'Zeus' Roars Back to RIAT
Published: 22 Feb 2018
The latest addition to join the international celebration of RAF100 at the 2018 Air Tattoo is the Hellenic Air Force's F-16 demo team, known as 'Zeus'! The return of the solo jet demonstration marks only its third appearance in Britain.
Flying a Block 52+ version of Lockheed Martin's outstanding F-16C Fighting Falcon, itself a variant making its UK flying display debut, 'Zeus' has performed twice before at the Air Tattoo, in 2015 and 2016. On the first of those occasions the specially painted F-16 was awarded the trophy for best aircraft livery at the show. The team is named after the father of the Olympian gods in ancient Greek mythology, and aims to demonstrate the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force as well as fostering links between the Greek public and its air force, and encourage recruiting.
The initial 'Zeus' demo team was formed by the HAF under the guidance of the US Air Force, giving its debut performance at Tanagra Air Base in November 2010. This season, the display is again being provided by 115 Combat Wing based at Souda on the island of Crete, which has under its command two squadrons of Block 52+ F-16s - some of the most advanced multi-role fighters within NATO. The demonstration pilot for 2018 is Maj Georgios Papadakis.