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Axalp 2006 has been another Axalp without snow. I do not know if this is only due to bad luck or to the changing climate, but one thing is sure: it makes walking easier, but photography even more difficult, and therefore this years results from this unique airpower demonstration might not be as stunning as the ones from 2003, when the Mirages were flying in front of a snowy scenery.
Where? Ebenfluh Shooting Range - Central Switzerland
French (Armée de l'Air) Mirage F1CR
Swiss F-18C Hornet
Talking about Mirages this year also saw a premiere: the first participation of foreign aircraft at the Axalp: two French Mirage F1CR from Reims were accompanied by Swiss Hornets and were even shooting at one of the targets in the slope. The reason for this was that a former Swiss Mirage IIIRS is currently on exchange with the Squadron at Reims, which clearly showed up when the Mirages were approaching the command tower for a really stunning fly-by after having finished the shooting parcours. To complete the internationality, one Siwss Hornet during the show was also flown by a French pilot.
Cougar (Transport and Solo Display)
The rest of the demonstration has already been shown in recent years, though the air-air combat took place only between two Hornets and without the Tigers as in the last years and was therefore not as vivid.
In addition to the show I have also been a Meiringen. The airbase is located in the valley close to the Axalp and offers unmatched photography possibilities. As an extra there was also night-flying during the Axalp, and standing only some meters (75mm for a Hornet!) was a real thrill as they lit up their afterburners. Ear protection is therefore heavily recommended!
Therefore I did however not regret going there for the 5th year and hope that you will also enjoy the photos that I brought back.
Special thanks to Alex and Bernd for hosting me!
Meiringen Air Base
Nightflying at Meiringen
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Published: 17 April 2007