Trips 2007

Florennes - TLP 2007-6

On 22 November and 13 December, we went to Florennes to see some fighter action. The 6th session of the TLP had a strong Italian participation. Highlights were the 5 AV-8B+ harriers of the Italian Navy Wolves squadron. Other highlights were 2 German F-4F phantoms both from JG-71 Wittmund and 2 USAF F-16C from Aviano.

Oostende - Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen : Opendoor

For the occasion of "Open Factories day" on the 7th of October, three companies at Ostend airport opened their gates to the public. Noordzee Helicopters Vlaanderen was one of them to show their daily tasks to the many visitors that day. To entertain the visitors they did 2 demos during the day with one of their yellow Dauphin helicopters. Pleasure flights in the EC-120 Colibri could be purchased as well.

Oostende - Operation Octopus

Project Atlas is a cooperation treaty between several European countries and the main goal is to prevent terrorist attacks. In this exercise named "Octopus" which was held in the harbour of Ostend from 24 till 28 September, 6 of these specialized teams combined their teams to "free passengers who were held hostage on a ferry". The helicopters were based in Zeebrugge, but used a platform near the harbour of Ostend to operate from on 25 September.

Lens - Meeting Aérien

For the first time an airshow is being held at the beautiful aerodrome of Lens, and it was immediately a big success. The weather was perfect with lots of sun and the organisation managed to fill a 5hr programme full of nice displays. Runway 09/27 was used and the crowd was really close to the action. Many old-timers were present, as well as some aerobatic airplanes. Display teams were Breitling Jetteam, Royal Jordanian Falcons and Tango Blue. Some nice helicopter displays could be seen, but the most special one was the Mi-2. Off course the highlights of the show was the Mirage 2000 display, which closed this great day.

Ghyvelde - Fly-in

Traditionally the last Sunday of August, the aeroclub of Dunckerque-Les Moëres opens its doors to the public and this year this was on the 26th of August. In the previous years the organisation team always managed to get some nice displays to perform. With the ever growing insurance fees, the organisation had to cut in the programme and this year a Fly-in was organised. Although they still managed to present a 2 hours long display containing the Sea King, Cartouche Dorée, T-6 harvard, Cap 232 and some lighter aircraft.

Calais - Festival de Voltige Dunkerque

For the second time, Dunkerque town together with Groupe Tranchant organised "Festival de Voltige" at the beach of Dunkerque, this year on Sunday the 19th of August. All the aircraft fly from the airfield of Calais-Marck and on Saturday 18 August we went to have a look to the arrivals and rehearsals for the show the next day. Again some nice participants came to Calais, like the French Air Force Alpha jet, a Corsair and Spitfire and a Paris jet. Of course Patrouille Tranchant flying with 3 Fouga Magisters were also present. Unfortunately the airshow was cancelled on Sunday due to the bad weather...

Moorsele - SV-4 flight : 04/08/2007

On this beautiful Saturday afternoon we visited the airfield of Moorsele near Kortrijk. As the weather was good, there was a lot of flying activity. SV-4C OO-PWA Cn.279 build in France by Nord in 1946 was taken out of its hangar to enjoy the sunshine. Here is an impression of a unique flight Tom did with this nice biplane.

Beauvechain : 31/07/2007

As there was a deployment of 4 French Alpha Jets based at Tours at Beauvechain, so we went to have a look at the main training base in Belgium. The local marchetti's were busy with training flights, and the vintage fouga magisters also came out to play. Hardship Red formation team of the Belgian Air Force did a rehearsal flight in the afternoon.

Mildenhall : 27/07/2007

Nice weather in the UK led us to RAF Mildenhall to see some USAF activity. The based tankers were very active with lots of touch and go's, as well as a NATO E-3A making some approaches. There were some other nice visitors as well: a C-12U of the US Army based at Wiesbaden in Germany, a U-28A of the 319th SOS. But the 2 most special visitors that day were a USAF E-3B AWACS and a US Navy E-6 Mercury.

Evreux - Meeting Aérien

BA105 Evreux is located on the western side of Paris and is home of 2 Sqn's of C-160 Transall transport airplanes. Besides the C-160's, some Twin Otters and Super Puma's in the transport role are based in Evreux as well. The line-up for the airshow was good, but unfortunately the weather was not on Sunday 8 July. As the airbase was a USAF base in the cold war, there was a strong USAF participation to the show. Highlight was the Thunderbirds which were on a European tour.

Le Bourget - Salon

The 47th edition of "le salon du Bourget" was being held from 18 till 24 June, but we visited the show on Sunday 24 June. Highlights of the static display were an EC-225 intended for the Chinese rescue services, an IAI upgraded Mi17 and a lot of US hardware like an F-16, F-15, F-18 and HH-60. In the flying display the highlights were the Russian Mig 29OVT and the US Navy F-18F super hornet. But the most impressive airplane was the A380 super jumbo, which flew around like a fighter jet.

Volkel - Opendagen

On Friday 15 and Saturday 16 June, the yearly Dutch Air Force open days were being held again, this year on the Dutch Brabant airbase of Volkel. As Volkel is an F-16 base, some foreign F-16's came to the party. Other highlights of the static display were 2 Aeronavale Super Etendards and a Rafale M, as well as a US Navy P-3 Orion. Poland had sent an impressive SU-22 fighter and an AN26 transport plane. For the last time in the Netherlands, the Belgian Fouga Magister was being displayed by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Rorive. The most popular part of the airshow is the Air Power demo where the Netherlands Air Force shows to the public what they actually do in operational missions.

Biggin Hill - Air Fair

Over the weekend of 2 and 3 June the yearly Biggin Hill Air Fair was organised again. The organisation attracted the full RAF display line-up which was being supplemented by some great civilian displays. Highlights were the beautifully painted Hawker Hunter "Miss Demeanour" as well as the many warbirds flying on the airshow. The biggest airplane was undoubtedly the B747-400 from Oasis Hongkong Airlines which made some impressive passes.

Cranwell : 18/05/2007

The RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire is where all RAF officers and airmen aircrew are selected and trained to become the leaders of tomorrow. The RAF College Cranwell not only selects and trains the RAF's future leaders but has responsibility for all RAF recruiting and initial training. On Friday 18 May there was a graduation day, and for this occasion a 4-ship Beech King 200 and 4-ship Dominie formation flew over the station.

Coningsby : 18/05/2007

On our second day we were luckier with the weather as this time, it was a mix of clouds and sun. Flying activity of the local Typhoons was good, and in the morning, 3 Jaguars made a flight. Later on that day, 3 departed to Cosford for their final landing.

Coningsby : 17/05/2007

Although the Jaguar is officially retired from operational duty, some flew their last flying hours they still had left on the clock. As all the Jaguars had to be flown over to RAF Cosford, they had to train to use their braking chute, as the runway is too short in Cosford for conventional braking. One of the Jaguars even thrown out his chute before touch down!! 2 EF2000's from Spain departed after a nightstop in Coningsby. 4 Lossiemouth Tornado’s were based in Coningsby to fly with the based Typhoons.

Coningsby : 01/05/2007

Operational duty of the Jaguar force was ended the day before, but flights continued till the end of May so all remaining flying hours left on the airframes were being used. We saw 3 Jaguars making a local flight and returning in a nice formation pass over the airbase because the prince of Wales was visiting the airbase. Also a formation flight of 3 Typhoons and the Typhoon demo we saw, besides the many flights of the based aircraft.

Coningsby : 30/04/2007

6 Squadron has the longest continuous history of any RAF Squadron. It was the only one of the original seven RFC Squadrons never to have been disbanded. After many years at RAF Coltishall they moved up to RAF Coningsby in April 2006. Sadly the Squadron ended operational flying on April 30th. For this occasion they flew a 12-ship formation in the shape of 6 over Coningsby airbase.

Mildenhall : 05/04/2007

In the late afternoon we move to Mildenhall to see some Special Operations Squadron (SOS) action. We saw 2 C-130’s and 2 MH-53 of 7th SOS. The local KC-135 tankers were busy flying as well. The special RC-135 Rivet Joint unfortunately stayed on the ramp during our stay.

Lakenheath : 05/04/2007

Unfortunatly the day started rather slow at Lakenheath, but around noon the airbase woke up and many Eagles and Strike Eagles flew for the rest of the day.