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South Korea's Black Eagles swoop down in Taiwan

South Korean aerobatic team refuels in Kaohsiung after performance in the Philippines

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South Korean Black Eagle lands in Kaohsiung on Aug. 18. (Facebook, IDF.Chingkuo photo)
T-50Bs flying in formation during Black Eagle display in 2011.

South Korean Black Eagle lands in Kaohsiung on Aug. 18. (Facebook, IDF.Chingkuo photo)

T-50Bs flying in formation during Black Eagle display in 2011. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — South Korea's aerobatic team, the Black Eagles, touched down in southern Taiwan for a brief stopover on Thursday (Aug. 18).

The T-50 trainer aircraft Black Eagle aerobatic team of the South Korean air force arrived at Kaohsiung International Airport in the city's Xiaogang District at 11 a.m. that morning, reported Liberty Times. The team had just completed a performance in the Philippines and made a four-hour stopover in Taiwan.

Throngs of aviation and military enthusiasts waited eagerly at the best viewing spots around the airport early that morning hoping to catch a glimpse of the team's KAI T-50B Golden Eagles, an aerobatic aircraft developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) together with Lockheed Martin.

South Korea's Black Eagles swoop down in Taiwan
(Facebook, 尹若宇 photo)

The team officially designated as the 53rd Air Demonstration Group, was first established in 1967, disbanded in 1978, re-established in 1994, and again disbanded in 2007. When it was re-established in 2009, the squadron was outfitted with the current complement of T-50B Golden Eagle aircraft, which feature fuselages painted black, yellow, and white.

The team was preceded by a C-130 transport plane which brought in the team's ground crew and equipment. Then, six T-50B Black Eagle jets arrived one after another, with three others lagging behind in the Philippines for unknown reasons.

After refueling at the Kaohsiung International Airport, the jets flew back to Seoul. UDN cited military experts as pointing out that because the distance from Manila to Seoul is outside the range of T-50 aircraft, they chose to refuel in Kaohsiung.