Koksijde Airshow 2011

 

 

On 6 & 7 July, 2011 the traditional annual International Airshow of Koksijde also marked the 65th anniversary of the Belgian Air Force.  In a matter of fact in 2010, Belgian military aviation existed 100 years but this seems to have been dropped in favour of this year's 65 years celebrations.

Koksijde airbase is staging airshows on a regular basis since 1964 and can easily be considered as the most experienced airshow organiser in Europe. As expected everything was running as a Swiss watch but the only uncontrollable element, “weather”, was running out of blue skies on Thursday. Fortunately the quality and diversity of the participants, including the majority of the world’s demonstration teams more than made up for some occasional summer showers. What else can be said if you have the USAF Thunderbirds, the RAF Red Arrows, the French Armée de l'Air Patrouille de France, the Turkish Stars, the Polish Team Iskry, the Royal Saudi Hawks and the Danish Baby Blue team all in one show?

It was no surprise to hear that on both days 35.000 people visited the show. 70.000 visitors for an airshow organised in the middle of the week is certainly no mean success. Way to go…

 

A pictorial impression:

Estonian An-2

Talking about vintage aviation.. the Estonian Antonov AN-2 "40" Yellow is still operational but what a beauty. The meaning of the superb ensigna is still an enigma. Luckily the pilot has put his blue parking disk after leaving his aircraft.

Antonov AN-2 "40"

The huge Estonian bi-plane arriving at Koksijde airbase.

 

Stinson AT-19 Reliant (V-77) N1943S

Smart and flying Stinson AT-19 Reliant (V-77) N1943S (c/n 77-463) in the static display.

 

North American T-6 Harvard formation

The last time you could have seen two Belgian Air Force North American T-6 Harvards must have been in Ruanda in 1962. But for an 65th anniversary miracles can happen. Unfortunately none of both T-6's has a Belgian Air Force ancestry.

 

Supermarine 361 Spitfire LF9B, PH-OUQ/MK732/3W-17

 Pristine Supermarine 361 Spitfire LF9B, PH-OUQ/MK732/3W-17 (cn CBAF.IX.1732) of the Stichting Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vlucht taxiing out for its display.

 

North American T-6 Harvard "H210"

Danny Cabooter cautiously manoeuvring Harvard "H-210" between lots of vintage hardware.

 

de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide G-AJGJ

de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide G-AJGJ looking as coming fresh from the production line.

 

Armstrong Withword Meteor NF.11 WM197

Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.11 G-LOSM

Armstrong Whitworth (Gloster) Meteor NF.11 WM167 (G-LOSM) reviving the days that N° 10 and 11 Squadron of the 1st Wing at Beauvechain were equipped with this eye pleasing night-fighter in the fifties.

 

Fouga CM-170R Magister F-GPCJ

Something of a rarity, a Frenchman pretending that he's a Belgian...   French owned Fouga CM-170R Magister F-GPCJ (cn 369) was temporarily painted to represent MT-3 of the Belgian Air Force

 

Beech B200 Super King Air (BB-1837) ZK456/P

Not often seen on this side of the "pond", Beech B200 Super King Air (BB-1837) ZK456/P of the RAF's N° 45 (R) Squadron

 

PZL-Swidnik W-3A Sokol 0715

PZL-Swidnik W-3A Sokol 0715 (CN 370715) of the Czech Air Force is one of the SAR aircraft evidently present at SAR base Koksijde.

 

Mil Mi-8MTV-1 5528

The crew of the Polish Navy Mil Mi-8MTV-1 5528 helicopter was so nice to remove some annoying flags from their aircraft to allow a better shot.

 

NH-90 N175

Shape of thing to come at Koksijde, Dutch Navy NH90 NFH 175.  At Koksijde the crews are counting the day (or nights) before they can lay their hands on these magnificent machines, ... 484, 483, 482....

 

Typhoon EF-2000 MM7292/4-12

There was a time you could only see F-16 tails in this area, now a German and Italian Typhoon are surrounding the lonely Belgian Air Force F-16BM FB-22. Italian Air Force EF-2000 Typhoon MM7292/4-12

 

F-16AM Demo Mitch

Take a superb pilot (Mitch) - put him in a specially decorated BAF F-16AM and add some pyrotechnics.... the result:  an explosive and addicting cocktail.

 

Saab T-17

Small is beautiful, Saab on a background of Saudi green..

Guests since many years at the Koksijde airshow, the Saab-T-17 equipped Baby Blue team of the Royal Danish Air Force.

 

The Saudi Hawks

The Saudi Hawks

Saudi Hawk

The excellent performing Saudi Hawk Team

 

Team Iskry

Representing Poland, the "Team Iskry" with the TS-11 Iskra

The Turkish Stars

The Turkish Stars ready for take-off at Koksijde.

Transall C-160 68-033 "Tirkish Stars"

The pilot of the Transall C-160 68-033 of the "Turkish Stars" hit the brakes upon arrival at Koksijde airbase. Two more Transall's of the Turkish AF arrived at Koksijde during the sow. Even the Thunderbirds were impressed.

 

Red Arrwos

Ladies and Gentlemen....: the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows 2011".

Red Arrows

Red Arrows

A get together "Red Arrows" style...

 

USAF Thunderbirds

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds honoured the 65 year young Belgian Air Force with their presence.

USAF Thunderbirds

F-16's doesn't come any cleaner than this, but beware the Thunderbirds are forming an operational unit and can change colours if called upon...

USAF Thunderbirds

An extra tight formation, the trade mark of the T-Birds.

 

Red Devils

OK, Ok... the Thunderbirds were the highlight of this superb show, but allow us be a weeny bit chauvinistic...

Ladies and gentlemen, the "new" Red Devils, small but surely beautiful and getting better all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 © Kris & Daniel Brackx - Vincent Pirard (July 2011)

 

 

Last updated 16/03/12 09:55   Daniel Brackx

daniel.brackx@telenet.be