The Canadian CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team has unveiled the special paint scheme that their jet will wear during the 2019 airshow season. The scheme first debuted as an illustration in a short video posted by the team.
The theme for the 2019 season is the 70th anniversary of the NATO alliance, of which Canada is a part. The scheme also features “Ad Astra” on the tail, a shortened version of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s motto “Sic Itur Ad Astra”, or “Such is the pathway to the stars”. NATO is honored with a “#WEARENATO” hashtag and painted panel on the fuselage. The aircraft’s serial number is also highly stylized.
Earlier today, the team posted a second video showing some of the incredibly intricate paint work (well done paint shop!) ending in a look at the finished aircraft.
The tease and rollout of the painted aircraft are annual traditions for the team. One or more themes are chosen for every airshow season, and a unique paint scheme is created to honor that theme. In recent years the paint scheme has covered the entire aircraft, including the fuselage and wings. The design is much more limited this year, featuring colorful designs on the vertical tails and small accents elsewhere on the fuselage, but largely retaining the standard light gray coloring.
Here’s what the team had to say about the design:
Join us for the 2019 season as we light the pathway “…to the stars” at 15 show sites across Canada.
Designed by RCAF Reservist Captain Jeff Chester, the 2019 colour scheme features a dark air force blue background with stylized orbits. Gold stars act as a nod to Canadian innovators past, present and future. The prominent maple leaf represents 95 years of RCAF service to Canada and a promise to carry on the torch of innovation well into the future. Larger gold orbits set the pathway “to the stars”, lighting the way to the future of the RCAF.
Design elements on the lex fence and side panel mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, leading to the creation of NATO.
We look forward to seeing it in the air soon! In the meantime, read more about the 2019 demonstration pilot Captain Brian “Humza” Kilroy and check our airshow calendar to see if the team will be performing near you!