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.
Czech Air Force Saab JAS 39C Grippen 9235 of 211.tl in special NATO Tiger Meet colour scheme
Pilots of the Latvian "Baltic Bees" team starting up their Aerovodohody L-39C Albatross jet-trainers for a morning rehearsal
Well weathered Transall C-160R R223/64-GW of ET00.064 serving as support aircraft for the "Patrouille de France" team.
Ten Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France were present at Florennes on Saturday June 23rd, 2012 to replace the Spanish Aguila team.
Impressive line-up of the somewhat heavier hardware led by the Czech Air Force Casa C.295M 0452.
The specially decorated Turkish Air Force solo display Lockheed-Martin F-16C 91_0011 of N° 141 Filo.
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet J-5008 taxiing in after a very daring and refreshing solo display
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.
Polish Air Force Sukhoi
SU-22M-4 3819 of Miroslawiec based 8. Eskadra Lotnictwa Taktycznego
Sukhoi SU-22M-4 8919 sporting a special "wild boar" colour scheme almost identical to Florennes airbase own insignia.
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.
Daniel Koblet superbly demonstrating Morane-Saulnier MS-406 D-3801 HB-RCF "N458/7 - Bretagne".
Hawker Hunter T.8C G-BWGL "N-321" of the Dutch Hawker Hunter Foundation in action.
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
© Daniel & Kris Brackx - Yves Duwelz (June 2012)
Last updated 240612 - Daniel Brackx