Taiwan's National Day celebration and military parade
Taiwan's armed forces are busy preparing for National Day celebrations in downtown Taipei, with a large-scale flyover of 70 military aircraft expected to be the highlight of a show that is now just a week away.
More than 1,500 military personnel involved in the performances have been participating in rehearsals that run through Oct. 8, Ministry of National Defense officials said Monday.
The ministry is under more pressure than usual to put together an impressive military parade because this year's Oct. 10 National Day marks the centennial of the Republic of China, and it is hoping that the aerial demonstration will provide enough of a show. As part of the parade, 70 aircraft -- including fighter jets, helicopters and transports -- will fly in formation over the Boai District, the country's political nerve-center and home to the Presidential Office and the MND.
The nearly four-minute aerial show will start with a flyover of formations of S-70C rescue planes, OH-58D reconnaissance helicopters, UH-1H utility helicopters, AH-1W attack helicopters, CH-47D transport helicopters, and C-130H planes. They will be followed by two 15-strong formations of F-16s, IDFs and Mirage 2000-5s, and a group of AT-3s from the Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team will fly in formation to create red, white and blue smoke trails in the sky to conclude the performance. Back on the ground, 168 vehicles will ride in front of the Presidential Office.
They will include a military police motorcycle squad, military rescue equipment and other high-tech equipment such as chemical detection vehicles that gained attention after the Japan nuclear crisis. Meanwhile, Marine Corps members will also demonstrate their combat and martial arts skills in the neighboring plaza of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
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.
Source: Central News Agency - By Elaine Hou - Taipei, Oct. 3 (http://www.taiwannews.com.tw)
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
Photo Warplanes to conduct flypast