report by: Ian Moy
The biennial Singapore Airshow is Asia’s largest airshow and is held at the Changi Exhibition Centre to the east of Singapore Changi Airport. The Singapore Airshow and associated events are attended by high-level government and military delegations, as well as industry corporate leaders. The Singapore Airshow 2018 was attended by over 54,000 trade visitors between the 6th and 9th of February, an increase of more than 12% from the 2016 show. The show was open to the public on the 10th and 11th of February and approximately 50 commercial and military aircraft participated in the static display.
There were no new aircraft orders announced by Airbus or Boeing at Singapore Airshow 2018, nor were any military aircraft orders announced. However Thailand based Bangkok Airways signed an ordered for four ATR 72-600s at the show. One of the major participants of the show’s static display was the recently certified Airbus A350-1000, which made its Singapore Airshow debut during a three week tour of the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Boeing did not exhibit any aircraft at the show. The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II made its Singapore Airshow debut, with two USMC examples from VFMA-121 “Green Knights” (based in Iwakuni, Japan) in the static display, alongside two USAF F-22 Raptors.
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Airforce (RSAF). To celebrate their Golden Jubilee the RSAF put on a major display with a pavilion and static display of aircraft and weapon systems. The highlight of the RSAF static display was a special blue and silver 50th anniversary scheme applied to an F-15SG, which was unveiled on the 7th of February by the President of Singapore, Her Excellency Halimah Yacob. Another RSAF F-15SG in the same 50th anniversary scheme participated in a formation flying display with two RSAF F-16s.
The United States of America was the major foreign military participant at the 2018 show, with aircraft from the United States Air force, Navy and Marine Corps in attendance.
Foreign military participants at Singapore Airshow 2018 were:
Indonesian Airforce: KT-1B Jupiter Aerobatic team (flying).
Royal Australian Airforce: P-8A Poseidon, E-7A Wedgetail (static).
Royal Malaysian Airforce: Sukhoi Su-30MKM (flying), A400M (static).
Royal Thai Airforce: JAS-39 C/D Gripen (flying and static).
USAF: F-16 (flying), C-17A, F-22 Raptor, E-3B Sentry, KC-135, Gobal Hawk UAV (static). B-52H fly-by on 10 February.
USMC: F-35B Lightning II (static).
USN: F/A-18E, P-8A Poseidon (static).
The flying display at the Singapore Airshow requires a closure of Changi Airport to all commercial aircraft traffic. Therefore the Singapore Airshow flying display is not as extensive as other comparable airshows around the world. In previous years the aircraft in show’s flying display operated from the military runway at Changi Airbase East. However in 2018, the redevelopment of the Changi Airbase East area for the new Changi Airport Terminal 5 complex and third runway resulted in the display aircraft operating from the civilian side of Changi Airport.
In addition to its significant participation in Singapore Airshow 2018, the Republic of Singapore Airforce’s 50th anniversary celebrations continued with a series of five public events titled RSAF50@Heartlands. The RSAF50@Heartlands events were held on weekends between March and May 2018 in open spaces adjacent to residential estates. These exhibitions showcased the various facets of RSAF operations though interactive displays, as well as static displays of RSAF ground support equipment and UAVs.
The RSAF50@Heartlands at Sembawang in the north of Singapore held on 31 March and 1 April 2018 had the only live aircraft demonstration in the exhibition series. On both days, a RSAF Search and Rescue Super Puma performed a simulated evacuation of an injured seaman from a ship at sea, giving the public a rare opportunity to see this aircraft.The RSAF’s Golden Jubilee celebrations will conclude on 11-12 August 2018 with RSAF aircraft fly pasts at Marina Barrage.
GLobalairpower would like to thank all the organisation staff for their great help in the preparation of this report.