149th Fighter Wing F-16C Viper wearing a 70 Years of USAF special scheme on departs Klamath Falls, Oregon for an afternoon Sentry Eagle mission .


August 4, 2017

New page of photos from RIAT 2017, the show had an amazing lineup including the return of an SU-27 Flanker from the Ukraine Air Force. These photos were shot by Jan Westendorp during the show on Saturday, unfortunately due to poor weather many performances were cancelled due to low ceiling and visibility.

August 2, 2017

Over 140 photos from Sentry Eagle 2017 now posted. Included are visiting aircraft during the exercise including EA-18G Growlers and A-10 Warthogs.

June 22, 2017

Florennes Air Base hosted a Spotters Day during the Tactical Weapons Meet on June 15th. Jan Westendorp was there to cover the action at the Belgian base where some rare and specially painted fighters were participating.

June 19, 2017

Maple Flag 50 is currently underway at 4 Wing Cold Lake. The four week mulit national exercise is split into two phases consisting of two week durations each. The exercise take place over the vast Cold Lake Air Weapons Range where the crews gain experience in interoperability between nations flying in large scale missions. Sean Bratton was in Cold Lake during the second week of the exercise and files this photo diary from Maple Flag 50.

May 29, 2017

Coulson Aviation took delivery of their first of six 737's that they will convert into air tankers. These will be the first 737's in the world to be converted to fight forest fires and will be operational in 2018. Purchased from Southwest Airlines, these 737 will also be the first air tanker with ability to transport up to 63 fire fighters to the fire zone.

May 11, 2017

From May 2-5th, eight CF-18's deployed to 19 Wing Comox for a portion of the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC) syllabus and to participate in the Navy Exercise Trident Fury. Weather was the story of the week as it cancelled all flying except for May 4th. The Hornet's were loaded with live GBU-12 Paveway II smart bombs and pilots engaged in live firing of AIM 7 Sparrow air to air missiles out over the West Coast.

April 27, 2017

The Snowbirds are airshow ready. After completing their annual Spring Training in Comox followed by their Acceptance Show in Moose Jaw, the team heads east for their first show of the season this weekend in Gatineau, Quebec. Now posted 50 new photos of the 2017 team from their training in Comox.

April 24, 2017

The 2017 CF-18 Hornet is ready for the upcoming airshow season. Just completing their annual Spring Training at 19 Wing Comox from April 8-21st, Captain Matthew "Glib" Kutryk flew two practice shows a day to perfect the spectacular Hornet demo. This years jet is painted to celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary and designed by Jim Belliveau of Cold Lake. He has designed every demo jet since 1993 for the RCAF. More than 60 photos of this special Hornet now posted.

April 19, 2017

Jan Westendorp covered the action from the multinational exercise, FRISIAN FLAG 2017. The annual exercise was held this year at Leeuwarden Air Base in the Netherlands.

April 9, 2017 -

Catch up wit photos from the archives. Now posted are photos from Jan Westendorp that covered the 2016 Zeltweg Airpower Airshow in Austria. The show had a collection of rare aircraft flying both days of the show back in September 2016.

April 9, 2017

The Snowbirds annual Spring Training is well underway at 19 Wing Comox this week. They will be preparing for the 2017 airshow season and flying twice a day till April 20th. I have updated the Snowbirds page with all new photos of the team throughout the years. Check out the first new page here.

April 4, 2017

To celebrate todays unveiling of the 2017 CF-18 Hornet Demo jet - a massive CF-18 Hornet update! The five operational CF-18 squadrons are all presently flying a specially painted Hornet in their respective fleet. Many thanks to Sean Bratton and Richard Girouard for contributing these images.

April 4, 2017

Continuing with the CF-18 Hornet theme today, new photos have been added and updated to the CF-18 Hornets Nest page including air to air shots, static and operational images.

March 5, 2017

Photo report from RED FLAG 17-1 now posted. Over 100 photos covering the action from the participants and base units during my two day visit in February.

March 5, 2017

New photos added to the Star Wars Canyon page from my recent visit on February 6th. A relatively slow day with only four passes all from F-16's from the USAF including Thunderbird 7.

February 20, 2017 -

New page featuring a recent visit to NAS Fallon. During the visit CVW 11 from the USS Nimitz was busy conducting workups for its future deployment. Of course the ramp was filled with many F-5's from VFC-13- MIG ALLEY was full of nicely painted Tigers! More than 80 photos now posted..

February 6, 2017 -

The Belgain Air Force sent arguably the highlight of the 2016 RIAT static display, the Tiger Jet from 31 Squadron.

February 20, 2017 -

The German Luftwaffe sent two attractive EF-2000 Eurofighters for static at RIAT 2016 including the Cyber Tiger painted for the 2016 Tiger Meet .

February 20, 2017 -

The Red Arrows of the Royal Air Force page now up from RIAT 2016.

February 6, 2017 -

The F-16AM demo from the Belgian Air Force was arguable the best Viper demo of all countries flying at RIAT 2016. More than 20 photos now posted.

February 6, 2017 -

The CV-22 Osprey from the USAF flew on the Saturday and Sunday of RIAT 2016. A few photos from its impressive display.

January 1, 2017 -

The first page showcasing the aircraft participating in the the Static display at RIAT 2016. Photos shot during the arrival, departure and show days highlighted. Page two coming soon!

December 16, 2016 -

The Royal Air Force was well represented at RIAT 2016, this page is devoted to the aircraft that were on static display with photos from arrival and departure days.

September 22, 2016 -

The Royal Netherlands Air Force AH-64D Apache demo page now posted.

September 14, 2016 -

The Polish Air Force F-16 Tiger Demo Team debut at RIAT 2016. Their smartly painted tiger stripe Viper fitted with Conformal Fuel Tanks, put on a spirited display during the weekend shows. More than 30 photos now posted.

September 8, 2016 -

The Freece Tricolori of the Italian Air Force brought their thrilling show back to RIAT in 2016. Using coloured smoke in their large formations and a solo performance that is possibly one of the best and unique of any of the demonstration teams of the world, they impressed the thousands of RIAT faithful. This was the last year the team will be flying the Aermacchi MB-339A and will transition to the Aermacchi M-345.

August 28, 2016 -

The Royal Navy was represented by the Black Cats. Flying a pair of HMA.2 Wildcats, the team performs tight formation and head on passes that give the illusion of them missing each other by inches. The team comes from 825 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton.

August 29, 2016 -

Boeing demonstrated their F-18F Super Hornet at RIAT this year. The Boeing test pilot flies a different demo compared to the US Navy demo, one major difference is Boeing flies with a mixed loadout of air to air weapons including AIM-9X and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.

August 28, 2016 -

The Swedish Air Force small and nimble JAS-39C Gripen was a popular display at RIAT 2016. Over 40 photos of this SAAB figher now posted.

August 27, 2016 -

RIAT 2016 hosted the Hellenic Air Force and their F-16 "ZEUS" Demo team. There were a total of four different F-16 demonstration teams at this years show, a rarity for any airshow. Over 30 photos now posted of this brightly painted Viper.

August 25, 2016 -

The always impressive F-22A Raptor performed each day during RIAT 2016. More than 30 photos now posted.

August 22, 2016 -

What can be regarded as the main attraction and highlight for many attending RIAT in 2016, the Greek Air Force sent two F-4E Phantoms from 339 Sqn. Now a rare sight at air shows across the world as only a few countries still operating these classic jets, these F-4's received a lot of attention during the weekend with large crowds talking to the Greek Phantom crews. More than 20 photos covering their arrival, static and departure now posted.

August 22, 2016 -

The Italian Air Force flew their Eurofighter on the Saturday and Sunday during RIAT 2016. One Eurofighter was also on static display for the crowds to get up close and personal. More than 20 photos from the show.

August 21, 2016 -

The RAF also debut at RIAT 2016 their latest fighter, the F-35B Lightning II, except for the RAF markings, the F-35B is identical to the USMC jet. The RAF F-35B took part in a special flypast each day of the show flying in formation with the Red Arrows and two FGR4 Typhoons. A rare sight indeed.

August 21, 2016 -

The USMC sent a pair of F-35B Lightning II to perform at RIAT 16. It was the first display outside of the US for this variant. The "B" has the ability to hover in flight and will replace the AV-8B Harrier in service. This variant is a true transformer and the doors that open up give the jet a very unique profile compared to its conventional flight appearance, as this jet is heavier due to the parts needed for vertical and short take off, the B is also slower than the F-35A.

August 16, 2016 -

Nanaimo hosted the Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornet Demo Team this past week. Once a year the Snowbirds fly a show in a different city in B.C dedicated to the CHILD Foundation, which support children living with Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis and other chronic bowel issues. This airshow raises money for the foundation and create awareness to the public. This was the first time the CF-18 demo has performed in Nanaimo, hopefully not the last as ROID tore up the summer sky!

August 14, 2016 -

RIAT 2016 hosted the very last performance of the popular French Air Force team RAMEX DELTA. Their performance showcases the agility and speed of the Mirage 2000N while staying in tight formation during their tactical manoeuvres. Enjoy the 50 photos posted from the weekend including images from the teams last show.

August 5, 2016 -

The Polish Air Force displayed their Mig 29 Fulcrum on Saturday and Sunday during RIAT 2016. This Cold War veteran was a crowd favourite demonstrating it's raw power, trademark tail slide and easy to follow dark smoke trailing from behind. More than 30 photos posted from the the two performances.

August 2, 2016 -

The HC4 Chinook demo of the Royal Air Force is now posted.

August 1, 2016 -

The Armee de l'air Rafale page is now posted. This demo is aggressive and flown at high speed from start to finish, one of the highlight performers at RIAT 2015 without question.

July 30, 2016 -

Airbus Defence and Space demonstrated their A400M Grizzly at RIAT 2016. Now in service with many air forces of the world including Germany and Britain - both had examples on static display at the show. The Grizzly flies like a plane half its size and performs an impressive wing over of 110 degrees during the demo.

July 29, 2016 -

BAE Systems displayed their FGR4 Typhoon loaded with a full complement of air to air and air to ground weapons at RIAT 2016. The performance of the Typhoon was not hindered by this load out, the speed and agility was simply awesome. Loaded with four Meteor and two ASRAAM air to air missies, two Brimstone and two Paveway IV air to ground munitions and two external fuel tanks under the wing, this weapons fit demonstrates the flexibility the FGR4 now possesses - with a switch of a button it can perform in the air to air or air to ground role.

July 24, 2016 -

One of the stars of RIAT 2016 was the F-35A Lightning II. This variant is on strength with the USAF and based at Luke AFB, Arizona. Although it did not perform a demo routine, it did take part in the USAF Heritage Flight flying with the F-22A Raptor and on Sunday Miss Helen P-51 Mustang.

July 23, 2016 -

The first of several updates from RIAT 2016 starts today. First up is SOLO TURK, the F-16C demo from the Turkish Air Force.

June 27, 2016 -

A throw back update covering the 2012 RIAT. Jan Westendorp was at this terrific show and has more than 90 photos covering the largest military airshow in the world..

June 17, 2016 -

Leeuwarden AB was host to the 2016 Royal Netherlands Air Force Open Days. An impressive lineup that was highlighted by a pair of RNLAF F-35A Lighnting II's. Thanks again to Jan Westendorp for capturing the action from this great show.

April 29, 2016 -

The SNOWBIRDS have just completed their annual Spring Training at 19 Wing Comox this week. They are now preparing for the 2016 airshow season where they will perform at 38 different locations between May and October. The team kicks off the season in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 7 and 8th.

April 21, 2016 -

The 2016 CF-18 Hornet demo page is now up! This years theme is "Training for Victory." The paint scheme celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, during World War 2 airbases across Canada were used to train thousands of pilots and aircrew from several Allied Nations prior to deploying to fight in the war.

October 18, 2015 -

Photos from the 2015 MCAS Miramar Airshow now up! My dad was at one day of the airshow weekend and captured some great shots of the Marines in action including the F-35B Lightning II demo. More than 60 photos in total!

August 29, 2015 -

First page of photos from the 2015 Comox Airshow now posted. Over 60 photos with more to follow soon!

August 24, 2015 -

The first page from the 2015 Abbotsford Airshow is now posted. This show marked the debut of the USAF F-22 Raptor demo. Along with the CF_18 Hornet, USN F-18E/F Super Hornet demos. The Snowbirds and the Breitling Jet Team from Europe, it was an entertaining show that was well attended by airshow fans....and to top it all off, the DH98 Mosquito was back in the air, this time flying formation with a Spitfire and Mustang in the Merlin Flight. Over 60 photos now up for viewing with page 2 to follow soon!

May 1, 2015 -

The annual Spring Training in Comox concluded this week. The Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo Team are now preparing to hit the airshow circuit. Here are over 50 photos of the Snowbirds shot during their three weeks of practice.

April 30, 2015 -

More photos of the spectacular Battle of Britain 2015 CF-18 Demo jet - including an epic air to air shoot with the RCAF Snowbirds! A special thanks to the CF-18 Demo Team, the Snowbirds and 442 Squadron for their support during the past three weeks.

October 10, 2014 -

A new documentary is now in production, covering the MK35 Mosquito, the only flying example in Canada and second in the world. The doc will cover the early stages of restoration in 2009 to it's first flight and first public appearance at the 2014 Abbotsford Airshow. This BluRay will be a must for any aviation enthusiast. Click the link above to get more info

Aircraft of the Can...
By Derek Heyes

July 20, 2010

I am pleased to announce the release of my first book, GUARDIANS OF THE NORTH - Aircraft of the Canadian Forces 2004-2010. Devoted to the aircraft that Canada operates today, the 86 pages are full colour and give you a rare glimps in the cockpit and behind the scenes during Exercises and Operations that the men and women of the Canadian Air Force perform 24-7-365 days a year. Follow the link directly above or in the top right corner of your screen for a Preview of the book. The link will also allow to purchase the book and have it delivered directly to you. This will be the first volume in a series of books dedicated to the Air Forces of the world, their aircraft and the men and women that fly and maintain them.


Contact me at

Aircraft of the Can...
By Derek Heyes


2017 - Derek Heyes

All images are copyright and may not be downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, copied, altered or projected in any form, by use of computer, electronic or printed means, without written permission from Derek Heyes. All rights reserved.