Singapore Airshow Concludes with Symphony in Sky

By Anantha Narayanan K 21-Feb-2018


Marking around 80000 footfalls on the last two days and taking aerobatic feats to new heights, the Singapore Airshow 2018, one of the largest airshows in the world, has come to an end. On the last two public days, visitors of different ages from across the world have marvelled at the spectacular aerial display performances and the latest commercial and military aircraft, creating symphony in the skies above Changi Exhibition Centre. The latest edition of the airshow, which is a global marketplace and networking powerhouse for the world's aviation community, has marked the participation of more than 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries and regions worldwide, showcasing their latest products and innovations to close to 50,000 trade visitors from 150 countries. The organisers have said that the Singapore Airshow 2018 saw over 10 percent increase in trade visitors, as well as 287 VIP delegations. It has focused on the latest technology innovation trends including cybersecurity, autonomous technology, unmanned aerial vehicles and smart technologies.

On the last two days February 10 and 11, which were open to the public, the visitors have been treated with a remarkable array of static aircrafts and weapons on display at the centre’s massive exhibition grounds. The visitors have been seen making a beeline for the sweeping 100,000 sq. metre outdoor display area that housed around 50 aircrafts from the RSAF, Textron Aviation, US Air Force and other transport majors. The people have marvelled at the wide arrau of display items like the Chinese UAV Wing Loong II, luxury jet Bombardier 6000, Ah-64D Apache and CH-47 Chinook Helicopters. They have got the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a F-15SG and F-16C/D fighter jet. Also, the visitors have been enthralled with the astounding aerobatics of the flying performances of various air forces including the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), which commemorated its 50th anniversary, Royal Thai Air Force, United States Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force etc.

RSAF’s integrated aerial display team, comprised of an F-15SG along with two F-16Cs fighter jets, together have given an exhilarating visual feast of death-defying aerobatic flying. They have performed 15 thrilling manoeuvres, displaying the high degree of precision and coordination required between the three aircrafts. Their spectacular routine included six new integrated manoeuvres that has been performed for the first time ever in public, such as the 3-Ship Dedication Pass and the Golden Salute. Other breath-taking flying displays included the Indonesia Air Force (TNI-AU) Jupiter Aerobatic Team’s KT-1B, the U.S. Air Force (USAF)’s F-16 and B-52 Stratofortress, the Sukhoi Su-30MKM from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), and Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF)’s JAS-39 C/D Gripen, which have made their debut appearances in Singapore.

Other major attractions at the static aircraft display have been the F-35B Lightning II, the world’s first supersonic short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) stealth aircraft, making an appearance at an Airshow in Asia for the first time. Other military aircraft that made their appearance at an Airshow for the first time in Asia, are the Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning aircraft, the Royal Thai Air Force’s Gripen jet and the United States Air Force RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The Singapore Airshow has witnessed a range of business and commercial aircraft making their debut appearances at an Asian Airshow. They have been the Gulfstream G500 and G600 aircraft, Textron Aviation Cessna Citation Longitude, and Embraer’s fourth prototype of a next-generation narrow-body jet – the E-190 E2 prototype.

Nicknamed the "profit hunter", the E-190 E2 prototype has featured a tiger's face painted on its nose as a gesture showing Embraer's respect for Asia. Also, the HondaJet, the fastest, highest-flying, quietest, and most fuel-efficient jet in its class, has made its first appearance at the Singapore Airshow. Moreover, at the Meet-the-Pilots sessions, the visitors had the chance to interact and receive autographs from the pilots and personnel from the RSAF, RTAF, TNI-AU and RMAF. The Singapore Airshow mascots, Captain Leo and Captain Leonette, have also made their appearances at the show, taking photos with and enthralling visitors.

The airshow has taken the immersive technologies to new levels. Enhancing the visitor experience with disruptive and innovative technologies, the exhibitors have provided the visitors of all ages with a whole new immersive experience to engage and interact with the exhibits through 3-D simulations, virtual reality and augmented reality, along with the existing physical mock-ups. An example is ST Engineering’s Live, Virtual and Constructive demonstration, a military training solution that integrated live trainers with augmented reality targets, virtual man-in-the-loop simulators and constructive simulation forces in a networked environment to enhance training realism and effectiveness.

Leck Chet Lam, Managing Director of Experia Events, organisers of Singapore Airshow, has said that they are heartened to see the overwhelming support and interest in the latest edition of the Singapore Airshow. “This goes to show that Singapore is an aviation hub not only to the industry, but also aviation fans around the globe,” he said. The organisers have announced that the Singapore Airshow 2020 will be held from 11 to 16 February at Changi Exhibition Centre.