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Canadian Government to invest $30 Million to keep the Snowbirds soaring.


11 April 2017 19 Wing Comox The Canadian Forces Snowbirds (431 Air Demonstration Squadron) perform over 19 Wing Comox. 431 (AD) Squadron and CF-188 Demo Team deployed to 19 Wing Comox to complete training prior to the start of the 2017 Air Show season. Approximately 42 personnel and 14 CT-114 aircraft deployed to 19 Wing Comox for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Pilots will acquaint themselves with mountainous terrain and over-water show sites. Images by MS Roxanne Wood 19 Wing Imaging 2017, DND-MDN Canada
RCAF Snowbirds - Copyright DoD 2017

The RCAF Snowbirds are North America's largest military display team, flying the venerable CT144 Tutor. Like many military teams, the aircraft is a legacy type and was in fact removed from the majority of it's roles with the RCAF back in 2000, leaving only around 20 examples in service with the Snowbirds and experimental units.


The team are held in high regard, displaying to millions each year across North America, with a display which is more reminiscent of the displays by European Formation Teams, than those by their US Counterparts. The Snowbirds display is one that we are unlikely to see in Europe, the jets 'legs' cannot get it across the Atlantic, without a major engineering project, with the aircraft being shipped across the pond, a costly proposition in terms of time and finances.


As the fleet of just over 20 aircraft, from a production run of over 200, continue to fulfil their role in showcasing the RCAF across Canada and the USA, their age demands greater engineering support and upgrades to ensure their safe operation. The Chronical Herald, a Canadian News company, reports on the Canadian Governments commitment to provide an additional $30 Million (Canadian) to keep the team running to 2030.



It's a theme that features across many nations, with their display teams generally operating older training types, that have been or are being replaced by more modern, higher tech, aircraft. This leaves a question mark hanging over what to do with the teams in the future. There are very few nations that have committed to replacing their legacy display team aircraft, with the Frecce Tricolori being the most high profile in the European environment. Others such as the Red Arrows and Patrouille De France, will continue for the foreseeable future in their current Hawks and Alpha Jets, like the RCAF Snowbirds.


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