Black Knights set to wow during NDP weekend
You are in for a real treat this Golden Jubilee long weekend if you are a fan of the Black Knights, the Republic of Singapore Air Force aerobatics team.
For three days, the sky will be filled with the sight of artistic smoke trails and the sound of afterburners as the team performs a 25-minute aerial display over the waters off Marina South.
You can catch their performance from the Marina Barrage at noon on Friday to Sunday.
You will get to watch an aerial display similar to a full performance at an air show as the six Black Knight pilotspaint the sky with 24 action-packed manoeuvres, compared with three during the National Day Parade itself.
There will be a challenging range of manoeuvres, including some which will have the Knights flying at speeds of up to 1,000kmh, with only a mere one or two metres separating the planes.
They include old favourites such as the Criss-Cross and Finale Burst, and new, equally exciting ones like the Double Heart and the Dedication Pass. (See graphics above.)
Major Derek Chan, 37, Black Knight 4, said: "The significance of the Dedication Pass is that it is a dedication to the pioneers of Singapore, people who have given their lives for their country in the last 50 years."
The routines were conceptualised by the Black Knights Flying Display Committee and practised over six months, so that they could be performed specially for the Golden Jubilee.
While the Black Knights make the displays look easy, it comes with challenges other than keeping a safe distance between the jets, and managing gravitational forces during their sharp turns.
Colonel Nalpon Patrick Selvan, chairman of the Black Knights Flying Display Committee, said that keeping the audience engaged was a challenge.
"We wanted to make sure there were no lull periods so the aircraft would always have to be performing," he added.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who was at a rehearsal yesterday, praised the team on his Facebook page and thanked them for sacrificing their many weekends away from family.
He wrote: "The awesome aerial display we see from the ground required many hours of training and preparation, and for the pilots to be in top physical form to do their precision flying and withstand high G-forces."
"It is a dedication to the pioneers of Singapore."
- Black Knight pilot Major Derek Chan describing the significance of the Dedication Pass aerial manoeuvre
THRILLING: Some of the aerial manoeuvres the Black Knights will perform include the Finale Burst, Criss-Cross, Double Heart and Dedication Pass. GRAPHICS ADAPTED FROM MINDEF
WHAT: The Black Knights
WHEN: Noon, Aug 7 To Aug 9
WHERE: Over The Sea Off Marina South. Best Viewed From Marina Barrage