Once again there was the chance in 2011 to visit the graduation ceremony of the Israeli Air Force's (IAF) Pilot Training Course in Hatzerim. This year it was course #162 and the aerial performers did change a bit compared to the last visit in 2009.
Komaki/Nagoya is the home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - so to say the birthplace of the F-2 and F-15(D)J. It also hosts some of the C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as the KC-767 tanker fleet.
The show at Hamamatsu was one of the reasons for the Japan trip 2011. Not that much of a well known destination for aircraft enthusiasts as many of the other fast jet bases around Japan Hamamatsu hosts the T-4 training wings as well as the Airborne Warning & Control squadron equipped with 4 Boeing E-767.
The ADEX (Aerospace and Defence Exhibition) takes place at the Sinchonri (K-16) Air Base East of Seoul and serves mainly as a showcase for the local defence industry. It is one of the few chances to see Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) jets in the air and take a closer look at them on the ground.
The Osan Airpower Day 2011 must have left mixed emotions amongst many of the visitors. On one hand people enthusiastically did give applause for the aerial demonstrations, but on the other hand strict security measures did leave many people disappointed - mainly those who invested quite some efforts to come to South Korea to attend this event.
CoNA, the Centennial of Naval Aviation was the major theme for US Navy airshows in 2011. Amongst those events listed as "Tier 1" was also the show NAS Oceana, and with Oceana being the US Navy's 'Master Jet Base' on the East Coast there were many good reasons to go there and celebrate this event.
After the SIAD and the NLD it was this year that Slovakia's big international airshow came to light as the SIAF. Whereas in recent years the big yearly Slovak Airshow NLD has been held in Slovakia's Western part as Bratislava or Piestany, SIAF chose the Slovak MiG-29 home base Sliac in the Tatra region as the new location – and this was more than one good reason to come back.
Situated in a valley of the Tatra mountain region, Sliac is about a 2h drive from the capital Bratislava, with several picturesque cities nearby that make it easy to spent some nice evenings after the long and exhausting show days.
The Shuttleworth Collection's Old Warden airfield offers excellent photo opportunities both in the air and on the ground as the action happens very close to the visitor and the clear background gives timeless impressions. Apart from its already extensive collection the "Military Pageant" air display give the opportunity to see also other aircraft at this exquisite location.
It is not uncommon in Britain for the Airshow-busy months of June and July that interesting airshows clash together. This was also the case for the second week-end in July with Flying Legends at Duxford and the Royal Navy Airshow at Yeovilton.
The numbers speak for itself: with 290.000 visitors the Airpower Airshow at Zeltweg, Austria is clearly the biggest and may also well be the best Airshow in Europe. The 9.5 hours long lasting flight display alone was more than one good reason to go there for a day.
Open Days of the Luftwaffe are rare and few these days, and to reduce costs the 50th anniversary of the JG74 at Neuburg has even been held on a Thursday to avoid additional work during the week-end. Though this also meant that nearly all interested visitors had to take a day off, a crowd of around 15.000 came to celebrate that day.
In many places aviation Centennials are celebrated, and so did the Turkish Air Force. The official events already started in January, but cumulated for the public in the International air show, hosted at the 2nd Main Jet Base Command (Çigli/Izmir) on 04-05 June 2011. As Turkey is very secretive and restricted with everything regarding their military, it is no wonder that the spotterdays offered on the day before and after the event was soon fully booked with 1000 (!) enthusiasts wanting to attend.
When talking about India it is often referred to as the "World's largest democracy" – no wonder having around 1,2 billion inhabitants. However when looking at aviation photography it is a completely different world, as even civil aviation photography is far from normal or accepted, let alone taking photos of military aircraft. Aero India 2011 at the Yelahanka Air Base near Bangalore in the South of India was thus a welcome chance to get some military hardware in front of my lens.