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Where? Payerne - Switzerland
The same procedure as every year...
For the beginng of the last Airshow season I have chosen to go to the Payerne Open Doors display. The report about last year can be read here. Hearing some rumours about special acts that year I have been very eager to go there! And I have not been disappointed!!
Being the same procedure as last year, getting up early, a long drive through the beautiful Swiss countryside.... the day has nevertheless been full of surprises!!
The Payerne Open Doors is not meant to be an Airshow at first stage but is more of a family day for all the families of the recruits becoming soldiers that same day after their military training.
So you can relax and check out all the activities going on the morning. Aircraft exhibition in one of the hangars and at the outside (Mirages III S and RS, Tiger, Hornet, Hunter, Aloutte and Super Puma) or the demonstration of the rescue forces. But I've gone there for the jets, so I took a place near the runway and photographed all the F-5 Tigers and F/A-18 Hornets during their training sessions, including the special marked F-5 Tiger J-3093 "Bye Bye Turtmann Airbase".
In the afternoon the long awaited flight display began. First off all everyone could watch the preflight preperations and checks for the Tigers which took off shortly afterwards, together with the PC-7 Team and F/A-18 Hornets.
The opening act have been the 4 parachutists that jumped out of a PC-6 Turbo Porter. Shortly afterwards came the first surprise and highlight of that day: the 9 aircraft of the PC-7 Team in an arrow formation, followed by the F/A-18 Hornet !!! What an impressive sight... Passing the showcenter the Hornet performed a powerful vertical climb into the sky and began its solo demo.
Having finished it a a 4-ship F/A-18- and a 5-ship F-5-formation performed a fly-by. The Aloutte with a rescue demo and the Super Puma with a water bombing emo and an excellent flight display followed.
The other highlight has been the Mirage III RS fly-by. Of course the two plane have been the 'Black&White' Mirages, and the arrived doing the best they can: arriving low and fast, ~800 km/h at 300ft... Three fly-bys of them followed giving the possibility to take some more photos of this stunning colorscheme.
The last official act has been, of course, the Patrouille Suisse with their second display of this airshow season. Some formation changes have not yet been that precise, but nonetheless they did very well and showed three new elegant formations.
To finish this nice day severla oldtimers took off into the sky over Payerne to celebrate the opening of the opening of the new military aircraft museum (Musée de l'Aviation Militaire de Payerne). These were namely a Bréguet 14, Devoitine D-26, Pilatus PC-3, Bücker Jungmann and Jungmeister and the Hunter trainer.
Once again this has been an excellent day and I am really looking forward to the forthcoming Airshow season with some more reports for you!
Morning Training Sessions
F-18C Hornet Solo Display
Mirage III RS Black & White
Published: 16 April 2007