The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) unveiled the CF-18 Demonstration Jet for its 2017 season this week. The jet celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The unveiling ceremony took place at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta. Captain Matthew Kutryk, the 2017 Demonstration Pilot, as well as the technicians and support staff for the 2017 Demonstration Team attended, along with local dignitaries and military members.
Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region addressed the gathering proudly saying, “This incredible Canada 150 CF-18 Hornet is a shining example of the teamwork and professionalism that is embodied by the men and women of the RCAF and is just one of the many ways that the men and women of the RCAF are working to honour their rich heritage, and commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada.”
The unveiling gave everyone in attendance a ‘first complete look’ at the 2017 paint scheme. The jet wears the national colours of red and white and incorporates the Canada 150 logo. Painting the 2017 Demonstration jet has been a team effort between 3 Wing, which provided the jet and technicians to bring the design concept to life and 4 Wing which provided hangar space and support throughout the painting. Jim Beliveau again designed the aircraft.
“3 Wing is honoured to provide our aircraft as the 2017 Canada 150 Demonstration Jet. Our talented technicians have outdone themselves, taking what was once a graphic concept on paper and transforming it into an incredible final paint scheme for the CF-18. The teamwork required to get this jet painted is just one example of how Canadians can come together to produce a spectacular product. We cannot thank 4 Wing enough for their support during this process,” said Colonel Darcy Molstad, Commander 3 Wing Bagotville.
The specially-painted CF-18 Hornet features the official logo for “Canada 150” placed throughout the design. The logo is composed of a series of diamonds, or “celebratory gems”, arranged in the shape of the iconic maple leaf. The four diamonds at the base represent the four original provinces that formed Confederation in 1867: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Additional diamonds extend out from the base to create nine more points. Together, they symbolize Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. On the left wing, the timespan of Confederation is shown with the year of Confederation, 1867, and the 150th anniversary year – 2017. The right wing bears the official name of the celebration – “Canada 150”. All aspects of the design come together to create a truly unique and fitting tribute to this important year in Canada’s history.
It will be flown this year by Captain Matthew Kutryk, who said, “Seeing this incredible jet in person has made me even more motivated to share it with Canadians. There will be no doubt during any of our stops this air show season that this jet represents Canada and the amazing year we are celebrating. I hope that this jet will inspire all Canadians to chase their dreams as I did because that is what Canada is all about.”
Throughout the year, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will support the Government of Canada’s celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, participating in numerous events across the country. The upcoming air show season is a special opportunity for the RCAF and the Demonstration Team to join Canadians across the nation in celebrating shared values, achievements and Canada’s place in the world.
The team will head west to Comox, British Columbia for work ups and the first public appearance will be in the US. I’m looking forward to working with the team at the Chennault Air Show in Lake Charles, Louisiana April 28 – 30.
CF-18 DEMONTRATION TEAM 2017 SCHEDULE
|29-30||Chennault, LA, USA|
|6-7||McEntire ANGB, SC, USA|
|20-21||Seymour AFB, NC|
|27-28||Columbia, MO, USA|
|3||Watson Lake, YT|
|16-17||North Bay, ON|
|1**||Ottawa, ON (flyby)|
|8||Hay River, NT|
|22-23||Fort St. John, BC|
|19-20||Riviere du Loup, QC|
|17**||Ottawa, ON (Battle of Britain commemoration – flyby)|
|30 – Oct 1||Grand Junction, CO, USA|
|sep 30 – oct 1||Grand Junction, CO, USA|
Photos / Video provided by the National Defence Canada.