Belgian Helidays 2003  -  Bierset  31 May & 1 June 2003

Westland Lynx HAS.3S XZ248 and ZD254

Westland Lynx HAS.3S XZ248 and ZD254 of No. 702 Squadron at Yeovilton.

Photo Jos Schoofs

 The 2003 edition of the Belgian Helidays took place at Bierset Air Base, also known as Liège-Bierset airport, during the weekend of 31 May and 1 June. The static display consisted of over 100 mainly military helicopters and 10 fixed wing aircraft, while 10 military helicopters and a single aircraft were presented during an afternoon filling dynamic display. Participants came from twelve different countries. Comparing these figures with those of the first Helidays in 1998 with 15 visitors from 5 nations proves that the Belgian Helidays are without any doubt becoming the main event of this type in Europe.


Participation aircraft








Air Component

Sea King Mk.48, SF.260M/D

Land Component

Islander, Alouette II, A.109BA

Marine Component

Alouette III

Federal Police


Czech Republic

Ceské Letectvo

Mi.17, Mi.24V





Armée de l’Air

AS.555AN Fennec

Armée de Terre

AS.555UN Fennec


SA.321G Super Frelon, SA.365F Dauphin

Douanes françaises

AS.355F2 Ecureuil






UH-1D Iroquois


Bo.105P, EC.135T1


Sea Lynx Mk.88A




Air Force




Hughes NH.500E


Koninklijke Luchtmacht

AB.412SP, AS.532U2 Cougar, NAH-64D Longbow Apache


Air Force

Bell 412SP Arapaho



Air Force

PZL Sokol W.3




Air Force

Mi-17, Mi-24V

United Kingdom


Royal Air Force

Puma HC.1, AS.355F2 Twin Squirrel, Griffin HT.1

Royal Navy

Lynx HAS.3S, Merlin HM.1, Sea King HU.5

United States


UH-60 Black Hawk

 Photo Album

Bell OH-58B Austria

 Bell OH-58B 3C-OK of the Langenlebarn-based 3 Staffel/Fliegerregiment 1 was painted last year in a special “Kiowa” colour scheme to celebrate the type’s 25th anniversary in Austrian service. It visited the Belgian Helidays for the second time in this colour scheme.

Mil Mi-24V Hind

Mil Mi-24V 0708 of the 34th Helicopter Wing at Presov was part of the Slovak delegation at the Belgian Helidays 2003.

Eurocopter SA.365F Dauphin

Very rare outside France is the Eurocopter Dauphin. The Aéronavale acquired initially three SA.365F and five SA.365N Dauphins, which all serve with 35 Flottille. The three SA.365F serve as pilot rescue aircraft (“Pedro”) on board the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, while the five SA.365N are used in the sea rescue role, operating from Le Touquet, Cherbourg, Lanvéoc, La Rochelle and Hyères. SA.365F serial number 318, which has its home base at Saint-Mandrier, participated in the flying display during the Belgian Helidays.


Mil Mi-14PL Haze

A regular visitor of the Belgian Helidays is the Polish Navy. Like previous years it was present with a Mil Mi-14PL of the 2nd “Darlowski” Naval Aviation Squadron. The Darlowo-based Haze serial number 1010 was decorated with an impressive shark mouth. 

Breda Nardi Hughes NH.500E

Breda Nardi Hughes NH.500E MM81298/72-35 participated in the United Nations operation KFOR in the Balkan ans is part of the 72° Stormo/208° Gruppo of the AMI (Italian Air Force).

All pictures and text by Jos Schoofs

Last updated 15/03/12 17:59   Daniel Brackx