Saturday, August 1, 2015
National Day Parade NDP 2015 F-16 flypast
Among the aerial tributes at the upcoming National Day Parade 2015, the Five-O formation by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is probably the most sought-after by photo buffs.
The crowd-pleaser by the RSAF's F-16 community is a difficult manoeuvre to perform because the flight of 20 aircraft have to fly at precise intervals to form each numeral. What's more, both numbers must follow one another properly in order for the typography to look neat from the ground - and the Five-O must arrive at show centre at the precise moment and clear the airspace over the Padang along the proper heading without delay before the six F-16s from the Black Knights aerobatic display team perform their fan break manoeuvre.
Difficult enough to execute in clear weather, the presence of low clouds, the glare from the setting sun and unpredictable winds demand a high level of concentration and flying skills from the F-16 pilots.
The twenty-ship formation forms up over the approaches to the Singapore Strait and holds formation while inbound for Singapore's city centre. During the flight towards the Padang, an additional F-16 tails the fighter formation (perhaps giving cues to tighten the formation's dressing) before peeling off and flying eastward.
What appears to be a neat "50" when seen from the ground is less apparent from the air. Look at the pilot's eye view below.
Kudos to the RSAF engineers and ground crew for maintaining a high level of serviceability. Their effort and dedication is a key enabler for such formations.
Posted by David Boey at 11:12 PM