Air Show Report : Airshow London 2019
2019 Airshow London – Ontario, Canada
Ron Cembrowski provides a look back at the 2019 Airshow London covering all five days of the event and the early access photo tour.
Airshow London International Airport (CYXU), Ontario, September 12-16, 2019
This was the fourth year for the Airshow London since its rebirth in 2016. Although the participant numbers were smaller than in previous years, with cancellations due to last minute operational commitments or maintenance issues, the organizers still presented an outstanding show with some great flying performances and an interesting static line-up.
The flying schedule included three air force demonstration teams, the RCAF Snowbirds (CFB Moose Jaw), the RCAF CF-18 Demonstration Team, supported by 3 Wing (CFB Bagotville) and 4 Wing (CFB Cold Lake) and the USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team from the 355th Fighter Wing (Davis-Monthan AFB).
Other scheduled performers included the Canadian Forces SkyHawks parachute team, a pair of RCAF CT-155 Hawks flown by two former CF-18 Demo Team Pilots, an F-35C from VFA-125 in NAS Lemoore, Jet Aircraft Museum’s (JAM, London) CT-133 Silver Star (RCAF Red Knight colour scheme), Red Star Aero Services’ T-33AN Silver Star (CAF 414 Sqn Black Knights colour scheme), Jerry Conley’s DH-115 Vampire, and civilian aerobatic acts Mike Tryggvason in his Giles 202 and Pete McLeod in his Red Bull Extra 300.
Static displays from the USAF included numerous fighters, tankers, and trainers, plus a B-52H not seen at a London air show for a very long time, as well as one aircraft from the US Marines and one from the US Coast Guard. Canadian static participation included a RCAF CT-156 Harvard II, KF Defence Programs contracted Bell 412CF helicopter, C-90B King Air and Grob G120A trainer, a Canadian Coast Guard Bell 429 helicopter, and aircraft from the Fanshawe School of Aviation Technology and the International Test Pilots School, both based in London, ON. As an aside, despite a very decent static line-up it was disappointing to see a reduction in RCAF participation this year. In past years the show has included one or more of either a CC-130 Hercules (H and/or J models), CT-142 “Gonzo”, CH-146 Griffon, CC-115 Buffalo or a fly-by from a CC-177 Globemaster III or CC-150 Polaris. This year was much leaner.
On Friday the gates were scheduled to open to the public at 4:00 PM for the “Friday Night Hour of Power”, with flying scheduled to begin at 5:00 PM. Unfortunately, due to the threat of severe thunderstorms the organizers made the tough decision to cancel the Friday evening show. It was certainly the correct thing to do to help ensure public safety.
On Saturday and Sunday gates opened to the public at 9:00 AM, with the flying scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM.
Flying highlights of the show included an impressive display by the Air Combat Command A-10 Demonstration Team “Warthog” showcasing the aircraft’s combat maneuvering capabilities along with several simulated attack passes.
The RCAF Demonstration CF-18 Hornet (2019 theme: Ad Astra / #WEARENATO) once again teamed up with the JAM CT-133 “Red Knight” (see also Airshow London 2018 report for info) for the RCAF Heritage Flight.
A three-ship formation of former RCAF aircraft types that included two ex-RCAF/CAF CT-133s (JAM – Red Knight and Red Star T-33AN – Black Knights) along with Jerry Conley’s DH-115 Vampire provided a unique RCAF Commemorative Flypast.
The Red Star T-33AN (N133CN) is an ex-CAF CT-133 (133052). The “Black Knights” colour scheme that it wears is a reproduction of the original colour scheme previously worn in 1999 by CT-133 (133119) from 414 (Combat Support) Sqn, 19 Wing (Comox, BC). The aircraft had been specially painted for the 75th anniversary of the CAF/RCAF in 1999.
There were at least 55 aircraft (military, warbirds, and civilian), by my count, at the air show on both the static and hot ramp (consider placing a link to the 2019 Participants list here). See the table below for a complete list of participating aircraft.
Airshow London Photo Tour
As with the last few years the 2019 Airshow London offered the 5-day Photo Tour pass, including Thursday and Friday arrivals, the Saturday and Sunday air show days, and Monday departures. The total cost with taxes was $378.00 (CDN). Thursday and Monday access are only available to those who have purchased the full 5-day pass.
The photo pit was in the same area as all the previous London air shows. Situated at the north-west corner of the main taxiway (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 – 7:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday show days.
An additional benefit of early access on Saturday and Sunday, depending on the weather, is the potential to get some beautiful early morning sunrise shots of the aircraft on the hot ramp. Even with the aircraft initially backlit the warm red-orange morning light, pre-sunrise illumination moving through full sunrise, provides a unique opportunity for the aviation photographer.
2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team Hornet
CF-188 (188797) was chosen as the 2019 Demonstration Team Hornet. It was the first year, in many years, that a demonstration CF-188 Hornet was not given an overall commemorative paint scheme. This year only the tail of the aircraft was painted in a commemorative motif, with the addition of some special markings on the aircraft (colour roundels, special “futuristic style” font used for the aircraft serial number on nose and tail lettering, #WEARENATO on the LEX fence, 70th NATO/OTAN decal on fuselage).
The 2019 theme commemorated the RCAF’s “pathway to the stars” and the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
AD ASTRA - Taken from the RCAF’s motto “Sic Itur Ad Astra”, which is Latin meaning “such is the pathway to the stars”, the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team celebrated both the history of the RCAF and recognized the innovation and drive of Canadians that have helped shape the modern day RCAF.
#WEARENATO - The 2019 air show season also provided the opportunity for the RCAF to celebrate the 70th anniversary of NATO (1949 – 2019) highlighting the RCAF’s operational role within the organization, which is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy.
The pilot for the 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team was Captain Brian “Humza” Kilroy, a four-ship lead and qualified Electronic Warfare instructor with 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Sqn at 4 Wing Cold Lake.
2019 Air Show London - Participating Aircraft
|Type||Serial / Reg.||Unit||Base||Notes|
|A-10C||81-0962||355th FW / A-10 Demo Team||Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ||Flying Display|
|A-10C||81-0980||355th FW / A-10 Demo Team||Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ||Flying Display|
|Albatross||N7025J||International Test Pilots School (ITPS)||London Int’l Airport (CYXU), ON||Static Display|
|B-52H||60-0007||23rd BS / 5th BW||Minot AFB, ND||Static Display|
|Bell 412CF||C-FYZK||3 CFFTS||15 Wing KF Defence Programs / Aerospace Southport Airport, MB||Static Display|
ex-RCAF CH-146 (s/n: 146404) Transferred to Civil Reg. Jan 26, 2007, Advanced Fleet Helicopter Training
|Bell 429||C-GCIQ||Canadian Coast Guard|
(Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
|Parry Sound, ON||Static Display|
|C-5M||86-0024||22nd AS / 60th AMW, AMC||Travis AFB, CA||Static Display|
|C-23B||N567WW||WinWin Aviation Inc.||Wake Forest, NC||Jump Aircraft for CF SkyHawks Friday Sept. 13/19|
|C-90B||C-FMFY||3 CFFTS - 15 Wing|
KF Defence Programs / Aerospace
|Southport Airport, MB||Static Display|
Contracted Flying Training and Support Services - Phase III Multi-Engine Program Aircraft bears commemorative WWII code & mission marks of 419 Sqn (VR R) Lancaster B. MkX (KB722) “Ropey”
|C-130H-3||94-6701||169th AS / 182nd AW, IL ANG||Peoria Int’l Airport, IL||Static Display|
|CF-188||188787||425/433 TFS - 3 Wing||CFB Bagotville, QC||Static Display Initially brought in as a back-up to the Demo Hornet (188797)|
|CF-188||188797||2019 Demo Hornet
“We Are NATO”|
3 Wing / 4 Wing
|CFB Bagotville, QC / CFB Cold Lake, AB||Flying Display|
RCAF 2019 CF-18 Demonstration Team Pilot: Captain Brian Kilroy
|CT-114 x11||SB 1 (114032), SB 2 (114149),|
SB 3 (114089), SB 4 (114131),
SB 5 (114071), SB 6 (114009),
SB 7 (114051), SB 8 (114109),
SB 9 (114054), SB 10 (114143),
SB 11 (114013)
|431 (AD) Sqn Snowbirds - 15 Wing||CFB Moose Jaw, SK||Flying Display|
|Jet Aircraft Museum||London Int’l Airport (CYXU), ON||Flying Display|
ex-RCAF CT-133 (s/n:133573) RCAF Heritage Flight w/ CF-18 Demo Hornet RCAF Commemorative Flight w/ T-33AN “Black Knight” & DH-115 Vampy “Too”
|CT-133 (T-33AN)||N133CN |
|Red Star Aero Services||Mobile, AL||Flying Display|
ex-RCAF CT-133 (s/n: 133052) RCAF Commemorative Flight w/ CT-133 “Red Knight” & DH-115 Vampy “Too” 414 Sqn “Black Knight” Colour scheme originally worn by CT-133 (s/n: 133119) for RCAF 75th anniversary
|CT-155||155203||419 Tac (F) Training Sqn - 4 Wing||CFB Cold Lake, AB||Flying Display|
|CT-155||155214||419 Tac (F) Training Sqn - 4 Wing||CFB Cold Lake, AB||Flying Display|
|CT-156||156117||2 CFFTS - 15 Wing (NFTC)||CFB Moose Jaw, SK||Static Display|
|DH-115||N23105||Vampire Aviation LLC |
Vampire Airshows Jerry Conley
RCAF Commemorative Flight
w/ T-33s “Black Knight” & “Red Knight”
|DHC-7-102||C-GVWD||Fanshawe School of Aviation Technology||London Int’l Airport (CYXU), ON||Static Display|
|EA-300LC||N26AM||Pete McLeod Racing||London Int’l Airport (CYXU), ON||Flying Display|
Pilot: Pete McLeod Sponsored by Red Bull
|F-15C||78-0474||131st FS / 104th FW, MA ANG||Westfield-Barnes Airport, MA||Static Display|
|F-15C||80-0004||131st FS / 104th FW, MA ANG||Westfield-Barnes Airport, MA||Static Display|
|F-15E||91-0300||391st FS / 366th FW, ACC||Mountain Home AFB, ID||Static Display|
|F-15E||92-0366||391st FS / 366th FW, ACC||Mountain Home AFB, ID||Static Display|
|F-16C||86-0239||195th FS / 162nd FW, AZ ANG||Tucson ANGB, AZ||Static Display|
|F-16C||87-0311||195th FS / 162nd FW, AZ ANG||Tucson ANGB, AZ||Static Display|
|F-16CM||89-2051||112th FS / 180th FW, OH ANG||Toledo Express AP, OH||Static Display|
|F-35C||168160 (NJ/430)||VFA-125||NAS Lemoore, CA||Flying Display|
|Falcon 10||Fanshawe School of Aviation Technology||London Int’l Airport (CYXU), ON||Static Display|
|G202||C-GXGS||MKT Aerobatics Ltd.||London Int’l Airport (CYXU), ON||Flying Display|
Pilot: Mike Tryggvason
|G120A||C-FPFM||3 CFFTS - 15 Wing|
KF Defence Programs / Aerospace
|Southport Airport, MB||Static Display|
Contracted Flying Training and Support Services (CFTS) Primary Pilot Training and Selection
|KC-10A||82-0191||6th & 9th ARS / 60 AMW||Travis AFB, CA||Static Display|
|KC-135R||57-1469||197th ARS / 161st ARW, AZ ANG||Phoenix Sky Harbour Int’l Airport, AZ||Static Display|
|KC-135R||60-0347||145th & 166th ARS / 121st ARW, OH ANG||Rickenbacker ANGB, OH||Static Display|
|KC-135R||63-8028||168th ARS / 168th ARW, AK ANG||Eielson AFB, AK||Static Display|
|L-39C||C-GTOZ||International Test Pilots School (ITPS)||London Int’l Airport (CYXU), ON||Static Display|
|MH-65D||6572||CGAS Detroit||Selfridge ANGB, MI||Static Display|
|MV-22B||166719||VMM-162 (YS/09) / MAG-26||MCAS New River, NC||Static Display|
|SC-7||N194WW||WinWin Aviation Inc.||Wake Forest, NC||Jump Aircraft for CF SkyHawks|
|T-38A||62-3722||71st FTS / 1st FW||JB Langley-Eustis, VA||Static Display|
|T-38A||63-8133||71st FTS / 1st FW||JB Langley-Eustis, VA||Static Display|
|T-38C||65-10457||88th FTS / 80th FTW||Sheppard AFB, TX||Static Display|
|T-38C||67-14929||88th FTS / 80th FTW||Sheppard AFB, TX||Static Display|
|UH-1N||18277||1st HS / 11th Wing||Andrews AFB, MD||Static Display|
Photo selection of the departing aircraft on Monday September 16, 2019, including the always impressive B-52H Stratofortress bomber.
Report and photos by Ron Cembrowski ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 28 November 2021