The ADEX (Aerospace and Defence Exhibition) takes place at the Sinchonri (K-16) Air Base East of Seoul and serves mainly as a showcase for the local defence industry. It is one of the few chances to see Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) jets in the air and take a closer look at them on the ground.
Where? Seoul, South Korea
On the first day the official opening ceremony with high-ranking military ranks and officials takes place and is highlighted by a big formation fly-by of several RoKAF aircraft.
Starting with a CN-235 and six KT-1 trainer aircraft a similar composition of a C-130 Hercules with six KA-1 light attack aircraft followed. The parade was concluded with 5-ship formations of fast jets: F-15K Slam Eagle, (K)F-5 Tiger II and (K)F-16 Fighting Falcon flew by, the latter two trailing a huge veil of blue, red and yellow, thus representing the Korean-style "Sam-Taegeuk", which stands for the relation between heaven, earth and humanity.
The RoKAF was furthermore proud and strong to show solo displays of their aircraft, namely the KAI KT-1 Woongbi turboprop training aircraft and T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced trainer and future multirole fighter.
Frontline aircraft were represented by solo displays of a KF-16D Fighting Falcon as well as the F-15K Slam Eagle. Though not as dynamic compared to some other jet displays, both jets gave some nice opportunities to get decent photos during their routine which did deserve many thanks due to their rareness.
The stars in the sky were of course the local heroes, RoKAF's display "Black Eagles". Adorned with a gorgeous high-contrast scheme in white/black/yellow that fits very well to their T-50 Golden Eagle jets, the 8-ship formation in the sky above Seoul was certainly a show- and business stopper. Their display routine for sure does not have to fear the competition of other comparable display teams and their pilots were treated as heroes during their autograph session after having completed their display. It was a nice sight indeed and it would be nice to see them one day in the sky around Europe!
All this was completed by a very extensive static display presenting the large variety of different aircraft types in the RoKAF. This was completed by a small selection of civil aircraft, clearly showing where the focal point of the Seoul airshow is to be found.
Disregarding the airshow flying it was of course also of interest to see the regular traffic at Sinchonri, mainly home of the VIP-transport wing flying many different assets such as the newly acquired S-92 helicopters up to the B-747 for overseas visits. Not to neglect were also the Raytheon Hawker 800SIG aircraft, which were sometimes seen departing for or returning from a mission. Combined with the airshow this aircraft traffic made up for an excellent presentation of the variety of this highly efficient Air Force.
In the far end of the apron three propeller aircraft from the 1950s/60s could also be seen. Fortunately they were not in a derelict condition, but quite well preserved and their gloss coat shimmered in the sun.
Apart from the high Korean presence the PACAF did also support the show and demonstrated their strong presence in this region by showing the solo demos of the A-10 Thunderbolt II as well as the F-16 from Misawa, Japan. A seperated area on the ground furthermore presented some US hardware in the static display as well as some local traffic of the US Army could be observed.
The AH-64D Apache helicopter was one of the very few items presented by the industry in the flying display. Though borrowed from the US Army it was flown by a Boeing crew in order to enhance sales to South Korea.
Last but not least the same goes for the KUH Surion (Korean Utility Helicopter), developed by KAI with the strong support of Eurocopter. Planned to be adopted by the Korean Army a white painted example was presented during the flight display.
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