aerial displays will be livestreamed here. You can catch all the action from the safety of your home!
AERIAL DISPLAY TIMINGS
● 15 Feb: From 12.20pm
● 16 to 18 Feb: From 11.20am