SG50 Celebrations: RSAF Black Knights and NDP 2015 Aerial Display

In the week leading up to Singapore’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, I went looking to the skies in anticipation of some exhilating aerial displays and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed! The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) did a spectacular job with precision manoeuvres which wowed the crowds!

There was a special 25min aerial display by the RSAF Black Knights at 12pm from 7-9 August 2015 at the Marina South area. However, it rained on 7th August and the 25min aerial show was shortened to only 4min due to the weather! We had been stuck in traffic for 40min since 11am at the Marina Coastal Drive and later managed to get out of the chaotic road conditions and detoured towards the Singapore Flyer, only to find that there was a jam there as well! Drivers parked their cars on one side of the road and alighted to watch the planes, so technically one side of the two laned road was closed! As it started raining, we decided to give up our plans to watch the aerial show that day!

On the morning of 8th August, the sky looked bleak again and I was initially hesitant about making my way down but eventually it seemed to clear up and so I hurriedly made my way there. The crowds were already out and the aerial displays were impressive! In my excitement, I was momentarily confused between my camera’s video and photo-shooting buttons! Where I meant to shoot a video, I ended up taking a photo instead!

Photos taken:

Anyway, here were some of the highlights:

In celebration of our nation’s 50th birthday, the Aerial Display segment of our National Day Parade 2015 (NDP 2015) featured 50 aircraft! Wow… this was by far the largest number of aircraft to participate in the NDP at the Padang!!

To remember the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as part of the tribute segment in the Prologue of the NDP 2015 Show, the RSAF Black Knights executed the “Five Stars” Tribute Aerial Flypast, signifying Singapore’s ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. I guess where I was standing may not have been the right angle to view this.

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 with a special SG50 livery took part in the last segment of the Vintage Parade of NDP2015 by flying over the Marina Bay area. I hurried down to have a look for myself as I’ve never seen any commercial aircraft participate in our previous NDPs! Besides the 10m-tall and 47m-long flag-themed design on both sides of the fuselage, the livery carries the official SG50 logo on its inboard engines and the NDP 2015 “Majulah Singapura – Our Golden Jubilee” logo on its underside. I was standing almost directly under the flight path of the plane and thus couldn’t really get a full view of the sides but this was my best shot of it…

The traditional flypast of the State Flag across the Padang took place during the singing of the National Anthem. It featured a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, escorted by two AH-64D Apache helicopters.

I was following the copters with my eyes when they were making their exit from the Bay area and suddenly the sun’s rays seemed to shine onto the flag and I was glad that I caught this at the right moment!

As part of the RSAF’s Salute-to-Nation, Singaporeans got to witness the unprecedented “50” formation, comprising of 20 F-16s! WOW!! I was speechless! It was quite impressive seeing 20 planes flying together with such precision!

Here’s a closer look:

Rounding off a magnificent Salute-to-Nation, the six Black Knights performed an aerial bomb-burst where the F-16s executed a fan-out manoeuvre.


A combined helicopter formation, led by two S-70B naval helicopters and featuring two AS-332 Super Pumas, two AH-64D Apaches and two Chinooks, kick-started the flypast with an “Arrowhead” formation.

When they first flew towards the NDP venue, I thought they looked like insects! LOL!!… :p

Next, a C-130 transport aircraft and two Fokker 50 (FK-50) Maritime Patrol aircraft executed the “VIC” formation.

This was followed by a KC-135 tanker aircraft and a G550-Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft, escorted by four F-5 fighter aircraft flying in close formation.

A formation of four Black Knights then performed the “Criss Cross” manoeuvre with smoke trails, followed by two Black Knights executing a near-vertical climb.

There was a solo F-15SG fighter aircraft which executed a combat turn over the Padang, followed by a near-vertical climb with afterburners. The sound of it was really loud and it almost scary as I was directly beneath it when it did the vertical climb. Apologies that the framing of the next picture was a bit off as the plane was flying too fast and I was somewhat distracted and also in awe of it!

For the finale, three F-15SGs executed a ”Flat Burst” manoeuvre as they made their exit.

I have to say that they were really impressive aerial displays and I was glad that I went down to watch them! ^__^

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