The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will once again soar over London, Ontario this September. Organizers of Airshow London announced today that the team has added the show to their 2018 schedule and will perform on September 7, 8, and 9.
London is one of Canada’s largest airshows and it was quite surprising that it did not appear on the original 2018 schedule for the Snowbirds. The team instead planned to perform in Mont-Joli, Quebec that weekend instead. We have very little information on that event and do not know if it will be held now or not.
We have updated our copy of the 2018 Canadian Forces Snowbirds schedule to reflect the change. Please make sure to follow our forums to stay up to date as it continues to change throughout the year!
Captain Stefan “Porcelain” Porteous will be the demonstration pilot for the 2018 season. He is from Comox, British Columbia and earned his private pilot license in 2005 after first learning to fly gliders with the Royal Air Cadets. He joined the RCAF in 2008 and qualified to fly the CF-18 Hornet in 2014. Capt. Porteous is currently part of 433 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing in Bagotville, Quebec.
The theme he will be flying for in 2018 is the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD is the military command charged with defending North American airspace. It was jointly established in 1958 by Canada and the United States and continues to maintain a 24/7 watch to protect both countries.
Assuming tradition holds, the aircraft assigned to the demonstration team will be given a special paint scheme (designed by Jim Belliveau) celebrating this theme. The 2017 demo jet, flown by Capt. Matthew “Glib” Kutryk, featured a stunning red and white paint scheme celebrating Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the country’s confederation.
Previous demo paint schemes have ranged from special tails to designs covering the entire aircraft. During a live video interview, Capt. Porteous reported that the 2018 scheme will be a full aircraft design with midnight blue as the primary color. More details on the 2018 paint scheme will be released at a later date!
“I am extremely honoured to have been selected as Canada’s 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration Team pilot. I am very much looking forward to commemorating 60 years of NORAD at air shows throughout the summer while having the opportunity to be part of a highly dedicated team that will work together to put on thrilling performances aimed at demonstrating the professionalism and skill of the men and women of the RCAF. I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the course of the coming demonstration season.”
– Capt. Porteous, 2018 CF-18 demonstration pilot
“As the Commander of the Canadian NORAD Region, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the important NORAD mission and our important bi-national partnership through the 2018 National CF-18 Demonstration program. The men and women of NORAD work diligently to keep watch over our countries and to protect the air sovereignty of North America. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, no matter what – we have the watch.”
– Major-General Christian Drouin, the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region
The Patrouille de France finished off their 2017 North American tour with a bang last week, when they joined the Canadian Force Snowbirds for a joint formation flight. The massive group of 19 aircraft passed over Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, before overflying Montreal in Quebec.
The teams performed for one another the weekend prior, at the Aero 150 airshow in Gatineau. The French worked their way home following the flyovers, hopping across the North Atlantic. They are now back in France and will participate in the European airshow season.
The Patrouille de France has finished their 2017 tour of the United States, and the team is on its way north to Canada right now. The French have spent the last several days at the NATO Festival in Norfolk, Virginia and performed several flyovers of the city and surrounding area during their time there. The image above shows them flying over Kittyhawk, North Carolina and the Wright Brothers Memorial. Just out of view is where the first powered flight took place in 1903.
The Patrouille is due to perform at the Wings Over Gatineau airshow in Quebec today, then perform a joint flight with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds tomorrow over Parliament Hill on Ottawa. All ten Alpha Jets and their A400M support aircraft will then transit the North Atlantic back to Europe.
Top photo: Patrouille de France on Twitter Bottom photo: Larry Ferdinande
The Patrouille de France has added a Canadian stop to their 2017 North American tour. The Wings Over Gatineau airshow in Quebec has moved from June 30th to April 30th in order to secure an appearance by the French national aerobatic display team. The show is hosted by Vintage Wings Of Canada, a flying museum that operates aircraft such as the “Hawk One” F-86 Sabre, a P-51 Mustang, and an FG-1D (F4U) Corsair.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, who were scheduled to perform at the show in June, are expected to follow the date change but have not yet confirmed their intent to do so. They do not currently have any April appearances on their 2017 schedule.
This is the first Canadian date for the Patrouille’s tour, and extends the time frame for their return home by several weeks. Previously announced stops include Melbourne, FL, Sun ‘n Fun in Florida, Kansas City, MO, and Maxwell AFB, AL. These shows are all in early to mid April, leaving a significant gap yet to be filled by additional appearances.
The Eastern Townships Airshow (ETAS) in Canada has canceled plans for a 2016 event. The show was scheduled to be held in Bromont, Quebec this August 20th and 21st. The Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornet demo team were scheduled to attend. A local news article in French (translation by Google here) announced the cancellation last week. Organizers cite lack of sponsorship as the main reason, saying they were as much as $175,000 short of the needed budget.
The cancellation opens up a weekend in the Snowbird and CF-18 schedules right at the height of airshow season, and some large US shows could stand to benefit if they are able to secure one or both teams. Thunder Over Michigan is featuring the Breitling Jet Team that weekend, and Chicago is hosting the USAF Thunderbirds. The US Navy Blue Angels have the weekend marked as TBD on their schedule.
We’ll update the schedules accordingly once more is known.