SINGAPORE: The business end of Asia’s biggest airshow might have wound down, but doors at the Changi Exhibition Centre (CEC) are open to the public this weekend (Feb 10 and 11) for excited masses get on board with all things Singapore Airshow.
Among an amazing array of static aircrafts and weapons on display at the centre’s sprawling grounds, there is the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) 50th anniversary celebrations to lap up, and an exhilarating visual feast of aerobatic flying displays by a star-studded line-up of teams.
With so many things to see and do, you can’t afford to attend the event on autopilot mode. Here’s how to make the most of your day at the Singapore Airshow 2018.
With more than 130,000 visitors expected to turn up over the two days, coupled with heavy traffic and security checks, queues are inevitable. Whether you’re driving in or hopping on the free Airshow Shuttle, getting to the CEC earlier might save you the hassle of waiting in longer queues.
#Protip 1: Go early – doors open at 9.30am – and travel as light as possible for a hassle-free security check. Leave your selfie sticks at home because it belongs on the list of items not allowed into the venue.
Once the security check is cleared, grab a map of the grounds and make a beeline for the sweeping 100,000 sq metre outdoor display area accommodating some 50 aircrafts from the RSAF, Textron Aviation, US Air Force and other transport giants.
Gawk at the Wing Loong II, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from China or marvel at the plush interiors of luxury jets like the Bombardier 6000. Don’t be afraid to take a gander around inside the AH-64D Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters – the friendly staff will be more than happy to tell you more about the aircraft and perhaps even take a photo for you.
And of course, don’t pass up the opportunity to experience what it’s like to sit in the cockpit of a F-15SG and F-16C/D fighter jet!
#Protip 2: Visit the outdoor exhibit early in the day when the weather is cooler. Spend the warmer part of the day indoors in the air-conditioned exhibition hall.
After 2 hours on the asphalt amongst the static giants, it’s time to see the actual jets take to the skies with éclat. Head over to the Plaza – the area just outside the Exhibition Hall entrance – for a 45-minute aerial performance over the waters.
Prepare to be enthralled by the death-defying manoeuvres and rip-roaring displays by teams from the RSAF, Royal Thai Air Force, United States Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force. Get your cameras ready!
Keep your eyes peeled for the six never-before-seen aerial stunts the RSAF will perform.
#Protip 3: Don’t forget your earplugs, sunglasses, sunscreen and a cap.
After being dazzled by the spectacular aerial stunts, grab lunch from the F&B outlets at the show site before heading into the cool respite of the indoor exhibition halls.
#Protip 4: Bring sufficient cash as most F&B outlets only accept cash payments. The CEC has no ATMs either. Set meals on sale are around S$12.
Head on over to the RSAF pavilion for a blast from the past to learn about how the RSAF has evolved over the past 50 years. And if you have ever wanted to fly an F-16 or a UAV and put your piloting skills to the test, give the simulators a whirl – there are six types to choose from.
If you hear a distant roar of jet engines, you’re in for another round of the aerial display at the Plaza. What’s another 50 photos added to your camera roll? You know you want to.
#Protip 5: Bring a battery pack for your mobilephone for all that Instagramming you’ll be doing or extra batteries for your camera.
If you are still raring to go after almost a full day of excitement, there are still things to do. You could attempt to track down the roving Singapore Airshow mascots – Captain Leo and Captain Leonette – and snap a photo with them, or attend one of the meet-the-pilot sessions for a photo and an autograph.
#Protip 6: On your way out, you have the option of taking a cab from the CEC, but be prepared to pay a S$12 surcharge on top of your fare. Or, you can hop on the shuttle service to Singapore Expo which is complimentary for Airshow ticket holders. On-call taxis and private hire car services such as Uber and Grab will not be allowed to enter the exhibition centre.