Update: UAE's Al Fursan fly-past in Dubai cancelled

The aerial display was due to take in landmarks of the emirate, including Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab

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An aerial display by UAE's Al Fursan aerobatics team set for Monday evening has been cancelled.

A number of jets were set to fly past Dubai landmarks including Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab just after 6.20pm this evening.

Officials at Dubai Tourism said the event would probably be rescheduled for a later date.

Al Fursan are the UAE Air Force's aerobatic display team. The name means 'The Knights'. The team have 10 aircraft, including seven Aermacchi MB339A jet trainer aircraft.

The team have wowed spectators with several performances in the past. They usually perform on the country's National Day and their breathtaking stunts are a regular feature of major events in the UAE and at air shows across the region.

Al Fursan planes are mainly painted in black and gold to represent the colour of the desert and the oil that lies beneath it.

The planes also feature white, red and green and are equipped with smoke generators that produce red, white, black and green smoke to reflect the colours of the UAE flag. There are seven planes in a display, to represent each of the emirates.

Who are Al Fursan?

The UAE Airforce’s aerobatic display team are Al Fursan, or 'The Knights'. The team fly in a formation of seven Aermacchi MB339A jet trainer aircraft, but there are a total of 10 aircraft in the squadron.

They are in the skies to mark major events, including Commemoration Day and National Day.

How can you recognise the planes?

Al Fursan planes are mainly painted in black and gold to represent the colour of the desert and the oil that lies beneath it.

The planes also feature white, red and green and are equipped with smoke generators that produce red, white, black and green smoke to reflect the colours of the UAE flag. There are seven planes in a display, to represent each of the emirates.

When did the team form?

Al Fursan began life on January 20, 2010, with a simple fly-by during the graduation ceremony for pilots and air-traffic control students at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College. Four more MB-339s in camouflage paint schemes also flew past, using red smoke that day.

Later that year, eight UAE Air Force fighter pilots began an aerobatic formation training course under the supervision of Frecce Tricolori pilots at the Rivolto Air Base in Italy.

The course was completed at the beginning of 2011 and the team made their public debut on November 13 that year during the opening day of the Dubai Air Show.

What about the planes they use?

The Aermacchi MB-339s that Al Fursan use are Italian jet fighters and light attack aircraft. Each plane costs about $8.3 million and has a maximum speed of 898 kilometres an hour. They are used by the air forces of Eritrea, Italy and Malaysia and are also operated by the American company Draken International, which provides tactical fighter aircraft.

Where would you have seen them?

The team regularly feature at major events in the UAE. They have performed at the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, with an A380 plane from Etihad Airways. Performances are staged at events including National Day celebrations and air shows across the region.

Al Fursan aerobatics at Yas Circuit - in pictures

Updated: June 20, 2022, 2:26 PM
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