Wednesday 17 September 2014

Belgian Airforce Days!

I haven't seen an airshow in at least 10 years. Come to think of it, about as long ago as when I stopped modelling. Seems like more than one hobby was put on hold at the same time.

A good friend of mine invited me to go see the Belgian Airforce Days at the celebration of 100 years of our Airforce.
In my late teens to early twenties, I visited many shows. It was also my prime source of model kits. I found 2 (TWO!) model kits on the entire event (A Turkish F-16 and an Alphajet). Our hobby is definitely on the decline.

On to the show. Our main workhorse is the F-16. They were accompanied by their Dutch, Greek and Turkish sisters. I can still "feel" the sound of the afterburners as they flew past.

Teams from all over the world (Belgium, France, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Jordan, even the United Arab Emirates) were present, demonstrating impressive skill with up to 10 planes. I don't think I've ever seen this many teams in one show together.

A large number of helicopters (Agusta, Hip, Hind, Apache and a fierce looking Eurocopter Cougar) joined the list.

One of the more memorable moments? The flyby of the Blériot IX - the very first airplane in our force, now 100 years ago - and one of our F-16's. It was touch and go if the Blériot was going to take off at all, as there was a mild breeze. :-)
As the Blériot is doing 50 km/h (~ 30 mph) and the F-16 can hardly do anything slower than 300 km/h (~200 mph) with blaring stall-alarms, it took several passes to get them aligned properly for the camera's.

As we were leaving, a Mig-29 was in the air, displaying a tremendous amount of power and (vertical) acceleration.

A day of awesome impressions deserves a good ending, as we went home in my friend's new Tesla. Suffice to say, this last "show of force" of the day was impressive as well :-).

Check out the dedicated Facebook-page for more and better quality pictures : Belgian airforce days.
I took many pictures, only to discover at home that there was a smudge on the lens. So, all the pictures have the exact same defect in them. You'll see what I mean. Well, I'm not gonna use that as an excuse for not posting them!

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