Saturday 11 August, we had added Singapore to the itinerary of the tour as the Air Force was celebrating its 50th Anniversary. During this weekend they would perform two fly passes a day over the Marina Bay area on the coast. A rare chance to see a variety of RSAF aircraft.
A Grab, Asian version of Uber, brought us to the Marina Bay. Here we looked for a spot to watch the fly past which was about to start at 11.00. We were a bit surprised by a low and fast-moving F-15SG at 10.30. At 11.10 the show started with a single high flying IAI Heron 1 UAV from 119 Sqn, this was followed by four Diamond DA-40s of the Singapore Youth Flying Club. Next up was a formation of six helicopters. In the lead a 127 Sqn CH-47SD Chinook, flanked by pairs of 120 Sqn AH-64D Apaches and 125 Sqn Super Puma/Cougar. The formation was completed by a 123 Sqn S-70B Seahawk. This was followed by the venerable 122 Sqn C-130H, flanked by two 121 sqn Fokker F50 Maritime Enforcers. The second to last segment of the flypast consisted of a 112 Sqn KC-135R Stratotanker flanked by a pair of 145 Sqn F-16D Fighting Falcons, these were closely followed by a 111 Sqn G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft. This was probably one of the last public assignments of the KC-135R as the first EADS KC-30A arrived at Changi IAP only days later.
Closing the flypast was a formation of six Boeing F-15SG Eagles from mainly 142 Sqn, as 149 Sqn had deployed a number of aircraft to Darwin for exercise Pitch Black 2018.
Next up were another two AH-64Ds performing an impressive display routine over the water. This was concluded with a low and slow flypast over the Marina Barrage in which the aircrew proudly showed the Singaporean flag and banner in the front cockpit.
It became a bit louder after that when two former Black Knights F-16Cs (from 140 and 143 Sqn) entered the arena together with a smartly painted F-15SG. The latter was painted blue, representing the skies it is defending. On top of the airframe the digits 50 are presented very big, underlined with the iconic Singapore skyline. One other detail are the three past and present roundels used by the RSAF. The trio showed some of the capabilities of these aircraft and all were looked at in awe by the large crowd.
The event was concluded by five F-15SG returning to the waterfront for a final manoeuvre, the bomb burst. After this the Eagles headed to its nearby home, Paya Lebar and the crowds also went home after an impressive and flawless performance by the men and women of the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Now we had some time to relocate and enjoyed the beautiful waterfront park near Marina Bay. The above would repeat itself around 14:30 after which we had a snack and a drink in the park before heading back to the hotel.