'It's always a thrill': Pilot in Airshow London gives a sneak peek of the show
LONDON, ONT. -- In just under two weeks Airshow London pilots will be painting the skies with their eye-catching aerial display.
The airshow, Skydrive, will be held as a drive-in event offering Canada’s first physically distant air show, on September 12 and 13 at London International Airpot.
The Aerial display features seven American military demonstration teams.
Following official certification by the commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. Mike Holmes, Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe has taken over as the new F-35A Demonstration Team’s pilot and commander for the 2020 and 2021 air show season.
“It’s always a thrill. The jet can go up to 50,0000 feet and can go up to Mach 1.6, which is 1.6 times the speed of sound,” says Wolfe.
Wolfe says that during the demonstration pilots will fly as fast as .95 Mach which is the equivalent of going just over 1,000 kilometres and hour.
Wolfe says that pilots bring full combat-ready jets to showcase in the airshow.
“They’re not modified in anyway they could go to war tomorrow if you needed them to, so that's pretty cool,” says Wolfe.
The F-34A is known for its manoeuverability which Wolfe likes to show off to the crowd during the demonstration.
“We can turn the nose pretty quickly, so rapid rates of pitch, high angle of attack manoeuvring.”
A narrator will be explaining all the manoeuvers as they go, one of the most popular is called the I to I, also known as the Inverted to Inverted pass.
“Basically we’re 300 feet above ground level and we hold the jet inverted for about 5 seconds and then we do it again.”
It’s the first year that pilots wont be able to meet the crowd due to COVID-19.
Wolfe says that performing a demonstration for crowds can create a positive memory during the unprecedented times we’re all living in.
“Just to hear the raw power of a jet, it just uplifts a lot of people and can be a family event that you can get everybody to go out to.”
Airshow London says on its website that the drive-in-event is similar to a drive-in-movie.
“Guest may enjoy the show from inside their vehicles or sit in lawn chairs in front of their vehicle safely distanced from others,” stated on their website.
Despite COVID-19’s negative impact on so much around us, this year’s line-up of aviation acts at Airshow London is unprecedented. Along with aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force, the show will include seven U.S.-based demonstration teams.