Friday, June 7, 2013

Airshow Patrouille de France 60th anniversary at Salon de Provence ( part 1 )

May 26th, I attended a large airshow set up to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the French Air Force, "Patrouille de France".

Patrouille de France

This jet team, consisting of 9 Alpha Jet military trainers, easily makes it into the top 5 of the worlds best jet teams! 

Patrouille de France over the Ecole de L-air

The show which attracted 120.000 spectators, was held at their home base, Salon de Provence in the South of France. This is the main base of the "Ecole de l'air" or Air Force academy.  Even though there were hardly any clouds on the Sunday I was there, a cold +35 knots local wind called "Mistral", made flying close formation a real challenge! 

Although I do prefer airshows that have more of a mixed program consisting of aerobatic, civil, vintage, warbird and jet aircraft, it was an exceptional airshow from a military aerobatic team perspective. It is rare to see most of Europe's teams together in one spot. 

Europe greatest Jet teams

Beside the Patrouille de France, A total of 5 other European jet teams participated;

Red Arrows formation

Starting with the renown Royal Air Force, "Red Arrows" flying the Hawk

Team Iskry (Poland) take-off

Team Iskry from the Polish Air Force flying the Iskra TS-11

Patrulla Águila flying the Casa 101

Spanish Air Force, Patrulla Aguila flying 7 Casa 101's

Patrouille Suisse formation

Patrouille Suisse from Switzerland, flying six Northrop F-5E fighter/bomber jets

Frecce Tricolori smoe overload

And finally my European favourite, the Italian "Frecce Tricoleri" flying the Aermachi MB-339. With 10 aircraft, this team holds the tittle for flying the most aircraft of all jet teams.

In part two of the series, I will share more of the other airshow participants as well as some aircraft displayed in a "static" environment.

Till then,
Fly safe and click that shutter,


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