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Black Knights

The Black Knights is the official aerobatics team of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) featuring six F-16C Fighting Falcons in formation flight. The Black Knights emblem is sported on the red vertical tail of each of the team’s aircraft and the team’s name is emblazoned on both sides of the aircraft which are painted in the national colours of Singapore - red and white.

The Black Knights was commissioned in 1974. The Knight is widely regarded as the most aggressive, flexible and manoeuvrable of all the chess pieces, having both the ability to breach barriers and move in nimble and strategically important directions, exemplifying flexibility during their aerial manoeuvres. The four-ship Black Knights flew was on June 7, 1976 in Changi airbase on the occasion of the Singapore Air Force Day. From team’s creation, until 1983, Black Knights flew four Hawker Hunter airplanes.

The Black Knights progressed from flying a four-ship Hawker Hunters to a five-ship F-5E Tiger IIs team of the eighties. In 1990, the Black Knights performed in a six-aircraft formation consisting of the locally re-engined A-4SU Super Skyhawks, utilising it until year 2000. On 9 August 2000, the RSAF Black Knights appeared during the air segment of the parade which featured a four-ship formation flight of A-4SU Super Skyhawks performing aerobatic stunts to thrill the crowds at the Padang in front of Singapore’s City Hall building. This marks the last time the team uses A-4SU Super Skyhawks. The RSAF Black Knights was reformed to a five-ship F-16Cs at the inaugural Singapore Airshow 2008.

Unlike the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds or the U.K. Royal Air Force Red Arrows, the Black Knights is not a full-time aerobatics team. The team was formed only after the pilots and ground crew went through a stringent selection process following recommendation from their peers and senior commanding officers. To be considered for selection, each fighter pilot must have clocked at least 1,000 flying hours.

Updated On: 13.01.06