Precision Aerial Demonstration Team

RED ACES

Equally gaining the same praises like its sister team ("Blue Diamonds") is the Philippine Air Force "Red Aces" Precision Aerial Demonstration Team. Lt. Col. Napoleon M. Angeles led the first team in the 1971. Like the Blue Diamonds, the team just emerged out of its hibernation. Little is known since when this team last performed.

The Red Aces' mother station is the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 5th Fighter Wing based in Basa Air Base, Pampanga. It can be recalled that the squadron used to have then F-86 Sabre jets as its main air asset, hence the Red Aces was organized. With the use of the F-8H Crusader as primary aircraft, the Red Aces temporarily ceased to exist in the 1974. With the Italian S-211 jets around, the team was reorganized as early as 1996. The use of the S-211 as an aerobatic team aircraft is the first and probably the only one of its kind in the world.

Featured in this edition of the Red Aces is composed of Maj. Marcelino L. Ben Jr as team leader, together with Lieutenants Chito Mayuga, Armando Kwan-Tiu, Aleksei Aguirre, and Manuel Amante III.

Today, the team is very much in demand in performing to the public. To note, on several occasions it became the regular main attraction of the International Hot Air Balloon Festival at Clark Air Base, Pampanga. Likewise, the team had its exposure in other provinces south of the country.

In their repertoire are daring maneuvers such as the calypso, shackle turn, upward bomb burst, opposing knife edge, whifferdil, loop, dirty pass, barrel roll, corkscrew, and downward bomb burst.

Note: In 1971, the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron likewise formed its own precision aerial demonstration team known as the "Golden Sabres." The team was led then by Lt. Col. Antonio M. Bautista. The team was disbanded when the squadron was unmanned with phasing out of the F-86.

 

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