Florennes International Airshow 2012

 

Swiss Air Force PC-7 Team flocking around F/A-18C Hornet J-5008

This year's main Belgian Air Force show event was organised by the 2nd Tactical Wing at Florennes Airbase on June 23 and 24th, 2012. Main theme for the event was "70 Years of Military Aviation at Florennes" which was clearly reflected by the presence of some 70 years (or more) old war birds besides some of the most modern equipment of the European and/or NATO Air Force. In this framework the formation of the Belgian Air Force's  specially decorated F-16AM FA-84 with Supermarine Spitfire PR XIX N219AM painted as PS890/OM-E could be considered (almost) as the latest and first equipment of the 70 year old 2nd Wing.

No less than 7 international flying display teams were on hand to thrill the public: The Belgian Air Force's own "Red Devils", The Patrouille de France (much appreciated replacement for the non-available but announced Spanish Air force Patrulla Aquila), the Baltic Bees, the Swiss PC7 Team, the French Armée de l'Air "Cartouche doré", 'Krila Oluje' (Wings of Storm), the Pilatus PC-9M team of the Croatian Air force and the familiar Royal Jordanian Falcons.

Solo displays were performed by Cpt. Renaud "Grat" Thys, Belgian Air Force's official F-16 solo display pilot and F-16's from The Netherlands, Denmark, Greece and Turkey, besides very lively demonstration by the Swiss Air Force's F/A-18C Hornet and Slovak Air Force MiG 29.

Weather was full of surprises on Saturday with sun and clouds alternating every few minutes forcing photographers to continuously adapt settings but presenting some of the most beautiful cloud backgrounds.

Have a look at some representative pictures.

 

Tiger Saab Grippen

Czech Air Force Saab JAS 39C Grippen 9235 of 211.tl in special NATO Tiger Meet colour scheme

Baltic Bees

Pilots of the Latvian "Baltic Bees" team starting up their Aerovodohody L-39C Albatross jet-trainers for a morning rehearsal

Transall C-160R R223/64-GW

Well weathered Transall C-160R R223/64-GW of ET00.064 serving as support aircraft for the "Patrouille de France" team.

 Patrouille de France

Ten Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France were present at Florennes on Saturday June 23rd, 2012 to replace the Spanish Aguila team.

Static Display

Impressive line-up of the somewhat heavier hardware led by the Czech Air Force Casa C.295M 0452.

F-16C Turkish AF Solo Display

The specially decorated Turkish Air Force solo display Lockheed-Martin F-16C 91_0011 of N° 141 Filo.

F/A-18C Hornet J-5008

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet J-5008 taxiing in after a very daring and refreshing solo display

SU-22 formation

Still an impressive sight: two Cold War remnant Sukhoi SU-22M-4's of the Polish Air Force demonstrate different swing-wing settings in flight.

Sukhoi SU-22M-4 3819

Polish Air Force Sukhoi SU-22M-4 3819 of Miroslawiec based 8. Eskadra Lotnictwa Taktycznego
(8.elt) returning after its double presentation.

Sukhoi SU-22M-4 8919

Sukhoi SU-22M-4 8919 sporting a special "wild boar" colour scheme almost identical to Florennes airbase own insignia.

 

 

HISTORICAL

 

Northrop P-61 nose gear leg.

In the "German Hangar", a dedicated historical exhibition was organised by Nicolas Clinaz. One of the most impressive relics was this Northrop P-61 Black Widow nose-wheel gear salvaged after a crash. The USAAF operated Black Widow night fighters from Florennes airbase.

In order to help preserve the "German Hangar" (the last of its kind remaining in Belgium) a petition was organised.

 

Morane-Saulnier MS-406

Daniel Koblet superbly demonstrating Morane-Saulnier MS-406 D-3801 HB-RCF "N458/7 - Bretagne".

Hawker Hunter T.7

Hawker Hunter T.8C G-BWGL "N-321" of the Dutch Hawker Hunter Foundation in action.

F-16AM - Spitfire formation

Belgian Air Force's  specially decorated F-16AM FA-84 flown by Cpt Renaud "Grat" Thys in formation with Supermarine Spitfire PR XIX N219AM painted as PS890/OM-E

 

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New "Stingers" tail

In the framework of the Florennes Airshow 2012, Maj Gen Claude Van de Voorde, Belgian Air Component Commander and Lt Col Vincent Maniet, N° 1 Squadron Commanding Officer unveiled Lockheed-Martin F-16AM FA-121 decorated with a special tail to mark "The Stingers" 95th anniversary (N° 1 Squadron is the oldest Belgian Air Force flying unit still operational).

New "Stingers" tail

New "Stingers" tail

 

 

Report by

© Daniel & Kris Brackx - Yves Duwelz (June 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated 240612 - Daniel Brackx

brackda@gmail.com