RCAF unveils the 2016 CF-18 Demonstration Hornet

News Article / April 12, 2016

Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force recently unveiled the CF-18 Demonstration Jet for its 2016 season.

The unveiling ceremony took place on April 5, 2016, at 4 Wing Cold, Alberta, where the jet was painted over the past few weeks. The wing commander, officials from the City of Cold Lake and the Town of Bonnyville, and Captain Ryan Kean, who will fly the jet, attended.

It gave everyone in attendance a chance to see, for the first time, the CF-18 Hornet design, which commemorates this year’s theme: the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).

"It is always a privilege for 4 Wing to be entrusted with the responsibility of designing and preparing the demonstration CF-18, which allows the Royal Canadian Air Force to connect with thousands of Canadians and present them with proud moments of our heritage,” said Colonel Eric Kenny, the commander of 4 Wing.  “This year again, Mr. Jim Belliveau has demonstrated incredible talent in capturing an idea as complex as the British Commonwealth Air Training Program. Mr Belliveau and our technicians outdid themselves bringing to life Jim’s idea. This jet will be for all to enjoy because of the hard work and commitment of our 4 Wing members."

In 2016, the Royal Canadian Air Force is commemorating one of the world’s greatest air training programs, the BCATP, which ran from 1939 to 1945, and the 75th anniversary of the establishment of RCAF’s 400-series squadrons that make up the fabric of the modern RCAF.

These squadrons, which continue to serve Canada and Canadians to this day, came into being as a result of Article XV of the BCATP agreement.

By the end of the Second World War, the BCATP had produced 131,553 aircrew, including pilots, wireless operators, air gunners, and navigators for the air forces of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The plan also trained citizens of other nations – including Poland, the United States, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and France – who were critical to the war effort. Further, tens-of-thousands of maintainers and support staff were recruited and trained by the RCAF to support the effort; without the contribution of these civilian men and women, the plan would have failed.

A native of London, Ontario, Captain Ryan Kean joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2003 under the Regular Officer Training Plan. In July 2013, he was posted to his current unit, 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) “Cougar” Squadron, as an instructor pilot on the Hornet and is currently the squadron’s deputy operations officer. During his time at 4 Wing, Captain Kean has participated in multiple training missions and exercises all over Canada and the United States. He has also conducted operational missions both at home and overseas in support of NORAD and NATO missions. He has more than1,600 flying hours on military aircraft, including 1,300 hours on the  Hornet.

“I am honored to be representing the Royal Canadian Air Force during this year’s airshow season,” said Captain Kean. “I hope to be a source of inspiration to our young Canadians the same way I was inspired myself as a young child.  I am looking forward to sharing with them my passion for aviation, hoping to motivate them to reach for their dreams as I did when I decided to become a fighter pilot.

"This year’s theme also fits well with the Demonstration team outreach mission as it ties together a pivotal moment in our Air Force’s history and its long standing relationship with our communities across Canada.”

The specially painted Hornet features a unique commemorative paint job designed by veteran design director, Jim Belliveau, at 4 Wing.

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