Mon, Oct 03, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Warplanes to conduct flypast

BBC GOES TO TAIWAN:As trial flypasts take place this week, the BBC will present news segments on various aspects of Taiwan in the lead-up to the ROC’s centennial day

Staff Writer, with CNA

A total of 70 warplanes of various types will fly in formation over the area of the Presidential Office in Taipei on Monday next week to celebrate the Republic of China’s (ROC) centennial Double Ten National Day, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

The four-minute event, part of the annual Double Ten National Day military parade, will be the largest warplane flypast ever staged in Taiwan, ministry officials said.

The military aircraft, including fighter jets, helicopters and transports, will enter Taipei airspace from the Tamsui River (淡水河) estuary and fly over the Boai Special District (博愛特區) — the country’s political nerve center, which is also home to the ministry.

Military experts said it takes sophisticated calculations for such a large number of different types of warplanes with different cruising speeds to fly on the same route over the same venue at the same time.

Ministry sources said the aircraft pilots have been undergoing training at Chingchuankang Air Base in Greater Taichung in preparation for the flypast.

Thirty of the planes conducted a trial flypast over the Presidential Office on Friday, they said.

A full-scale trial flight is scheduled for between 6:50am and 7:10am tomorrow and another will take place from 10:30am to 10:50am on Thursday.

In preparation for the flypast, military sources said, the air force will set up a provisional command center on the top floor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building near the Presidential Office.

The aerial show will start with gyroplanes flying in formation, including three S-70C air force rescue helicopters, three S-70C navy anti-submarine helicopters, six OH-58D army reconnaissance helicopters, six UH-1H utility helicopters, six AH-1W attack helicopters and six CH-47SD medium transport helicopters, as well as three BH-1900 and three C-130H transport planes.

They will be followed by two 15-strong formations of the country’s second-generation fighters — five each of F-16s, Indigenous Defense Fighters and Mirage 2000-5s.

The event will end with seven AT-3 jet trainers from the Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team flying in formation and emitting red, white and blue smoke trails.

In related news, the Government Information Office said yesterday the BBC would present a series of news features on Taiwan starting today in the run-up to the Double Ten National Day.

The four themes of Taiwanese people, tourism, the land as well as the economy and industry will be aired by BBC World News this week.

Working Lives will introduce the lives of six people working in different professions — a college professor, an activist, a market seller, a tea grower, an entrepreneur and an immigrant from China.

The documentary-style One Square Mile program will unveil randomly selected corners of Taiwan in the range of literally 1 square mile (2.59km2).

Asia Business Report will look at Taiwan’s industrial and economic development.

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