Saturday, August 30, 2008

RSAF Open House

It is a miracle!

Well, for the first part of the day at least.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force Open House 2008 celebrates its 40th birthday today. The day held up its sunny side fortunately. It was totally wet in the late afternoon, but we will never know how wet the visitors were since we were already home when the skies opened-up after 5:00PM.

Paya Lebar Airbase was before Singapore's second airport terminal after it moved from Kallang Airport.

Air Force Converted Paya Lebar Airport Control Tower

The constant need to accommodate for travellers throughout the years, Changi International Airport is now and will definitely be the last move we will see, since it has grown to 3 world-class terminals and a budget terminal as well.

Back in those days, Paya Lebar Airport was practically my neighbour. Our village was separated by the airport high-wired fence. Every now and then, big aeroplanes would fly pass our village with its wheels out ready to land.

RSAF Open House 2008

The big jumbos were flying so low that I felt I almost could touch its belly with my hands stretched out... at least in my dreams as a child. The Concord would rattle the knick-knacks in our homes the worst whenever it flew over.

At times we would see large bellowing black smoke up in the sky. Everyone in the village would rush over to the edge of our village, hands clamped to the wired fence to see the "commotion."

Nothing terrible had ever happen though. No planes ever exploded as far as I can recall. The thick smoke would be coming from the air-crash landing practices the airport fire-fighters did every now and then.

Air Show Opening 2 of 8 Parachutes

Taking a cab ride, I could still see the warehouse which became the landmark a few years before our village was bought-over by the government for redevelopment. It brought back so many memories, yet so many more had faded or already forgotten from my mind.

Boy, if I had pictures back then, I would share them with Wifey and Sonny... and you too.

Well, back to the present.

The day was hot. Cannot complain as it should be else there will be no air show. We reached the entrance at about 10:15AM.

There was already a large crowd queuing through security checks. It was a tough time for some children and old people especially waiting for their turn in the hot sun, frying on the tarmac.

The 8 parachutes welcomed everyone there at about 10:30AM. Then came the F-16s, Hercules and Chinook Helicopters, making the beginning of the Open House 2008 with an air show.

The static displays were impressive. We would have gone through them all, if not for the long line waiting. The heat wave rising from the burning tarmac had us retreated to the displays in the hanger for most of our visit.

I especially like the night vision experience. The totally darkened rooms became impressively clear using the night-vision binoculars. Wonder if such gadget is sold legally here? It would be a great toy for me. Camping or nature watch for nocturnal animals would be great!

Trying my hands to blow-up the control tower

We had hands-on with SAM or Surface-to-Air-Missile that weighed 18Kg. I also got to try shooting down enemies from a helicopter... I felt like Rambo for a moment, only less ripped.

Sonny had his hands on the explosive finder. He found the buried 25gm "bomb" within seconds.

Sonny aiming at the Cessna flying above

The Hot Air Balloon, oh, the hot air balloon...

As expected, it was probably the highlight of the day. Everyone tried their luck by means of a lucky draw coupon dropped in at the centre stage, instead of queuing for a ride. I think this method is ingenious to avoid frustrated visitors not getting a ride eventually after queuing for hours in the hot sun.

Copter assault gun, just like in the movies

We did not have a chance... neither did thousands too. We waited for the hot air ballons to take off from the carnival field, but it never did take off... even until we left the place. Not really sure cloudy weather prevented it from taking off.

It would have been great as it would have been the first few hot air balloons floating in Singapore skies. It would have been a rare sight here captured with my own camera.

Wifey in front of the RSAF hanger

Ahh... weapons of destruction... so intriguing, so destructive. Hopefully we will never need to use it either for defense or strike on our soil or others for a long, long time.


  1. I was going to try to e-mail you a video I sent to some of my blog friends, it's a nice song and gives us hope for the future. So, I wanted to send it to you but I see you have no e-mail address on here..that's ok I understand I don't either. So, if you want to check out the video song just go to my blog and click on the video.

    My former husband from years back, was an air traffic controller, during his time in the air force and also we traveled and lived in so many places I lost count. We always lived near the airports. I'll never forget living in a large trailer right next to the air force airport runway in Myrtle Beach South Carolina..I mean the runway was like right across the street!..I saw so many of these strange looking jets and such that some looked like UFO's in the day and at night! and I saw some very strange things. The sounds of the jets so loud and their stinky jet fuel blowing near our motorhome every day and night. So, I know what you mean about experiencing that feeling of being like right under the belly of a big jet! I've been in lots of military C5's and such that carry jeeps and cars in them! I've flown in one in the eye of a tornado and such..all this because I was married to an ATC.

    Wow, you sure brought back a lot of memories..and it looks like you all had a great time and brought some memories back to you also.

    Sorry about the moonsoons, we had them when I lived in Japan and I remember them well..along with the constant earthquake tremors!.:O(

    Hope you have a beautiful and hopefully maybe slightly sunny day to ride your bike in..

    Blessings as always,


  2. I always learn so much about your land from you! thanks for sharing it with us.
    (my favorite photo is you with the gun :)

  3. Hello Both,

    Than you for stopping by and leaving your messages.

    Rhiannon | I would love to receive your that song. Yeah, I do realize now that I didn't put an email link in my blog. I'll do it soon.

    I went to your blog and clicked on it, but the traffic was too slow from my end to actually get the video even started. I'll view it another time when it's not peak hour.

    Must have been a wonderful experience to live in so many places... you must have lots of other wonderful memories from all these places.

    The days and especially the weekends have not let up so far. It has been raining monsoon-like for weeks already... that should be in Nov and Dec time, but it comes early this year.

    There will be other times when I can start to enjoy my bike rides again. Right after October when our religious festivities are over.

    Andrew | Likewise, I love to see the pictures you post together with your poems.

    One picture at a time, but it tells so much and makes me wonder and want for more.

    I learn many things from you too... my admiration for your accomplishments despite the medical past you had to go through is one of them.

    Thanks again both. Have a great week ahead.

  4. Loved this post! It's wonderful that you and your family are able to get out and explore so much. You are blessed.

  5. Well certainly get out and about.
    It looks like you are auditioning for the lead heart throb role in a Hollywood movie on some of these pics.
    Are you sure there's not something you need to tell us? Ha.

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