Trips 2012

Kleine Brogel - Steadfast Noon : 19/10/2012

Exercise Steadfast Noon 2012 is a two week exercise to train NATO cross servicing crews in loading, unloading and employing B61 tactical nuclear weapons on several different NATO partners. The following participants came to Kleine Brogel: Volkel F-16's, Aviano F-16's, Büchel Tornado's and Ghedi Tornado's. Off course the local F-16's participated in the exercise too in larger numbers. This is a pictorial overview of the activities on Friday 19 October 2012.

Ostrava - Nato Days : Flying display part 3

The last part contains some very special displays. For the first time, Ramex Delta Mirage 2000N tactical display, performed outside France!! Italian participation consisted out of the amazing C-27J Spartan and the loud EF2000. Redbull sent the shiny B-25 Mitchell. The Czech armed forces did an assault demo with 2 Mi-171Sh which were protected by a Mi-35 Hind. This was very impressive demo to see and they flew very low!

Ostrava - Nato Days : Flying display part 2

The second part of the review handles about the mighty USAF strategic bomber, the B-52H. There were 2 B-52's on the show, one for flying display, and one in the static show. There was a refuelling demo of a French C-135FR and a CzAF JAS-39C gripen, which is a very special combination. The Austrian AF sent its Typhoon display which flew from its homebase Zeltweg, as well as the first blackhawk demo of the Austrian AF. We hope to see this great display again in the future. Another very special demo was the Polish police Mi-8!! Other displays were a CzAF L-159A, the Turkish Soloturk, and a dogfight display from 2 Slovak AF Mig 29's, as well as the solo display of one of the Mig 29's.

Ostrava - Nato Days : Flying display part 1

Displays were on the ground as well as in the air. We will only cover the air displays. Most of the displays were solo displays or tactical displays, but there was one displayteam: The Red Arrows. Other displays in this part are Swiss Cougar, RNLAF F-16, RAF Hawk, Tucano and King air 200 and the Slovenian PC-9. One of the main highlights of the show were the very rare and impressive Polish SU-22 pair tactical display.

Ostrava - Nato Days : Arrivals

On Friday most of the participants of the Nato Days arrived at Ostrava on a very sunny and warm day. A lot of interesting aircraft attended the 12th edition of the Nato days. 2 B-52's , 2 F-15C's and a C-130 from the USA, a French C-135FR and 3 Mirage 2000N, Italian EF2000, P.180 and Spartan, 4 Dutch F-16's, Polish Mi-8 and SU-22's, 2 Slovak Mig 29's and a Let 410 and many other interesting aircraft from the nearby countries.

Namest - Ramstein Rover : 20/09/2012

From 5 to 21 September, a major NATO Forward Air Controller (FAC) exercise was held in the Czech Republic, organised by NATO’s Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein. A lot of aircraft came to Namest AFB to participate the large exercise. USAFE A-10, Slovak L-39 and Mi-17, Turkish F-16C, German PC-9, Czech L-39, Mi-24/35 and Mi-171 flew 500 sorties, some 1150 FAC control runs and an average 20 control runs for each of the 51 international FACs. On the last day of the exercise we went to this nice airfield and made this photographical report.

Lens - Meeting Aérien

On Sunday again great summer weather and it was a great airshow. There were some nice helicopter demos from the French Navy Dauphin as well as the Belgian Seaking, but also from a gyrocopter. The warbirds on the show were 2 T-6, 2 Yak 18, Yak 52 and a Spitfire. No airshow without military displays like 2 Mirage 2000D and the mighty Rafale. And to conclude there were also 2 display teams: the British Aerostars flying in their Yaks and the Polish Orlik team with their PZL130 Orliks.

Lens - Meeting Aérien : Arrivals & rehearsals

55000 people visited the excellent meeting aérien at the airfield of Lens-Bénifontaine during the very sunny weekend of 15 and 16 September. The organisation attracted very nice participants for the 3rd edition. On Saturday most of the airplanes arrived and rehearsed their display for Sunday’s meeting. Some nice warbirds arrived like 2 T-6, a Beech D-17, 2 yak 52 and a spitfire as well as an ALAT Gazelle. Among the rehearsals were the French Air Force Rafale and Aerostars.

Spangdahlem : 09/08/2012

As a result of budget cuts announced early 2012, the sole remaining A-10 Sqn in Europe, 81st FS based at Spangdahlem AFB in Germany, will be disbanded at the end of March 2013. This will be the end of A-10 operations in Europe. We decided to have a look at Spangdahlem to see some activity of the remaining 20 A-10's based in Europe. We saw 6 A-10's doing 2 missions that day, as well as 6 F-16C from 480th FS doing 1 mission in the late afternoon.

Brize Norton : 04/07/2012

After the arrivals at Fairford on Wednesday we left for Brize Norton in the hope to see some VC-10 and Tristar action. Unfortunately there were a lot of aircraft on the aprons, so almost nothing in the air. Luckily the first RAF Voyager was busy doing circuits and we got to see the recovery of a couple of Hercules.

Coningsby : 03/07/2012

After Waddington airshow we went to have a look at the nearby RAF Coningsby to see some Typhoon action. In the morning we got flying activity from all 4 RAF Typhoon Sqn's (3, 11, 17 and 29 Sqn). One BBMF Chipmunk was doing touch and go's on the grass runway. 41 Sqn was very quiet unfortunately. 3 French Alpha jets came in to visit the station. Around noon it started raining and we left for Brize Norton.

Waddington - Airshow : Departure German F-4F

On Monday we were invited by the German F-4F crew to witness their start-up and departure. The plan was to start the engines with cartridges, which is impressive to see. Unfortunately one of the cartridges was not working properly and they had to start the second engine with the airstarter. After departure they remained low and came back for an awesome high speed low pass over the runway. Thanks guys!!

Waddington - Airshow : Flying display

This year’s flying display was again filled with great foreign military displays like a New Zeeland B757, US RC-135, Swiss Hornet and Super Puma, Austrian Saab 105, Czech L-159 and Dutch F-16. Off course all RAF displays were present too (Tutor, Tucano, Beech 200, Hawk, Tornado Role demo, BBMF, Typhoon, Chinook, Lynx, ...) as well as some of the local birds like the Sentry and Sentinel. Some nice display teams like Frecce Tricolori, Red Arrows, Saudi Hawks, Team Orlik and the superb Black Eagles completed the show.

Waddington - Airshow : Static display

This year’s Waddington airshow which was being held over the weekend of 30 June and 1 July was again a great edition with some very special visitors. This first gallery gives you an impression of the static display. Highlights were an Algerian Air Force C-130, Australian Air Force B737, the very last German Air Force F-4 at Waddington and off course a large RAF participation.

Cambrai - Final opendoor : 27/06/2012

For the very last time, BA103 Cambrai-Epinoy opened its doors between 11h and 15h. 4 Mirage 2000's (3 with 103 code), 2 rafales, 1 Mirage F-1 and 2 alpha jets landed again at Cambrai for this occasion. A couple of thousands of spectators visited Cambrai that day to see the airbase for the very last time. After the open-door rehearsals from the rafale and 3 M2000 + 1 F-1 were flown for the next day which was the official closing ceremony.

Florennes - airshow : Flying display part 2

The most remarkable displays were some Eastern European fighter displays. The Slovakian Mig 29 made a stunning display as well as the very special display of 2 Polish SU-22 fitters. For the first time they performed outside Poland. They only did 2 foreign airshows this year and luckily Florennes was one of them... This part also covers the Dutch and Greek F-16 display, which was also the first time in Belgium.

Florennes - airshow : Flying display part 1

The flying display was concentrated on solo fighter displays. There were some really nice items in the programme. Photo gallery part 1 of the flying displays covers Belgian and Turkish F-16 and Swiss F-18. Some other displays like a Dutch hunter, Belgian Seaking helicopter and French Colibri made the airshow a varied show. Off course no airshow without display teams: Baltic Bees, Croatian Wings of Storm and the Belgian Red Devils are also shown in the first picture gallery.

Florennes - airshow : Static display / OPS zone

In the static display there were a lot of tiger painted aircraft, all lined up on the TLP platform. Also a lot of cargo planes were lined up on the secondary runway. Thanks to IPR we could go to the other side of the airfield to see the display teams from up close.

Florennes - airshow : Arrivals

The annual BAF airshow was held at one of the F-16 bases, Florennes over the weekend of 23 and 24 of June. Some really special aircraft as 3 Polish SU-22's, 2 Slovakian Mig 29's, Turkish and Greek F-16's came to Florennes for the airshow. As the Tigermeet was only finished a couple of weeks before, there were a lot of tiger paints present in the static display. To give all the photographers the opportunity to make nice pictures of the arrivals, on Friday an excellent spottersday was held.

Geilenkirchen - 30 years NATO base : Spottersday

30 years ago, the first E-3A AWACS landed at the NATO base in Geilenkirchen. To celebrate this, the NATO base organised a jubilee event. All the NATO partners were invited to take part in a large static display during the weekend of 16 and 17 June. On Friday all the participating aircraft arrived and the base organised an excellent spottersday for the aircraft enthusiasts. In the morning there was heavy rain, but in the afternoon it got dry and everyone had a nice day. Most of the participants first made a low pass before landing, and passed in front of the 400 spotters before taxiing to their parking spot.

Abingdon - Air & Country show

This year we participated this nice show again with Bronco Demo Team, already for the third year in a row. On Saturday evening there was an excellent night shoot, which produced in really nice pictures. On Sunday the 6th of May again a nice show was organised with a mix of military and civilian displays. This was also the first show that the new and striking display scheme was shown from the RAF Tucano.

Meiringen : 27/04/2012

On our last day in Switzerland we stayed in Meiringen for the first day of the repetition course. Flying was very good with 4 waves of tigers and hornets. Weather was sunny and warm. As Meiringen offers a lot of different photo spots we changed a lot, to have as much as possible different angles. Luckily we could use some bikes at our apartment which made it very easy to ride to a different spot very fast.

Alpnach : 26/04/2012

As there was a repetition course going on at Alpnach, we also stayed a day at this nice helicopter base. Weather was perfect with 23°C and sun all day long. Flying activity was good with a lot of cougar and EC-635 flights. Unfortunately the German Army CH-53 that was detached didn't fly because of the strong winds in the mountains. Luckily the German Army BO-105 did a flight in the afternoon.

Payerne - Epervier 2012 : 25/04/2012

On our third day the weather had been changed as was the wind. In the morning it was perfect sunny weather. One big mission was flown in the morning and at the end of the morning PC-7 team arrived after performing a first demo rehearsal overhead the airfield. In the afternoon again 2 missions were flown as well as another PC-7 team rehearsal. Again we tried to photograph from as many as possible spots around the airfield.

Payerne - Epervier 2012 : 24/04/2012

On our second day at Payerne the weather in the morning was again a mix of sun and clouds but with strong winds. 2 short missions were flown. In the afternoon it started raining, so we decided to have a look at the nearby Bellechasse for a rehearsal of Patrouille Suisse. Unfortunately due to the bad weather conditions the display was cancelled and we returned back to Payerne, where we saw arrive the afternoon mission again in sunny weather.

Payerne - Epervier 2012 : 23/04/2012

Epervier is a joint exercise between EC.1/2 Cigognes based at BA116 Luxeuil and FlSt 17 Falcons based at Payerne. This year the exercise was held at Payerne AB in Switzerland. They fly 3 missions per day for 2 weeks long. On the first day of the second week the weather was a lot better than predicted and flying was good with 2 smaller missions of 8 aircraft and one big mission of 12 aircraft.

Ramstein : 22/04/2012

When we departed to Switzerland for one week, we stopped at Ramstein again on Sunday afternoon. The weather was still challenging with a mix of sun, clouds and one heavy shower, but that resulted in pictures of the aircraft with great clouds in the background. We saw some C-17's, B-747 and a Metro between 13h30 and 17h00, so not bad for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Cambrai : 30/03/2012

In the morning there were still some visiting aircraft coming in, and then, the weather was still nice and sunny. Around noon, the clouds came in, and in the afternoon the ceremony started. First a flypast of the special decorated M2000 with 2 Mirage F-1's. After that, there was a flypast with 4 M2000 in different configurations. After the flypasts there was the demo of the Rafale and Extra 300 of Equipe de Voltige. In the evening 3 alpha jets from Patrouille de France came in to say goodbye...

Cambrai : 29/03/2012

On the 30th of March there was a ceremony of the disbandment of EC.1/12 Cambrésis, the last flying sqn at Cambrai. EC.1/12 consisted out of 3 flights (SPA 89 Guêpes, SPA 162 Tiger and SPA 166 Tarn). SPA 162 was transferred to EC.1/7 Provence at St Dizier and for this occasion some aircraft visited Cambrai for the very last time. As the next day a display of the rafale and Equipe de Voltige Extra 300 was planned, they did a rehearsal in the afternoon.

Cambrai : 23/03/2012

To thank all the surrounding villages for all those years of support to the base, EC.1/12 performed a 4-ship formation over all those villages. When the aircraft started to taxi, we were totally surprised to see there were 3 special painted aircraft in the formation. They all taxied by on the taxiway near the fence in perfect light conditions. Another nice surprise was the visit of the 35F Navy dauphin based in Le Touquet. This one also took the taxiway next to the fence to taxi to the active runway. So it was again a great day at the fence of Cambrai.

Cambrai : 20/03/2012

Flying started late in the morning with a launch of 4 aircraft. After take-off on RWY10 they came over in box formation to practice. In the afternoon they launched 5 aircraft, but now on RWY28. Again after the mission they came over in box formation which is very impressing at low level. Before they landed, they did some nice low passes to entertain us.

Cambrai : 14/03/2012

In the morning the weather was misty, but in the afternoon the sun broke through the clouds so again nice pictures could be made at BA103. Flying activity was very good with 7 different airframes flying 14 missions. We also got 3 visitors: a rare TBM700 from EAAT, a Casa 235 and a Rafale C made a low pass.

Cambrai : 20/02/2012

Another beautiful and sunny day leads us to Cambrai for some mirage action. This time we tried some spots near the fence. Flying was very good that day with 6 different airframes flying 12 missions. Around noon we had a visit of 2 St Dizier rafales, but unfortunately we couldn't photograph those.

Cambrai : 16/01/2012

With the closure of BA103 Cambrai coming really close now, Cambrai was already long on my "to do list". Waiting some months now for some cold but sunny weather with eastern wind, 16 January finally was a day I was waiting for. Flying activity was pretty good for Cambrai standards with 4 different planes that day and 10 missions. Light was just perfect as you can see on the pictures. Enjoy one of the last pictures of the beautiful M2000C with 103 codes.