Gilze Rijen : July - December
On 29th of October I was lucky at the southern slopes area. 2 Apaches
and a chinook played on the slopes and this with nicely coloured trees
as backdrop. On 25 November an AN124 brought back some apache helicopters
from Afghanistan. The apaches were based in Afghanistan from April 2004
till November 2010. As the road is very close to the end of the runway,
it was very impressive to see such big aircraft arriving in Gilze Rijen.
Davis-Monthan : 24/11/2010
Davis-Monthan AFB is the busiest A-10 base in the world. D-M is the
home base of 355th FW which consists out of 355 Training Sqn, 354, 357
and 358 Fighter Sqn. Also 563rd Rescue Group is based at D-M which contains
out of 55th and 66th Rescue Sqn (flying with HH-60G Pavehawk) and 79th
Rescue Sqn (flying with HC-130P/E). Another unit which is based at D-M
is 55th electronic combat group flying with EC-130H Hercules. Off course
all the aircraft coming in or leaving AMARG also uses D-M.
Off course we saw a lot of home based A-10's taking off, recovering
and making practice approaches. Also one based EC-130H could be seen
recovering, as well as a deployed HC-130H from 39 RQS based at Patrick
AFB. Other visitors were a USMC Sea Stallion and a Citation.
Volkel : 25/10/2010
Nice weather leads us to the Dutch base Volkel for an afternoon of
jet noise. RWY06L was in use for take offs and landings. After the take
offs, I moved to the RWY24 side in hope some F-16's would make some
approaches with close patterns. Only one did so, but this resulted in
nice banking shots.
Volkel - Nato Tigermeet 2010 : Spottersday 07/10/2010
Two spottersdays (750 people each day) were organised by Volkel AB
to give the chance to aircraft photographers to take pictures of the
Tigermeet on base. The spotters were positioned at about 150m south
of the parallel runway. Take offs were on both runways, with mostly
F-16's on the nearest runway. All recoveries were on the main runway
and aircraft taxied back via the parallel runway to their parking. Unfortunately
the weather was again very foggy in the morning and grey in the afternoon,
but this didn't spoil a nice day at this great exercise.
Volkel - Nato Tigermeet 2010 : 06/10/2010
On the second mission day the sun didn't came out to play unfortunately.
A Norwegian F-16BM and Austrian Saab 105 arrived, a Mirage 2000C was
changed and there was a visit from an Italian P180, French Alpha jet
from Dijon and French TBM700. Also a Czech L159 came to Volkel to have
a look at the on-going exercise.
Volkel - Nato Tigermeet 2010 : 05/10/2010
This was the first day with an operational mission. 2 missions are
flown each day with 40+ aircraft per mission. There was participation
of 2 Hungarian JAS39 Gripen, 4 Czech JAS39 Gripen and 2 Mi24 Hind helicopters,
4 German Tornados, 4 French Mirage 2000C's and 2 Mirage 2000D's, 2 Turkish
F-16's, 6 Norwegian F-16's, 6 Belgian F-16's, 2 Austrian Saab 105's
and 2 Italian AB212 helicopters. And off course the local Volkel F-16's
participated in large numbers to the exercise. For the recovery of the
morning mission the sun appeared on the right moment.
Volkel - Nato Tigermeet 2010 : Arrivals
Every year all Tiger sqn's that joined the tiger association come together
for a big exercise, the so called Tigermeet. This year it was held at
Volkel AFB in the Netherlands, home base of 313 Tiger Sqn. The exercise
is being held over 2 weeks, and on the Monday of the first week most
of the participants arrive with their support aircraft. The Czech AF
sent a nicely decorated AN26 as support to their JAS39 Gripen. The Hungarian
AF sent 2 AN26 to bring in all the support of their JAS39 Gripens. Austria
brought a C-130 with their Saab 105's to Volkel. Other support aircraft
were a Norwegian Super hercules and 2 Italian C-27J Spartans. A lot
of C-160 Transalls could be welcomed at Volkel: 1 French, 2 German and
Sanicole - Airshow
On Sunday 19th of September the 34th Sanicole airshow was being held
again and 35.000 spectators came to Sanicole airfield to witness that.
For the first time Team Viper flying with 4 Hawker Hunters came to Sanicole.
What a sound and sight!! Like every year 31 Sqn made a 4-ship F-16 tactical
presentation. Special formations this year was a formation of the current
and past F-16 demo paints, as well as a formation of the Dutch Apache
and Belgian F-16. Another mixed formation was the Tiger painted F-16
and a P-51 Mustang. Other highlights of the show was the Red Bull Cobra,
the Canadian parachute team "The Skyhawks", the always impressive
Dutch Apache and the B17 Flying Fortress. Display teams cannot be missed
at an airshow. Turkish Stars participated for the first time at Sanicole
flying their great F-5 Freedom fighter jets. Other teams like the Belgian
Red Devils and Aerostars, Breitling wingwalkers and the French Cartouche
Dorée were there to complete a nice show.
Sanicole - Airshow : Sunset show
For the first time in Belgium, a sunset airshow was being held. On
Friday the 17th of September 3000 people visited the show and it was
a real sunset show due to the sunny weather. The Canadian parachute
team “The Skyhawks” opened the show and were followed by
the Breitling Jet Team. The British Swift glider team did a great show,
as well as the Breitling wingwalkers. The Dutch Apache was amazing again,
and the flares came really to their element during sunset. It was already
getting pretty dark when the Twister duo performed, with nice fireworks
attached on their airplanes. The highlight of the show was off course
the Belgian F-16 display. It was very impressive to see the afterburner
in the dark, as well as the flares!!
Aviano : 10/09/2010
On Friday we went back to Aviano and in the morning the local F-16’s
did again a local mission with 10 aircraft. On Friday there is only
flying activity in the morning, so in the afternoon we went to Rivolto
to see the arrivals for the big airshow that was held over the weekend.
Aviano : 09/09/2010
The 50th anniversary of Frecce Tricolori was the perfect excuse for
our first visit to Italy. We arrived on Thursday the 9th of September
in the morning in Venice. We first stopped in Istrana town to catch
a preserved F-104S. From there we drove to the USAFE fighterbase Aviano.
In Aviano, the 31st Fighter Wing is based, and exists out of 510th Fighter
Squadron “Buzzards” and 555th Fighter Squadron “Triple
Nickel” all flying with the F-16C. In the afternoon we saw 7 local
F-16 doing a local mission, as well as the departure of a World Airways
DC-10. On the way to our hotel we passed by a preserved AB206 of the
Italian Army in Casarsa della Delizia.
Zeebrugge - Navydays
Over the weekend of 3 and 4 July, traditionally the Belgian Navy days
were being held. This year a US Navy Seahawk was boarded on the deck
of USS Mount Withney. The Belgian Sea King did a great SAR demo between
the ships and was the main attraction of the day.
Beauvechain - Airshow : Flying display
For the flying display, the organization managed to get some nice fighter
solo displays like the Swiss F/A-18 hornet, the RAF Tornado role demo,
the French Rafale, the Hungarian JAS39 Gripen, and the Dutch, Danish
and off course Belgian F-16 demo. As Beauvechain is a trainer base,
a big part of the displays were trainers like the Austrian Saab 105,
the RAF Tucano and a formation of 4 French EMB121 Xingu’s which
got the name “Camo Milles”. Also the vintage aircraft lovers
could enjoy the show, as there were the beautiful Flying bulls DC-6
and Corsair, the Dutch Hunter and Fouga magister. No jet teams were
in Beauvechain, but the Morocco Marche Verte and the based Hardship
Red made up for that.
Beauvechain - Airshow : Static display
Over the weekend of 3 and 4 July the main Belgian Air Force airshow
was held at the trainer base of Beauvechain. On Friday the 2nd of July
a spottersday was held so that aircraft photographers could catch the
arriving aircraft for the airshow. The weather was very sunny but hot
on Friday. On Saturday it was cloudy and rainy, but on Sunday we had
great weather again during the day. Some real gems came in came for
the static display like a German Navy P3 Orion and a Ukrainian AN-26.
For this occasion, they had taken some old aircraft out of the Brussels
Air Museum storage and put them into the static display. So we could
enjoy a Swedish Saab J35 Draken, a German Fiat G91, a Czech Mig 15 and
a Swiss Hunter again on the airshow.
Gilze Rijen : January - June
On the 6th of January, the base was covered with a nice layer of snow.
Luckily that day a Chinook and the Police EC-135 came out to play on
the southern slopes, which gave great pictures! A second visit was done
on the 24th of February. Again a lot of action on the base, with even
a Geilenkirchen E-3A making some circuits, as well as one of the 2 RNLAF
Fokker 50's. On the 26th of April I was again lucky with an Alouette
III, Cougar and apache at the slopes. The 3rd of June was a nice summer
day with quiet some action at the base of the Apaches. Our last visit
was on the 29th of June, where we got again 2 apaches on the slopes,
and some nice approaches of the QRA F-16's of Volkel.
Cambrai - Airshow : Spottersday
The last ever airshow at BA103 Cambrai-Epinoy was held over the weekend
of 26 and 27 June. Prior to the airshow, a perfectly organised spottersday
was being held on Friday so aircraft photographers could witness the
incoming aircraft and practice displays. The weather was very nice with
a mix of sun and clouds. Off course a lot of French hardware could be
seen, but also a great collection of foreign aircraft came to Cambrai
for the very last time. 2 Lakenheath F-15E's that came in for the static
display made some very dynamic approaches prior to land at BA103. The
highlight of the airshow was the Slovakian Mig 29 Fulcrum painted in
a nice tiger scheme. Other interesting demo's came from the Hungarian
JAS39 Gripen, Swiss F/A-18 hornet, Belgian, Danish and Dutch F-16's
and the French Rafale.
Reims - Dissolution ER01.033 : 24/06/2010
On the 24th of June, one of the two squadrons based at Reims flying
the Mirage F-1CR, ER 1/33 Belfort, was disbanded. To mark this, one
of their Mirage F-1's got a great paint scheme. Cartouche Dorée
and a Mont-de-Marsan Mirage F-1 came to Reims to say goodbye to this
famous sqn. During the disbandment ceremony a 4-ship formation of Mirage
F-1's was flown, with the decorated Mirage in the lead.
Gilze Rijen - Opendagen : part 2
The most impressive display of the airshow was probably the demonstration
of a USAF C-17 Globe Master. It was very impressive to see such large
aircraft manoeuvring through the skies. A lot of fighters came to Gilze
Rijen to demonstrate their power. We got to see a Spanish F/A-18 hornet,
a Czech and Hungarian JAS39 Gripen and the RAF EF2000 Typhoon. There
were 3 F-16 displays coming from the Belgian, Danish and Dutch Air Force.
Gilze Rijen - Opendagen : part 1
One of the highlights of the Dutch open days is always the Airpower
Demo. This is a demonstration of all the assets of the Dutch Air Force
in a realistic crisis situation. As the open days were being held on
the main helicopter base, the biggest part of the display was helicopter
action. As Gilze Rijen is the home base of the Apache helicopter, the
Apache demoteam was reformed again. For this occasion they beautifully
decorated one of the Apaches to display the whole season on various
airshows in Europe. Another highlight was the demonstration of a Finnish
Air Force NH-90, the future helicopter of the Dutch Air Force. Patrulla
Aspa flying with 5 EC-120 Colibri's came all the way from Spain to give
a great display. A joint SAR demo was shown by the Belgian Sea King,
the Dutch Navy lynx and the Dutch Air Force AB.412SP. Displayteams cannot
be missed at airshows, and here in Gilze Rijen, we got Turkish Stars,
Patrouille de France and the British Red Arrows.
Gilze Rijen - Opendagen : Arrivals
On Friday 18 and Saturday 19 June, the Dutch Air Force open days were
being held again at Gilze Rijen, 5 years after the previous edition.
The local spotting group, GRAS spotters, organised a perfect spottersday
on Thursday the 17th of June for the arrivals and rehearsals of the
airshow. Highlights for the static display were a RAF VC-10, a Polish
SU-22 Fitter and Mig 29 and a pair of Slovakian L-39's.
Hyeres - 100 ans Aeronavale
Around 40.000 people visited this great meeting de l'air. There were
a lot of tactical displays as well as formation flights of the French
Naval aviation. One Super Etendard was decorated in a great livery to
mark the anniversary. Various other aircraft were decorated with smaller
Hyeres - 100 ans Aeronavale : Spottersday
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Aeronavale in France, a big
meeting was organised on the 13th of June at the Base Aeronautique Navale
(BAN) in Hyeres near Toulon. On Saturday the 12th of June most of the
aircraft for the airshow arrived, so they organised a spottersday so
the aircraft enthusiasts could get close to the action. For this occasion
the US Navy had send an aircraft carrier to Toulon, the USS Harry Truman.
The US Navy participated with 4 Super Hornets in a tactical display,
a C-2A Greyhound, E-2C Hawkeye and a SH-60 Sea Hawk in static display.
The Spanish Navy participated with a flying display of a AV-8 Harrier,
which came from the aircraft carrier the Principe de Asturias. Other
foreign participants came from the Italian, German and British Navy.
Wittmund : 26/05/2010
On our second day, the weather was less good with much more clouds
and flying activity was medium. First RWY26 was in use, afterwards they
switched to RWY08, which gave some variation for the pictures.
Wittmund : 25/05/2010
As the end of the phantoms is approaching fast, we made the 1200km
trip and headed to Wittmund to enjoy the sound of the J79 engines. On
our first day, flying with the local F-4F's was very good, and even
the weather was nice. One of the Manching test F-4F's came to Wittmund
for a visit as well as 3 C-160D Transalls. During the recovery of the
evening mission we tried to make some banking shots.
Reims : 21/05/2010
As the Mirage F-1's are going to be out of service in 2014, and Reims-Champagne
airbase will be closed in 2011, a visit to this nice base was high on
our wish list. The weather was very nice, and there was a lot of flying
activity of the local Mirage F-1's. We saw 8 different aircraft on a
Friday so not bad at all. Reims offers good photo opportunities both
in take-off, landing and taxi.
Florennes : 20/05/2010
Exactly one year after the last TLP spottersday, I went again to Florennes
to see some fighter action. I only went there for 3 hours, but saw 12
F-16's, 2 A-10's and 1 C-130, so not bad at all...
Woensdrecht : 20/04/2010
Due to an earthquake in the Icelandic glacier Eyjafjallajökull,
a huge ashcloud disrupted the air traffic over Europe. We planned to
go to Leeuwarden to visit Frisian flag, but this was cancelled. As there
was nice weather, and we got the news that the PC-7's DID fly at Woensdrecht,
we went for some hours of PC-7 spotting.
Midland : Air Museum
The museum, which is located near Coventry, has a very nice collection
of aircraft. Most of the aircraft are jet engine powered aircraft as
the museum is dedicated to the local engineer Sir Frank Whittle who
designed the first jet engine. For more information, please visit their
Hendon : RAF museum
The museum is situated on the historic site of Hendon's London Aerodrome
in Colindale. The North London Museum, is one of two sites belonging
to the U.K's only national museum that tells the story of the Royal
Air Force through its people and collections. The collections in London
include some very early aircraft designs through to the latest modern
day jets and military aircraft. For more information, please visit their
Volkel : March 2010
Good weather and the new RNLAF F-16 display pilot that trained its
demo led us to Volkel AB in The Netherlands. On the second of March
we went for the first time, and we saw 7 different F-16's. We returned
on the 4th of March, where we saw 13 different F-16's. On both visits,
a L-39 Albatros was based at Volkel for some local missions, and J-193
did the demo rehearsals.
Ramstein : 03/03/2010
We went to have a look at the main USAF transport base in Germany,
Ramstein. It was nice weather, but bloody cold. Runway 08 was in use
for landings and we saw 3 Local C-130J-30's, a local C-37 Gulfstream,
and 2 local C-21 Learjets. 2 RAF BAe125's came in in the afternoon as
well as some heavy cargo aircraft.
Kleine Brogel : 26/01/2010
I read on the internet that 4 Cambrai Mirage 2000's would come to KB
for a small sqn exchange with the Belgian F-16's. As Cambrai airbase
will close in 2012, it was more than worth to go to Kleine Brogel for
a day of aircraft spotting.