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RSAF to celebrate 45th anniversary with public at Singapore Airshow

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) celebrates its 45th anniversary this year and it will commemorate the occasion with visitors to the Singapore Airshow 2014 which opens its doors to the public next weekend.

SINGAPORE: The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) celebrates its 45th anniversary this year and it will commemorate the occasion with visitors to the Singapore Airshow 2014 which opens its doors to the public next weekend.

On show will be the ever-popular aerial display by the Black Knights as well as some of RSAF's capabilities.

The Black Knights were last seen at the Singapore Airshow in 2008 when the RSAF had celebrated its 40th anniversary.

The Black Knights, which is not a full-time aerobatics team, is also sporting a fresh look.

The six F-16 Fighting Falcons now wear the Singapore flag's crescent and stars on its fuselage.

It's one of several changes the Black Knights have gone through over the years.

The current batch is led by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Leong, a flying instructor in the 140 Squadron at Tengah Airbase who has clocked 4,000 hours on the F-5 and F-16 fighters.

The 26-year veteran said Black Knights past and present are bonded by a common philosophy.

He said: "The wisdom that they have given us, is not just the performance itself, but what the team symbolises - team excellence, professionalism, dedication, passion. And when everybody looks at us, they want to see that."

The aerial display of the Black Knights will be a major draw at the Singapore Airshow. Other aerobatics teams such as those from the US and South Korea will also be performing.

The RSAF's 45th anniversary celebrations will be held in conjunction with the Singapore Airshow.

To highlight the RSAF's journey through the years, there will be a pavilion where visitors can learn how the RSAF works.

The pavilion is divided into three zones. The first presents the RSAF's heritage and transformation, while the second demonstrates its operational capabilities and the third showcases the RSAF's people at work and at play.

Also on display will be 17 types of RSAF aircraft and weapons systems, and a lucky few will get a chance to fly in a C-130 transport aircraft or Chinook helicopter. 

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