National holiday at Florennes Air Base

 

The festivities that started on June 2nd to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Florennes as a Belgian Air Force Air Base were concluded on July 21st when the 2nd Tactical Wing opened its door to the public. The historical exhibition and the educational route that guided the visitor through the history of the airfield and through the present-day air base with its numerous historic relics attracted around 20,000 visitors. That number was nearly doubled on the national holiday when around 15,000 people found their way to Florennes. In addition to the exhibition, the public could admire what will probably be the final solo display of the Belgian Air Component Fouga CM.170R Magister as well as a presentation of the F-16 by the local display pilot. The highlight of the day was without doubt the flyby of almost all aircraft – only the Alouette IIIs were missing – that participated just minutes earlier in the national holiday parade over Brussels. The Open Door was concluded with a base attack by eight local F-16 combat aircraft.

 

The peripheral children attractions, the numerous booths with food, drinks and souvenirs and the closing barbecue made this a pleasant family day and an exemplary initiative to bring nation and population, military and civilians closer together.

 

 The Fouga Magister display at Florennes was probably the very last public display of the type.

 

Local display pilot Mickey Artiges is seen here taking off for a presentation of the F-16. He received a real warm applause when taxiing back after his display.

 

FA-107 is one of the first F-16s adorned with the new low-visibility markings of the 2nd Tactical Wing, reintroducing the units Wild Boar insignia.

 

The 90th anniversary of the Scottish Thistle badge of No. 1 Squadron coincided with the festivities of 60 years Florennes Belgian Air Force air base. The author of the artwork on the aircraft’s fin, cartoonist Clovis, was also present at Florennes, where he presented the painting of FA-101 that he made for the occasion (for more details on that painting, have a look at http://www.clovisimages.com/dutch/home.php). Equipped with a travel pod and a pair of smokewinders, the aircraft is seen here taking off with destination the far away Kleine-Brogel, which acted as operating base for the jet aircraft participating in the Sanicole Air Show the following day.

 

The artwork on the tail of FA-101 was applied in the form of stickers made of perforated plastic. A first test of the material was executed with the tail fin tip band that was applied to the aircraft of No. 1 Squadron that participated in the Falcon Air Meet 2007 in Jordan in May 2007. The material resisted the long ferry flights, the local Mach 1+ flights and the Middle-Eastern hot days and cold nights without a scratch.

 

Left: Belgian Air Component Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet 1B+ (AT-10, 14, 25 and 29) – 11 Squadron/1 Wing

Right: Armée de l’Air Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet E (E61/314-LQ, E120/314-LG, E148/314-LU and E166/314-LT) – Ecole de l’Aviation de Chasse 00.314 (Tours, France)

 Left: SIAI Marchetti SF.260D (ST-41, 42, 46 and 48) – 5 Squadron/1 Wing

Right: SIAI Marchetti SF.260D (ST-40, 44 and 47) and SIAI Marchetti SF.260M (ST-20) – 5 Squadron/1 Wing

 

Left: Lockheed-Martin F-16 (FB-12 and FA-115 and 127) – 2 Wing

Right: Lockheed-Martin F-16 (FB-17 and FA-107 and 135) – 2 Wing

Left: Dassault Falcon 20E (CM-02) – 21 Squadron/15 Wing

Right: Dassault Falcon 900B (CD-01) – 21 Squadron/15 Wing

 

Left: Embraer ERJ-135 (CE-01) – 21 Squadron/15 Wing

Right: Embraer ERJ-145 (CE-03) – 21 Squadron/15 Wing

 

Left: Lockheed C-130H Hercules (CH-05 and 07) – 20 Squadron/15 Wing

Right: Airbus A310-222 (CA-02) – 21 Squadron/15 Wing

 

Left: Boeing E-3A Sentry (LX-N90442) – NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (Geilenkirchen, Germany)

Right: McDonnell-Douglas KDC-10-30CF (T-235) – 334 Squadron (Eindhoven, Netherlands) and three unknown 10 Wing F-16s

 

Left: Embraer EMB.121AA Xingu (072/319-YA, 078/319-YE and 095/319-YM) – Ecole de l’Aviation de Transport 00.319 (Avord, France)

Right: Airbus A310-222 (CA-02) – 21 Squadron/15 Wing

 Left: Sud-Aviation SA.318C Alouette II (A57, 66, 69 and 79) – Wing Heli

Right: Agusta A.109BA Hirundo (H-06, 30, 33 and two unknown) – Wing Heli

 

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Jos Schoofs (July 2007)

Last updated 15/08/07 09:38   Daniel Brackx

daniel.brackx@telenet.be