The Golden Hawks were a Canadian military aerobatic flying team established in 1959 to celebrate the 35th anniversary or the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the "Golden" 50th anniversary of Canadian flight, which began with the AEA Silver Dart in 1909.
Initially a six-plane team was envisioned as performing for only one year with the Canadair Sabre, but the Golden Hawks were so popular after their single 63-show season that the team was expanded. Another Sabre was added to the team, allowing for a five-aircraft main formation with two solo jets. They continued performing for three more seasons until they were disbanded for financial reasons, on February 7, 1964, having flown a total of 317 shows across North America.
Not only did the team perform the loops, rolls and other maneuvers standard to military formation flying, they had their own trademark maneuvers. One of the Golden Hawks' signature stunts was a low-level flyby of the crowd with their canopies open, waving at the spectators. The Golden Hawks pioneered the bomb burst maneuver and a two-aircraft coordinated solo program which virtually every military team since has adopted in various ways.
In Oakville, Ontario, 540 Golden Hawks Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron is named for the air demonstration team.
During the 1980s, 851 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron based in Prince Edward County, Ontario owned a Sabre that at one time was used by the Golden Hawks. From 1961 to 1977 the same Sabre was on display at Pinecrest school in Bloomfield, Ontario. The Sabre currently resides in Barrie, Ontario.
In 2009, Hawk One, a fully refurbished Canadair Sabre in Golden Hawk colours, owned by Vintage Wings of Canada helped to celebrate the Centennial of Flight in Canada. Hawk One performed in air shows and flypasts across Canada.