The 2016 Canadian Forces Demo Hornet Revealed

  • Apr 7, 2016 9:25am GMT

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has unveiled the CF-18 Demonstration Jet for the 2016 season. The unveiling ceremony took place at 4 Wing Cold, Alberta, where the jet was painted over the past few weeks. The event was attended by the Wing Commander, officials from the City of Cold Lake and the Town of Bonnyville, along with Capt Ryan Kean this year's demo pilot.

"It is always a privilege for 4 Wing to be entrusted with the responsibility to design and prepare the Demonstration CF-18 which allows the Royal Canadian Air Force to connect with thousands of Canadians and present them with proud moments of our heritage. This year again, Mr. Jim Belliveau has demonstrated incredible talent in capturing an idea as complex as the British Commonwealth Air Training Program. Mr Belliveau and our technicians outdid themselves bringing to life Jim’s idea. This jet will be for all to enjoy because of the hard work and commitment of our 4 Wing members,” said Colonel Eric Kenny, Commander, 4 Wing Cold Lake

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s 2016 commemorative efforts this year will focus on one of the world’s greatest air training programs. The Canadian Forces CF-18 Demonstration Team will be a significant part of it's recognition. Today the jet was unveiled in his commemorative colours paying tribute to the BCATP "Yellow Wings".

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), which ran from December 17, 1939, to March 31, 1945, was a massive Canadian program that trained aircrew from the air forces of Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, as well as personnel from other allied nations including the use of instructors from the U.S. By the time the program came to an end on March 31, 1945, RCAF and civilian instructors had graduated more than 131,000 pilots, navigators, wireless operators, air bombers, air gunners and flight engineers.

“This year, we mark a key period in our Royal Canadian Air Force history, and share our celebrations with the more than 140 Canadian communities that contributed to the massive five-year air training program that helped lead the Allies to victory in Europe,” said Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formation of the first 400 series squadrons, we note that they were the product of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan agreement and their names, legacy and professionalism live on in our squadrons today.”

The RCAF has selected 2016 as the year to celebrate the BCATP because the RCAF’s 400-series squadrons, which came into being as a direct result of Article XV of the BCATP agreement, were first established overseas in 1941 – 75 years ago. However, as important as these squadrons are to the RCAF and its sense of identity as a national institution, the anniversary celebrations are also commemorating the entirety of the five and a half year-long training program.