Flying high at the Singapore Airshow 2016

The Singapore Airshow returns with public days opened last Saturday and Sunday (21 and 22 February). Matthew had been excited about going to the air show this year and we obliged.

Since it was going to be hot (we assumed that it would be, since it had always been hot at these kinds of shows), mum decided to skip the event and let me and Matthew have our father-son time. What we didn’t expect was that it was going to rain on that day. But the rain didn’t stop us from going anyway. Luckily, most of it was only a light drizzle and the aerobatic show had not been canceled. We had been lucky timing our trips as we arrived at the Changi Exhibition Center just a few minutes before the aerobatic display started. We have to thank the awfully strict security checks that had been done from Singapore Expo where the shuttle buses collected and brought us to the exhibition center. Security check was as tight as an airport scan.

I decided to keep the camera in my bag and just enjoy the show. I took out my phone to record some videos but it was of little use so I just shoved it back in my pants. Matthew had been busy filming with his own camera for most of the show, but his size had been a problem with umbrellas propped up nearly everywhere. So I told him to put away the camera and just enjoy the show. The highlight of the morning was the RSAF’s F-15SG and Apache AH-64D, the F-16 C/D Fighting Falcon of the USAF and the Rafale of the French Air Force. It was awesome to see these birds in flight doing aerobatic maneuvers that you only normally see in movies. The weather made things more dramatic as the aircraft flew in and out of the clouds and you can see the slipstream and afterburner trails as they twist and turn across the sky. Matthew definitely enjoyed it more when he stopped shooting as well. And we came out of it drenched but happy. As dramatic a show that the RSAF put up, I was surprised at the maneuverability of the Rafale whose moves made my jaw drop.

I thought Matthew would be cold after the light shower that we had, but no, he had to make a stop for a Popsicle! It got us thinking that we were probably hungry. And my memory of the last air show held up true, the concession area was indeed at the rear end of the exhibition hall. It was a long walk. And along the way, we had managed to make a few stops and look at what else was in the hall. Most of the displays were for public viewing, but they were catered to businesses. If we had won the lottery the previous Friday, we would have queued up for a helicopter of our own. But that wasn’t the case. So we took our food and sat on the floor like everybody else and enjoyed our hot-dogs. (See, this is what happens when you don’t bring mum)

We made it out of the exhibition hall from the rear end. This brought us straight out to the static aircraft display outside. If there was a reason why the Changi Exhibition Center had been built, it was this. There were dozens upon dozens of various aircraft on the field. Both commercial and military. The commercial aircraft were mostly private jets and weren’t drawing much of the crowd. After all, the military aircrafts were the ones that had queues for people to jump into the cockpit of their favorite F-15s and F-16s and even a C-130. The queues were longer than when we were about to leave for the shuttle bus at Expo, and we were getting a bit tired as the weather had heated up. So we didn’t join the queues but Matthew had started taking photographs as much as he wanted to. He told me he wanted to make good photos. And I told him that it takes practice to take better photos. And I guess that’s what he did. He took home some incredible shots. And that’s something if you are a ten-year old.

Happy at the AirShow
Happy at the AirShow

At the end of a few hours, we had as much fun as we could at the 2016 Singapore Airshow. We left feeling satisfied even if the only souvenir we took home was a bag tag and a bunch of photographs. We had a blast. And we’re looking forward to the next airshow in 2018.

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