[ Media Invite ]
F16, F15, Apache, Chinook and Spyder, these are 5 reasons why your family might enjoy RSAF Open House 2016. Joking 🙂 the hardware “toys” in RSAF’s arsenal (Republic of Singapore Air Force) is only one of the reasons to visit #ROH16.
Front row seat, ear plugs equipped, unless you wish to feel F16 and F15 (double trust) vibes! Boon Yee and Boon Xin enjoyed their day out at Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB). They did not mind when Daddy apply for ponten (class excuse) heh heh.
21 and 22 May, RSAF Open House is back after 5 years (our 2008 experience here). Themed ‘Defending our Skies’, it showcase RSAF’s capabilities both hardware and heartware. We will share our favourite segments of the open house below.
#01- Engage the kids with questions
Some sample questions to rise their curiosity, and hopefully appreciate Singapore’s constrain and resourcefulness:
– Why does SG need mid-air refueling? We have three air bases.
– How fast does it takes to fly an F15 from Pasir Ris to Tuas?
– Why does SG need to train overseas in USA, India, France, Australia?
– What will happen to the planes in Paya Lebar after it’s closure in 2030?
– What is the most powerplane in RSAF? Next one F35?
– Are fighter jets armed with missiles every time they take to the sky?
– With so many missiles, does pilots still need to engage in dog fight?
– How do pilots fight at night?
#02 – Air and ground capabilities demonstrations
During an emergency, reaction time is mere seconds, there is no window for mistake. Any hostile plane can reach Singapore within minutes at supersonic speed, the threat from ballistic missiles will be even more dire!
If you have the opportunity to fly one of the joy rides, you will realised that Singapore is very small!
This makes me marvel at our air defence, always ready to spot and trace suspicious objects. RSAF’s vigilance allows us to sleep soundly at night.
Those who balloted successfully for DA40 flight should feel freedom (refer RSAF video link) in the all glass cockpit! But try any additional stunts, and a pair of fighter jet escorts might just threaten to sidewinder you :p
Fighter jets keeping our skies safe, some might complain that they are creating too much sound pollution over Sengkang and Punggol, but that is a small price to pay for our sovereignty and peace (pardon the pun).
Video (link) : Action station at RSAF Open House 2016
Visitors will also get to witness K9 and Red Lions in actions.
#03- Static display offers more photo opportunities
Two types of ATC (Air traffic controller) in photo. The mobile one was setup in Bandang Aceh to help control air traffic after the deadly 2004 tsunami (Operation Flying Eagle).
Even more impressive is the high work-rate of the ground crew in arming and turning-over the plane. In war time, it is crucial to quickly turn over plane (think F1 pit stop) so that planes can quickly airlift and carry out their missions.
I told the kids that RSAF ground crew and pilots are up there with the best air forces from the world. This is all the more admirable, considering our Air Force is only 47 years old, never seen combat, and consist of conscripts.
#04- Meet the Heartware, RSAF crew who keep our air force in tip top condition
Kudos to the friendly Air Force ambassadors and volunteers, they really know how to engage the kids 🙂
They answered our questions to the best of their knowledge.
#05- Go Indoors for more activities and food. Air con is always welcome 🙂
Some other indoor activities include Rock climbing, airforce smart uniforms for kids and even Drone flying (no, we did not get to fly the Heron or Hermes)
#06 – Joyrides are the highlight of the day!
I suspect RSAF’s ballot joyride tickets (ended already) are the second most popular in town, after NDP. You can ballot to fly in a DA40, Chinook, Fokker and also Hercules! Too bad Gulfstream 550 is not on the list 🙂
Just imagine, you are a crew of 4, flying surveillance or anti-piracy drills over South China Sea, Straits of Malacca or even Gulf of Aden. Just vast open sea and endless horizon. Not very exciting, but still a crucial task.
For the “media group”, we got to circle Sengkang and Punggol (I can spot LRT and Coney Island!)
At 2000 feet cruising speed, we were soon over Central Nature Reserve (Macritchie), heading towards CBD.
Seldom do we see Singapore’s famous greens from the top, as commercial flights normally approach from the sea.
Sentosa, MBS, Nationtal Stadium and we are back at PLAB again.
It makes us realised that Singapore is really small.
Our Fun joyride with Fokker 50, Jubilant!
When our flight approached CBD, I can imagine the excitement when aircrews perform their signature “50” in formation over MBS towards floating platform! (SG50 airshow Youtube link)
More details and interesting facts :
* Crowds are expected, be patient, and show your appreciation to the volunteers and RSAF staff
** RSAF Open House is free and open to everyone
*** Road closures, shuttle buses, programme highlights and schedules for RSAF Open House (Shuttle buses from Eunos and Kovan)
– You can cycle to PLAB (but might be limited parking lots)
– Daily performance timing (Sat 1030 and 1430) and (Sun 1130 and 1630)
– Apply sun tan, bring a brolly, drink more water
– Paya Lebar air base will close shop in year 2030
– Try to spot the F5s when you are airborne, these awesome interceptors were once our protectors
– Do pop by our friends’ reviews, David from Life’s Tiny Miracles, Chuan Ren from Coffee And Bullets and BumbleBee Mum.
– Our Paya Lebar experience, Pre-NDP F15 flight check, 2008 Open House and Cycling on the runway!
– More photos uploaded on our Fanpage album
In my humble opinion, to see a F15 and F16 scrambling and takeoff in full sight and sound, should be a better experience than classroom environment. Say YES.