The Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18 Hornet demonstration jet – which will be performing in Hay River on July 8 as part of the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour 2017 – was recently unveiled with its new colours to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.
The unveiling ceremony took place on April 4 at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, where the jet has been hosted for the past few weeks.
Capt. Matthew Kutryk, the 2017 demonstration jet pilot, as well as the technicians and support staff for the demonstration team, attended the unveiling, along with local dignitaries and military members.
The 2017 paint scheme has the aircraft fully-painted with a red and white design incorporating the Canada 150 logo.
“Seeing this incredible jet in person has made me even more motivated to share it with Canadians,” said Kutryk in a news release from the armed forces. “There will be no doubt during any of our stops this air show season that this jet represents Canada and the amazing year we are celebrating. I hope that this jet will inspire all Canadians to chase their dreams as I did because that is what Canada is all about.”
Nancy McClure, executive director of the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour 2017, called the new colours stunning.
“When you see that flying inverted over Hay River it will be something to see, let me tell you, at just below supersonic speed,” she told The Hub from Rocky Mountain House, Alta.
McClure predicted the jet will be one of the images that people will remember from Canada 150.
“It’s just one of the most beautiful images I’ve seen that will be against a blue sky,” she said.
Each year, the demonstration jet receives special colours – either the entire jet or just the tail section – to mark something special about the year.
“They’re always amazing,” said McClure. “I was a little worried that this red was going to be difficult to come out right. It’s just amazing.”
The specially-painted CF-18 Hornet features the official logo for Canada 150 placed throughout the design.
The logo is composed of a series of diamonds, or ‘celebratory gems’, arranged in the shape of the iconic maple leaf.
The four diamonds at the base represent the four original provinces that formed Confederation in 1867: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Additional diamonds extend out from the base to create nine more points. Together, they symbolize Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.
On the left wing, the time span of Confederation is shown with the year of Confederation, 1867, and the 150th anniversary year – 2017. The right wing bears the official name of the celebration – Canada 150.
The Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour 2017 was created to bring Canada 150 celebrations to the North.
Founded by a group of Albertans, it will be a nine-week tour featuring 97 air shows – beginning on June 2 in Fort Liard and ending on Aug. 31 – that will span three territories and two provinces, while covering 16,700 nautical miles.
Along with the CF-18, there will be a minimum of six civilian aircraft performing aerobatic routines in Hay River.
The CF-18 will also be performing in Yellowknife on July 9.