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Reducing Snowbirds Team not an Option, (Canadian) Air Force Says
Ottawa Citizen ^ | August 31, 2006 | David Pugliese

Posted on 08/31/2006 6:59:29 AM PDT by NorthOf45

Reducing Snowbirds team not an option, air force says
Plan to replace planes with CF-18s also rejected

By David Pugliese
Ottawa Citizen
August 31, 2006

Canada's air force has rejected the option to substantially reduce the size of its Snowbirds team, as well as substitute CF-18 fighter jets for the aerobatic formation's aging Tutor aircraft.

But the military still hasn't settled on how it plans to keep the famous aerial demonstration unit operating well into the future.

A briefing note, dated April 25, 2006, to air force commander Lt.-Gen. Steve Lucas, as well as a report on the future options for the Snowbirds, outline the problems the service is facing with the 40-year-old Tutor aircraft the team now flies.

"Due to obsolescence issues, in the 2010 time frame, the Tutor will no longer be a viable aircraft for the Snowbirds," the documents, obtained by the Citizen through the Access to Information Act, conclude.

The air force is examining various options, including leasing or buying new aircraft for the Snowbirds and reducing the size from the current nine-plane formation to seven planes.

But it drew the line at cutting the formation back to four aircraft and substituting the high-speed CF-18 aircraft for the Tutors.

"A four aircraft team would have very little flexibility in display manoeuvres and therefore in entertainment value," the documents said.

"Four aircraft, regardless of type, would have a harmful effect to the Snowbirds' image."

Using CF-18s would increase the ability of the team to perform around the world but reduce their availability for smaller venues in Canada which have runways too short to accommodate the jets.

In addition, the CF-18s would be 20 times more expensive to operate than the Tutors.

The documents noted that the U.S. navy's Blue Angels aerial demonstration team uses six F-18s in their show but the higher speeds, fewer jets and larger turning radius for the aircraft mean the "show has much less time in front of the crowds than the Snowbirds."

Only Israel and Finland have show team sizes of four aircraft.

All other countries operate teams with sizes ranging from six to 10 planes.

Air force spokesman Capt. Jim Hutcheson said no decision has been made on the future structure of the Snowbirds.

"Ultimately there is recognition that we have to support the Snowbirds," he said.

"A range of options is still being looked at."

Capt. Hutcheson noted that "the current situation for the Tutor is stable."

A study determined the Snowbirds Tutor has sufficient life to continue to the 2020 time frame. To do that would require upgrades to the aircraft's avionics.

Capt. Hutcheson said there is no imminent decision to change the current situation with the Snowbirds.

The air force is in the midst of acquiring new helicopters, long-range strategic transport planes and a replacement for its aging Hercules transport fleet in a series of contracts worth billions of dollars.

The Snowbirds project "is not receiving the heat and light that many of the other projects are receiving," Capt. Hutcheson said.

The documents indicate that if the Snowbirds switched to more modern aircraft, the team could use a smaller formation of seven aircraft and still perform their various manoeuvres.

The reduction in team size would be offset by higher noise level and more modern design of new aircraft, according to the air force records.

It could also keep the status quo and continue to use the Tutors.

The advantages being that the team is well received in the U.S. and Canada, has an established legacy, and sufficient aircraft to fly until 2020.

The disadvantage of the status quo, according to the records, is that it requires about 100 personnel for the team, the aircraft are old, there are limited spare parts and an increased risk of unexpected aircraft problems.

Some officers see the Snowbirds as vital to the Canadian military's public image.

Others, however, question spending money on the team since it does not directly contribute combat capabilities to the air force.


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: canada; canadianmilitary; snowbirds; tutor
I do like the Tutor in that I believe it is more agile and versatile for this use. Obviously though, they will need newer planes at some point. However, I really hope they leave the number on the team at nine.




1 posted on 08/31/2006 6:59:30 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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To: Clive; GMMAC; fanfan; Alexander Rubin; F14 Pilot; FrPR; Cannoneer No. 4; KitJ; Candor7; ...

Canadian Military Ping


2 posted on 08/31/2006 7:00:07 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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To: NorthOf45
About 15 years ago, I was doing touch and go's for my pilots license when the tower told us to either land or leave the airspace.

Still having over an hour left on the plane, we put down and grabbed a soda.

Next thing we know, the Snowbirds are 50' overhead in a tight diamond formation - got an up close and personal airshow for free.
3 posted on 08/31/2006 7:10:05 AM PDT by NY.SS-Bar9 (DR #1692 Check your elevation.)
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To: NorthOf45; Aeronaut; All

Oh! Look! Pretty pictures of Canada's entire air farce outside its hanger! Eh?

Per Ardua ad Astra!

<]:)~<


4 posted on 08/31/2006 7:10:25 AM PDT by Brian Allen ("Moral issues are always terribly complex, for someone without principles." - G K Chesterton)
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To: NorthOf45

Scrap the Snowbirds. Canada can't afford them... not on its pathetic defense budget. Use the funds to replace the "Sea Things" that keep crashing.


5 posted on 08/31/2006 7:20:13 AM PDT by Camerican (It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing - Macbeth)
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To: NorthOf45

Blue Angels used to fly A4 Skyhawks. There may be some of them left around. They're incredibly agile.


6 posted on 08/31/2006 8:31:22 AM PDT by Dilbert56
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To: NorthOf45

Those planes remind me of the failed Fairchild trainers that the Air Force was considering in the early-mid '80s.


7 posted on 08/31/2006 8:33:55 AM PDT by LIConFem (Just opened a new seafood restaurant in Great Britain, called "Squid Pro Quid")
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To: LIConFem


The Fairchild T-46.
8 posted on 08/31/2006 8:37:36 AM PDT by LIConFem (Just opened a new seafood restaurant in Great Britain, called "Squid Pro Quid")
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To: Camerican
Replacement have already been ordered from Sikorsky ...


9 posted on 08/31/2006 10:19:59 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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To: Brian Allen

Great ... you again.


10 posted on 08/31/2006 10:20:34 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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To: NorthOf45; GMMAC; Pikamax; Former Proud Canadian; Great Dane; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; ...
Canada ping.

Please send me a FReepmail to get on or off this Canada ping list.

11 posted on 08/31/2006 11:37:35 AM PDT by fanfan
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To: fanfan

I grew up near CFB Comox, every year they were there for us to watch, free shows, as they flew over our neighborhood!


12 posted on 08/31/2006 11:50:08 AM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: MD_Willington_1976

Wow, that's nice.

I've seen them only at fairs and on Canada Day.
They are amazing to watch, eh?


13 posted on 08/31/2006 11:59:42 AM PDT by fanfan
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To: NorthOf45

<< Great ... you again. >>

Great Me, indeed.

Too bad all y'all can't afford to run the "c"F/18s or I coulda made a smart-arsed remark or two about the "c."

<]:^)~<

Blessings -- Brian


14 posted on 08/31/2006 7:48:28 PM PDT by Brian Allen ("Moral issues are always terribly complex, for someone without principles." - G K Chesterton)
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To: Camerican
I agree. There are much better things to spend the money on, and maybe help our so;diers in Afghanistan, rather than keep up the hollow liberal image that Canada has a viable Armed force from sea to sea. Thats just NOT true.

The Snow Turds are just nothing but a liberal boon doggle, far past being even good fertilizer.

Trash em and crash em. Use em for stationary targets on the ground, or convince some Jihadis to fly them as targets for Canada's sole intercept squadron.

15 posted on 08/31/2006 11:37:21 PM PDT by Candor7 (Into Liberal flatulance goes the best hope of the West, and who wants to be a smart feller?)
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To: Candor7

I've never heard them referred to as a liberal boondoggle. Yes, there may be other needs to spend money on, but I wouldn't take it away from the Snowbirds. I believe they are important ambassadors for Canada and our military.

If you are to take more money for the military, I'm all for that ... just generate it from streamlining the forces (reduce the number of suits) and reduce the perks for "officers". The government can also get it from the Gun Registry, Kyoto, the costs of official bilingualism, and a list of other wasteful programs.

Whether the Snowbirds are a liberal initiative or not, I'm for keeping them. The Liberals sent our soldiers to Afghanistan. Does that mean we should pull them out?


16 posted on 09/01/2006 6:21:29 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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To: NorthOf45

They were "on order" when I fled Canada over 6 years ago.


17 posted on 09/01/2006 7:01:34 AM PDT by Camerican (It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing - Macbeth)
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To: Camerican
As reported on July 24, 2004 ...

Ottawa awards $3.2B chopper contract to Sikorsky
18 posted on 09/01/2006 7:47:05 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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To: fanfan

Yes, I went to Brooklyn elementary school and they would always do manuevers near there, so we had free shows everyday. I also used to spend a lot of time at Kye bay, which is just down the shore from the beach at CFB Comox... free shows there too all summer.

You can check out those areas with google earth. You can see the airbase in high resolution.


19 posted on 09/01/2006 9:53:08 AM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: NorthOf45
I think you make some good points but ambassadorial projection is not what Canada needs. Our nation needs to be able to project power.

I am, all for a flight display team based on a new combat capable aircraft. The Tudor jet was a replacement for the CF-86 Sabre based team, the Golden Hawks which was cut by the liberal POS government in 1964, along with other battle capable regiments such as the Black Watch a few years later.

Later the more liberal soft, touchy feely "Snowbirds" were rolled out for a kinder , gentler display.

I have had the privilege of viewing both teams, and the Tudor based Snow birds disply never could hold a candle to the sky ripping display of the Golden Hawks, in either formation flying or mock low level combat ( not done by the : "Snow Turds".)

Hey, I am all for a Canada Flight Display team as long as it is based on a combat capable airframe, and piloted by the best combat fliers Canada has, from squadrons who fight the airframe. The "Snowturds" are a liberal joke and as les Quebecoise are so fond of saying," Je me souviens!" I remember the difference between the Golden Hawks and the Snow Turds, a softer innoucuous smoke streaming display on a non combat air frame......a liberal joke and icon of social engineering that pulled the fangs out of the maw of the Canadian Military. Thats what the Snow Turds represent.

Now Harper needs to put some money towards a new combat aircraft, and let the best of the best fly IT in a display team, rather than continue the lovey lighty poofter Snow Turd image. Trash them, and their Frenchy farting non combat POS aircraft.LOL.

Bitter I am.

I will never forget what Trudeau did the the CAF, and the "Snow Turds" represent all that is wrong with the CAF thanks to the liberal a$$holes who brought them on, along with the "Golden Centennaires."

Take a look at a Canada's last REAL RCAF Flight display team:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Hawks

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

20 posted on 09/01/2006 8:03:15 PM PDT by Candor7 (Into Liberal flatulance goes the best hope of the West, and who wants to be a smart feller?)
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To: NorthOf45
Those are photos of poofter planes.LOL.

This is a plane:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And Canada could acquire them with a little effort and diplomacy.

21 posted on 09/01/2006 8:46:13 PM PDT by Candor7 (Into Liberal flatulance goes the best hope of the West, and who wants to be a smart feller?)
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To: Candor7

Thanks for the insight. I'm aware to a degree of what the libs did to our military back then ... it was before my time. I must admit that I didn't even know the Golden Hawks existed. Wow, the liberal haze is thick. Thanks again for the photos and history.


22 posted on 09/02/2006 3:18:57 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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To: Candor7

Yes, I trust that we'll get our hands on some of these.

Maybe then, they'll provide an updated (military) airframe for the Snowbirds. I can't see them changing the name Snowturds though. ; )


23 posted on 09/02/2006 3:21:02 AM PDT by NorthOf45
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