Trips 2011

Ostend - Military visitors

Ostend airport had some nice military visitors throughout 2011. One of the highlights was an Algerian Air Force Casa 235. A visitor far away from home was a Spanish Coastguard Sikorsky S-61 on its way to Norway for a big inspection. In November the 2 Chiévres based UH-60A blackhawks paid a visit to Ostend to check if Ostend is suitable as diversion airfield. Later that month some nice Navy visitors arrived for a Navy meeting in Ostend.

Gilze Rijen - 2011

Gilze Rijen is known for its good photographical conditions around the airfield. As there are based a lot of helicopters in Gilze Rijen, flying activity is mostly good. Very popular amongst the photographers is the "slopes area" which is situated next to the fence. Helicopters often come and train landings on a slope, which results in spectacular pictures. Almost daily, Gilze Rijen gets visitors from other bases like PC-7 or F-16's.

Volkel - Steadfast Noon : 03/10/2011

Exercise Steadfast Noon 2011 is to train NATO cross servicing crews in loading, unloading and employing B61 tactical nuclear weapons on several different NATO partners. So this exercise is mainly an X-servicing exercise, although every day a flying mission is planned. The following participants came to Volkel to participate in the exercise: Volkel F-16's, Kleine Brogel F-16's, Aviano F-16's, Büchel Tornado's, Ghedi Tornado's and Balikesir F-16's. Unfortunately the day we went was a non-flying day, but luckily the Turkish Delegation departed back to Turkey including 2 Transall transport planes.

Leeuwarden - Opendagen : part 2

As Leeuwarden is a fighter base, fighter displays could not be missed on this show. The organisation did a great job in collecting Europe’s fines fighter solo displays like the Finish F/A-18C, Italian EF2000, Polish Mig 29 and Turkish F-16 Solo Turk. Not only fighters could be seen on the show, also helicopters could please the crowd like the Dutch Apache and British Black Cats. Also the static park had some special aircraft which could be photographed very nice.

Leeuwarden - Opendagen : part 1

Every year the Dutch open days attracts a lot of interesting aircraft and displays, and this year was no exception. The open days are traditionally being held in June, but due to another festivity in the city of Leeuwarden, it was changed to 16 and 17 September. On Friday the weather was just perfect with almost sun from sunrise till sunset. In this gallery we show you the big Belgian participation in shape of an F-16, A109, Sea King helicopter and Red Devils. Trainer aircraft on display were a Fouga Magister, a French Alpha jet, a British Hawk, an Italian MB339 and the Austrian PC-7. One of the highlights was Team Viper flying with 4 Hawker hunters!! And we must not forget the home players: AB412 and the famous airpower demo.

Wittmund - Brilliant Arrow : 15/09/2011

The day before the Dutch open days in Leeuwarden led us to Friesland already, but then the German part. For the exercise Brilliant Arrow, Turkish F-16's were deployed at Wittmund. The main reason off course was the mighty phantoms which days are numbered now... Flying was very good, as well as the weather.

Odiham - Families day : 10/08/2011

Bronco Demo Team was invited to take part to the Odiham family’s days, and as part of the team we went along. Weather was just perfect, sunshine all day long, and not too warm. Flying display was more like an airshow than a family’s day. It contained almost all RAF displays (Chinook off course, Apache, Tornado Role demo, Tutor, Tucano, Beech 200, Hawk, RNHF Sea Fury), but some nice civil displays too like F-86, B-17, Aerostars, The Blades, O'briens flying circus, Skyraider, AN-2 and Jet Provost. So a great day spent in the UK.

Cambrai - Tigermeet : Spottersday 2

On Monday the 16th of May the second of three spottersdays was held. Unfortunately the weather wasn't as perfect as the first spottersday. But there were a lot of visiting aircraft from the airshow weekend and the famous Tiger games during the weekend. The flying crews were very friendly again to the public with the typical tiger greetings.

Cambrai - Tigermeet : 13/05/2011

On Friday only one mission was flown in the afternoon. It was again a nice mix of clouds and sun which resulted in nice pictures. A Royal Navy Merlin HM.1 participated for the first time in the mission, as well as the LEGO tornado. In the afternoon some of the participants for the Tigermeet airshow at the nearby Niergnies Airfield arrived and did their rehearsal. Also some nice visitors in shape of 2 Spanish F-1's and one German EF2000 arrived for the weekend to participate the Tiger games.

Cambrai - Tigermeet : 12/05/2011

On Thursday 2 missions were flown. In the morning the big tigerformation was flown so all coloured birds flew. During the recoveries they all came back in smaller mixed formations which was very nice.

Cambrai - Tigermeet : Spottersday 1

On Wednesday the 11th of May the organisation organised the first of three spottersdays. The weather was perfect with sun all day long and lots of flying activity. The spottersday was organised very well and there was a lot of space to move around and to do our thing.

Cambrai - Tigermeet : Arrivals

On Monday most of the participants arrived at Cambrai. This was the day that we could all discover the new tiger schemes for the Nato Tigermeet 2011. Unfortunately the weather was not so very good with almost all morning no sun, but around noon the sun came through the clouds and still some sunny shots could be made...

Cambrai - Tigermeet : Visitors

In 2011 the annual Tigermeet celebrated its 50th birthday and where else could that be held then in Cambrai? It was the biggest tigermeet ever held and the weather was good as well in the first week. The exercise also attracted a lot of visitors like transport planes, but also some visitors of other tigersqn's that only came during the weekend. Also during the weekend, there was an airshow held at the nearby Niergnies which also brought some nice visitors to Cambrai.

Abingdon - Air & Country show

With the Bronco Demo Team we were welcome to participate in the static display at this little but great show. Weather turned out to be good. The organisation managed to attract some nice displays like a desert painted Trojan. Also the RAF participated with a Tucano, Tutor and Hawk display. Also in the static display there was a Puma and Merlin. But the star of the show was off course the Vulcan...

Beauvechain - Basevisit : 02/05/2011

Gilze Rijen Aviation Society (GRAS) managed to organise an excellent base visit to Beauvechain. I was lucky to join the group to Belgians biggest airbase (quantity of aircraft concerned). The weather was perfect with a clear blue sky all day long, and the marchetti's were flying very busy. We also got the premiére of the first 4 aircraft that were repainted in Red Devils colours. As the Bierset agustas moved in the year before, it was even more interesting to visit the base.

Beauvechain - Basevisit : Museum

Beauvechain has a lot of wrecks and relics all over the airfield, and not only airplanes. Also the museum has a really nice collection, just a shame that the aircraft cannot be protected to the force of nature when they are exhibited in open air.

Switserland - Preserved aircraft : 26-29/04/2011

The history of the Swiss armed forces is very rich and they are very proud of their history. This results in preserving and displaying aircraft all over Switzerland. Also the museums are very nice and have great pieces of history. Here is a selection of the aircraft we crossed on our Switzerland trip. First stop was the museum in Payerne and all the preserved aircraft on and around the airbase. On our way to Sion, we stopped at the aerodrome of Bex. In Sion a nice hunter and Vampire are preserved near the entrance of the airbase. In Alpnach we found a special painted alouette III helicopter, and in Emmen a hunter near the hangars of Patrouille Suisse.

Buochs & Emmen : 28 & 29/04/2011

On Thursday we visited Buochs just after noon in the hope to see some UAE PC-21's, and we were very lucky. 2 different machines came out to play and taxied just in front of us in a glorious sunshine. On Friday we went to Emmen in the afternoon, but no activity there unfortunately, only some tigers on the apron.

Alpnach : 28 & 29/04/2011

The last two days we spend our time at Alpnach in the afternoon. Flying activity was good with 2 German Army CH-53 on temporary deployment, and the EC-635 were training a lot. Unfortunately the spotters hill was not open but still great pictures could be taken on different spots around the airbase.

Meiringen : 28 & 29/04/2011

The last two days of our trip we tried out Meiringen. Unfortunately there was very little flying activity with only 4 hornets in the morning, and 4 in the afternoon. Unlike previous visits we were only allowed to stand on the visitors terrace and spotters place, so not much different angles unfortunately.

Sion : 27/04/2011

Our second day in Switzerland was great. Nice weather, great scenery and a lot of flying activity of the mighty tigers at Sion. 4 waves of F-5's flew during the day. As Sion offers a lot of viewing points, we moved around the airfield to have as much as possible different angles.

Payerne : 26/04/2011

Our Switzerland trip started quiet as we only saw 4 hornets flying in Payerne. Some more entertainment came in shape of a PC-6 making a lot of touch and go's, a PC-7 and a QRA intercept of a Falcon 50 by 2 Meiringen hornets. They towed both special painted hornets from a shelter into the boxes.

Ramstein : 25/04/2011

On our way to Switzerland we stopped at Ramstein in the afternoon. Weather was perfect on this Eastern Monday. Some nice visitors like 3 USAF C-17's, a Sigonella based C-26 and a Norwegian C-130J-30 came in. Departures were a C-17, a KC-135 and the always impressive C-5 Galaxy. Also the based aircraft were active; we saw a C-130J-30 and 2 C-21A.

Lombardsijde - Shooting range : week 14

At the coastal military shooting range of Lombardsijde, 2 Belgian Agusta helicopters were based for shooting exercises from Monday till Thursday.

Cambrai - Basevisit : 31/03/2011

EWAS gave us the chance to visit Mirage 2000 base Cambrai. The base visit was excellent and we could almost do everything we asked. The visit started at the flight line where 4 Mirage 2000C's were starting up for a mission. When they were left, we could have a look at the maintenance hangar where the technicians were busy on preparing some Mirage 2000's. After that we went to the restaurant for a nice meal. In the afternoon we went to the EC.1/12 Sqn shelter area to see departing the afternoon wave. After they have left, we went to have a look in the Tigers nest. Thereafter we went to the other side of the airfield to see the aircraft returning again. As there were some visitors on the platform, we could enter the platform to take some pictures of them. We would like to thank EWAS and Cambrai for the excellent nice visit!!

Reims : 22/03/2011

Day 2 was just great. There was a lot of flying activity and perfect weather conditions. We photographed again from 2 different spots, to have some variation in the pictures.

Reims : 21/03/2011

For the last time we went back to Reims hoping to catch some Mirage F-1's before the airfield will be closed. We stayed about 3 hours in the morning and we had some activity, but not as much as normal due to the Libya actions. Still very nice pictures could be taken. In the afternoon we decided to drive to Saint Dizier.

Saint Dizier : 21/03/2011

The 3rd day of the Libya operations leads us to St Dizier for an afternoon of spotting at this nice rafalebase. 2 rafales returned in the evening from a 6h mission to Libya and they were very heavily loaded! Another rafale made a test flight in the late afternoon, and upon arrival, they did some practice approaches. As the rafales would be deployed for the Libya operations, 3 Transalls arrived, as well as Navy Falcon 10MER and a TBM700.

Kleine Brogel : 03/03/2011

With the main runway in use again after 9 months of works, flying was very good at KB. In the afternoon there was a practice display from Mitch Beulen with the Vortex...

Reims/Cambrai : 17/02/2011

As good weather was predicted, we went to Reims to have a good portion of Mirage F-1 action. Once arrived there it was a lot worse than they predicted, but luckily there was some flying activity of the local Mirage F-1's. In the afternoon we went to Cambrai on our way back where we saw some Mirage 2000's and a Mirage F-1 from Reims performing 6 touch and go's...