Text Captain Jennifer Howell, courtesy of the RCAF. Photograph by Corporal Justin Roy.
The freshly-painted 2018 CF-18 Demonstration Team jet was towed into a 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, hangar on a sunny April 3 afternoon in front of an eager crowd.
“Wow… oh wow,” said Captain Stefan Porteous. This was the first time he’d seen the finished CF-18 Hornet that he’ll spend the summer flying for air show audiences across North America and the United Kingdom.
“I’d only seen the teaser photos we posted about a month ago,” he said, smiling, with the bright blue, white, red and grey jet behind him. During his address to the crowd, Captain Porteous introduced his maintenance and safety pilot team and thanked the army of people it took to get ready for the 2018 season.
“I realize that a staggering amount of work has gone into completing the paint job and preparing the aircraft for the show season,” he said. “I think that everyone here today, as well as those following this unveil live online, would agree with me when I say that you have done an outstanding job!”
Brigadier-General Sean Boyle, the deputy commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, also attended the much-anticipated unveiling of the “NORAD 60” paint scheme, which honours this year’s 60th anniversary of the NORAD agreement.
“NORAD is a unique example of the depth and breadth of the Canadian and U.S. partnership in the common defense of our continent,” he said. “It is a relationship built on trust, mutual benefit, and a mutual respect for sovereignty. Our collaborative relationship is one of the closest and most extensive in history.”
Brigadier-General Boyle went on to thank the team at 1 Air Maintenance Squadron who, under the direction of designers Captain Jeff Chester and Mr. Jim Beliveau, brought the design to life.
The CF-18 Demo Team now moves to 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, to fine tune the routine before the first airshow on May 4, 2018.