Air Show Report : Airshow London 2018
2018 Airshow London – Ontario, Canada
Ron Cembrowski reports on the 2018 Airshow London at London International Airport in Ontario, Canada, with photos taken on September 6 to 9, including arrival days, Friday's "Hour of Power" and weekend air show days.
Airshow London International Airport (CYXU), Ontario, September 6-9, 2018
Air Show London is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the aviation industry, businesses and education opportunities of London and surrounding areas. The show is considered to be the largest display of military aircraft in Canada.
The 2018 show was another successful year despite the less than ideal weather. According to the show’s organizers, more than 30,000 people made their way to the London International Airport over the weekend of Friday, September 7, to Sunday, September 9.
Once again, the presenting sponsor for the show was Lockheed Martin.
The 2018 program line-up included the USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team, with a TF-51D Mustang as part of the USAF Heritage Flight, the RCAF Snowbirds (431 Air Demonstration Sqn), the RCAF CF-188 (CF-18) Demo Team with the special colour scheme commemorating the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Canadian Forces SkyHawks parachute team, the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Para-Commandos parachute team, the Jet Aircraft Museum’s (JAM) CT-133 Silver Star making its first public appearance in a commemorative RCAF Red Knight colour scheme, a Canadair F-86E Sabre flown by Paul Keppler, a RCAF 424 Sqn CC-130H demo, and civilian aerobatic acts Mike Tryggvason in his Giles 202 and Pete McLeod in his Red Bull Extra 300.
The RCAF Demo Hornet and the JAM Red Knight also performed a RCAF Heritage Flight. A special tribute to NORAD was planned for the Saturday show with the RCAF Demo Hornet and one of the F-22 Raptors. Unfortunately, the F-22 had some technical issues, leaving the Demo Hornet to do a few fly-bys alone. After some maintenance work and three engines starts the F-22 took to the air, providing an impressive flying display with beautiful vapour pulls and afterburner.
A privately-owned Northrop F-5A, flown by Jeff Kaney, was scheduled to perform, however the aircraft did not fly over the weekend and remained on the hot ramp.
The show also featured numerous military aircraft fly-bys from the USAF and US ANG including the F-16 Viper, the F-22 Raptor, and the A-10 Warthog and the RCAF with the CF-188 Hornet.
There were very few cancellations this year with the RCAF CT-142 Gonzo, the USN T-45s and the USAF 18th Aggressor Sqn F-16s as no-shows.
There were at least 70 aircraft (61 military and warbirds, and 9 civilian), by my count, at the air show on both the static and hot ramp.
On Friday gates opened to the public at 4:00PM for the “Friday Night Hour of Power”, with flying scheduled to begin at 5:00PM. Gates closed at 9:00PM.
On Saturday and Sunday gates opened to the public at 9:00AM, with the flying scheduled to begin at 1:00PM. Gates closed at 6:00PM.
Airshow London Photo Tour
As with 2017, the 2018 Airshow London offered the 5-day Photo Tour pass ($300 CDN), including Thursday and Friday arrivals, the Saturday and Sunday air show days and Monday departures. The total cost with taxes was $356.00 (CDN). Thursday and Monday access is only available to those who have purchased the full 5 day pass.
The photo pit was located in the same spot as all of the previous London air shows. Situated at the north-west corner of the main taxi-way (paralleling Rwy 15-33) and south of Rwy 09-27, the photo pit area provides a first-class view of aircraft movements (arrivals and departures) and the air display which runs along Rwy 15-33.
The photo tour pass also provides early access on all 5 days; check-in 8:30 – 9:00 AM on Thursday, Friday and Monday and check-in 6:30 – 7:00AM on Saturday and Sunday show days.
Once again, the Media area was kept separate from the Photo Tour pit area.
This year Nikon Canada was a sponsor of the 2018 Photo Tour. Nikon had a tent set up within the photo pit area, staffed with knowledgeable Nikon staff. Photo tour participants were given free access to the photographic equipment, however it still required I.D. (driver’s licence) and a credit card (to guarantee the return of the equipment). Nikon brought in some very high-end lenses and cameras including the Nikkor 300mm and 400mm f2.8’s, the 500mm and 600mm f4’s, the D4S and D5 camera bodies and the new mirrorless Nikon Z series.
During the day, on Friday, the RCAF CF-188 Hornets and the USAF F-16s departed the airport for a few hours to perform joint training manoeuvres. On their return, the photographers and air show volunteers were treated to some amazing photo opportunities as each of the aircraft beat up the field, making several high-speed low passes, with tight pitch-up turns.
Unfortunately, this year the weather continued to deteriorate as the weekend progressed, with some excellent lighting conditions for the Thursday and Friday arrivals as well as some decent light early on Saturday. However, by show time the sky was a dull overcast milky grey/white. Sunday was also overcast but much cooler with fairly high winds. Sadly, there was only a very small window of opportunity to get photos with the early morning sunrise lighting prior to the sky clouding over. On Monday it rained most of the day. I didn’t return to the airport to watch the remaining aircraft departures.
Airshow London 2019 is scheduled for September 12–16 (show days on Saturday and Sunday).
More information can be obtained on their website at airshowlondon.com
CT-133 Silver Star “Red Knight” – Additional Aircraft Information (Jet Aircraft Museum (JAM), London, Ontario)
The JAM is a not-for-profit organization located at the London International Airport, London, ON. The organization exists to acquire, preserve and display artifacts and representative historic aircraft of the post-WWII / jet age RCAF.
The museum was established in December 2008 at London International Airport and began with the purchase of six CT-133 Silver Star “T-birds” from the Canadian Government. One of these T-birds was CT-133, RCAF/CAF serial 133573, civil registration C-FUPP.
Transport Canada approval to begin work on #573 was obtained in 2015. The actual restoration, by a team of dedicated volunteers, began in January 2016 after having finally attained sufficient funds through tireless fundraising and having obtained various grants and donations.
The inspection and restoration work was performed over an eighteen month period, including the complete overhaul of the Rolls Royce Nene 10 engine.
In early 2017, the decision was made to repaint #573 in a “Red Knight” colour scheme.
The Red Knight was an RCAF Training Command solo aerobatic performer. The first official Red Knight air show, flown by F/L Roy Windover, was at the RCAF Station Trenton Air Force Day on June 14, 1958, in T-33 (pre-CT-133 designation) 21057. At that time the aircraft was still in the standard aluminum finish. The aircraft received its stunning red overall colours on August 26, 1958, the painting having been done by the refinishers at Trenton.
The first appearance of the Red Knight in the new colour scheme was at the Canadian National Exhibition, in Toronto, on September 4 and 5, 1958.
The Red Knight, using both the T-33/CT-133 and then the CT-114 Tutor (1968 – 1969) would go on to thrill millions of Canadians nationwide over a 12-year span from 1958 to 1969. Over this period 17 RCAF pilots would carry the mantle of the Red Knight.
On Wednesday June 28, 2017, after 1200 volunteer hours and significant corporate donations, the Jet Aircraft Museum officially unveiled Canada’s new “Red Knight”.
The JAM “Red Knight” also bears the Canada 150 logo on the aircraft underside to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation (1867 – 2017).
In early August 2018 Transport Canada granted #573 its Certificate of Airworthiness and on Sunday August 26, 2018 JAM’s “Red Knight” made its inaugural flight, flown by former RCAF Colonel Rae Simpson.
The JAM “Red Knight” made its debut public appearance at the 2018 Airshow London.
2018 Air Show London - Participating Aircraft
|Designation||Serial / Reg.||Unit||Base||Notes|
|A-10C||78-0641||107 FS 127 Wing MI ANG||Selfridge ANGB, MI||Flying Display|
|A-10C||78-0684||354 / 357 FS 355 Wing||Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ||Static Display|
|A-10C||79-0202||354 / 357 FS 355 Wing||Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ||Flying Display|
|A-10C||81-0975||107 FS 127 Wing MI ANG||Selfridge ANGB, MI||Static Display|
|AW139||C-GYNF||Ornge “Bandage 1”||Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier Int’l A/P, ON||Fly-bys Air Ambulance Organization for Ontario|
|AW139||C-GYNL||Ornge||Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, ON||Fly-bys Air Ambulance Organization for Ontario|
|Bell 429||C-GCIQ||Canadian Coast Guard (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)||Parry Sound, ON||Static Display|
|CT-114||11 aircraft various serials||431 (AD) Sqn / Snowbirds 15 Wing||CFB Moose Jaw, SK||Flying Display SB 1 (114054), SB 2 (114051), SB 3 (114009), SB 4 (114090), SB 5 (114109) SB 6 (114096), SB 7 (114143), SB 8 (114033), SB 9 (114071), SB 10 (114131), SB 11 (114058)|
|C-5M||86-0025||3 / 9 AS 436 AW AMC (512 AW AFRC)||Dover AFB, DE||Static Display|
|C-17A||98-0054||315 AES 315 AW||Joint Base Charleston, SC||Static Display|
|C-90B||C-FMFZ||3 CFFTS 15 Wing (KF Aerospace)||Southport Airport, MB||Static Display Contracted Flying Training and Support Services - Phase III Multi-Engine Program Aircraft bears commemorative WWII codes & mission markings of 408 Sqn (EQ Z) Lancaster B. MkII (LL725) “Zombie”|
|C-130H-2||92-1451||169 AS 182 AW IL ANG||Peoria Int’l A/P, IL||Jump a/c for SOCOM Para-Commandos|
|C-130H-3||93-2041||169 AS 182 AW IL ANG||Peoria Int’l A/P, IL||Jump a/c for SOCOM Para-Commandos|
|C-130J-30||08-5683||39 AS 317 AS||Dyess AFB, TX||Static Display|
|CC-130H||130335||424 (T&R) Sqn 8 Wing||CFB Trenton, ON||Flying Display|
|CT-133||C-FUPP (ex-133573)||Jet Aircraft Museum||London (CYXU), ON||Flying Display & RCAF Heritage Flight w/CF-18 Demo Hornet RCAF Red Knight Colour Scheme|
|CH-146||146422||424 (T&R) Sqn 8 Wing||CFB Trenton, ON||Static Display|
|CH-146||146450||424 (T&R) Sqn 8 Wing||CFB Trenton, ON||Static Display|
|CT-156||156125||2 CFFTS 15 Wing (NFTC)||CFB Moose Jaw, SK||Static Display|
|CT-155||155217||419 Tac (F) Trng Sqn 4 Wing||CFB Cold Lake, AB||Static Display 419 Sqn Commemorative Colour Scheme (see 2016 Quinte International Air Show report)|
|CF-188||188748||425 Tac (F) Sqn 3 Wing||CFB Cold Lake, AB||Fly-bys|
|CF-188||188769||433 Tac (F) Sqn 3 Wing||CFB Cold Lake, AB||Fly-bys|
|CF-188||188776||3 Wing / 4 Wing||CFB Bagtoville, QC / CFB Cold Lake, AB||Flying Display CF-18 Demonstration Team ‘NORAD 60th Anniversary’ Colour Scheme Pilot: Capt. Stefan Porteous|
|CF-188||188787||3 Wing||CFB Bagotville, QC||Fly-bys|
|CF-188B||188938||425 Tac (F) Sqn 3 Wing||CFB Bagotville, QC||Fly-bys|
|DHC-7-102||C-GVWD||Fanshawe School of Aviation Technology||London, ON||Static Display|
|Diamond DA20-C1||C-GDFO||Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc.||London, ON||Static Display|
|Diamond DA20-C1||C-GDFQ||Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc.||London, ON||Static Display|
|Diamond DA42-TD1||C-GXSU||Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc.||London, ON||Static Display|
|EC-130J||01-1935||193 SOS 193 SOW PA ANG||Harrisburg IAP, PA||Static Display|
|Extra 300LC||N26AM||Pete McLeod||London, ON||Flying Display Sponsored by Red Bull|
|F-5A||N685TC||USAF FA-685 markings||Flown by: Jeff Kaney||Scheduled as Flying Display. Aircraft remained on Hot Ramp for duration of the show.|
|F-15E||86-0189||355 FS 4 FW ACC||Seymour Johnson AFB, NC||Static Display|
|F-15E||89-0498||355 FS 4 FW ACC||Seymour Johnson AFB, NC||Static Display|
|F-16CM||93-0536||77 FS 20 FW Viper Demo Team||Shaw AFB, SC||Flying Display|
|F-16CM||93-0540||20 FW Viper Demo Team||Shaw AFB, SC||Flying Display – USAF Heritage Flight w/TF-51D|
|F-16CM||00-0221||20 FW Viper Demo Team||Shaw AFB, SC||Flying Display|
|F-16DM||92-3925||157 FS 169 FW SC ANG||McEntire JNGB, SC||Static Display|
|F/A-18E||168921||VFA-143||NAS Oceana, VA||Static Display AG/101|
|F/A-18E||168922||VFA-143||NAS Oceana, VA||Static Display AG/102|
|F/A-18E||168923||VFA-143||NAS Oceana, VA||Static Display AG/143|
|F-22A||01-4023||43 FS / 95 FS 325 FW||Tyndall AFB, FL||Fly-bys|
|F-22A||02-4031||43 FS / 95 FS 325 FW||Tyndall AFB, FL||Fly-bys|
|F-35A||15-5135||63 FS 56 FW||Luke AFB, AZ||Static|
|F-35A||15-5179||63 FS 56 FW||Luke AFB, AZ||Static|
|F-35C||168847||VFA-101 "Grim Reapers" FRS / Strike Fighter Wing||Eglin AFB, FL||Static Display NJ/111|
|F-86E||N50CJ||Sabrejet LLC, WI USAF FU-361 markings||Flown by: Paul Keeper||Flying Display ex: RCAF Canadair Sabre Mk6, c/n: 381|
|Giles G202||C-GXGS||MKT Aerobatics Ltd. Mike Tryggvason||London, ON||Flying Display|
|KC-10A||87-0119||6 ARS / 9 ARS 60 AMW (349 AMW AFRC)||Travis AFB, CA||Static Display|
|KC-135R||57-1436||151 ARS 134 ARW TN ANG||McGee Tyson AP, TN||Static Display|
|KC-135R||63-8015||168 ARS 168 ARW AK ANG||Eielson AFB, AK||Static Display|
|KC-135R||64-14831||197 ARS 161 ARW AZ ANG||Phoenix Sky Harbor IAP, AZ||Static Display|
|P-8A||169335||Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)||NAS Patuxent River, MD|
|PC-12/47E||C-GRXN||Ornge “Bandage 5”||Thunderbay, ON||Static Display Air Ambulance Organization for Ontario|
|SC-7 Skyvan||N194WW||Win Win Aviation Inc.||Wake Forest, NC||CF SkyHawks Jump Aircraft|
|T-38A||62-3691||71 FTS 1 FW “Ironmen”||Langley AFB, VA||Static Display|
|T-38A||62-3722||71 FTS 1 FW “Ironmen”||Langley AFB, VA||Static Display|
|T-38A||66-8402||(ex 394 CTS) 509 BW||Whiteman AFB, MO||Static Display|
|TC-135||62-4129||38 RS 55 Wing||Offutt AFB, NE||Static Display|
|TF-51D||NL20TF||Comanche Warbirds Inc.||Houston, TX||Flying Display – USAF Heritage Flight w/F-16CM 93-0540 (Shaw)|
- 1. 2018 Airshow London Program
- 2. Air Force Magazine Vol.42 No.3, p. 67
- 3. Jet Aircraft Museum website, including JAM Newsletter references.
- 4. A Tradition of Excellence, Canada’s Airshow Team Heritage, by Daniel V. Dempsey, pp. 200-223
Report and photos by Ron Cembrowski ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 25 April 2019
25 Apr 2019 Added Photo Pit area images
24 Apr 2019 Fixed link to 2017 report