Meeting du Centenaire

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The Meeting du Centenaire – "Meeting of the Centennial" – was announced as a big celebration of the first airshow held at Reims in August 1909, celebrated at the location that is today the airbase BA112 of the French Air Force. Additionally to this reason it was also the last meeting at this airbase which is due to close in 2011.

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Where? Reims, BA112 - France
When?
27-28/07/2009

MeetingMany display teams have been invited to the show additionally to the French regulars Patrouille de France and the civil Breitling Jet Team: Red Arrows, Patrulla Aguilla, Royal Jordanian Falcons or the Asas de Portugal.
In addition to these modern teams many aircraft from all eras were invited to attend the show. Unfortunately they flew only in the early morning hours (= only half an hour after the opening of the gates...) and on Saturday morning even in dull weather conditions. Therefore many spectators missed these fabulous aircraft that still transfer the spirit of flying of the past. Especially the Blériot monoplane is always an amazing sight in the air, but also the Noratlas, the only remaining flying example worldwide, is an amazing sight with its nice display routine. But, due to the early start, both of these acts were only seen from the far distance when I was about to enter airfield.

 

two of the Display Teams: Patrulla Aguilla & Breitling Jet Team

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TailsUnfortunately the attendance of French Air Force (FAF) aircraft, especially the venerable Mirage F1s, which are now all based at Reims, was also quite low – or my expectations were too high, I do not know...?! The F1s did only one single recce pass as a two-ship on Saturday with no flying activity at all on Sunday. Two Mirage 2000 took of for a fly-by with a KC-135F tanker and did a fly-by afterwards. Among the FAF only the Rafale stood out at the end of the afternoon with a splendid solo display routine and this aircraft is surely to become a highlight of the airshows in the future.

 

Armée De l'Air flying: KC-135F & Mirage 2000

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Mirage 2000 fly-bys

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Mirage F1

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Foreign aircraft participating were the F-16 display teams from the Netherlands and Belgium - both arriving on Saturday midday directly from the event held at Zeltweg and flew later in the afternoon.

Swedish Gripen

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Dutch F-16

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Belgian F-16

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French Alpha Jet & Fouga Magister

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some more flying: Morane, PAF Alpha Jef, USAFE KC-135

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