(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Komaki Airshow 2011
Where? Komaki/Nagoya, Japan
When? 23/10/2011

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.

 With the opening of the Kansai International Airport (KIX) airport the busy civil days of this former Nagoya/Komaki airport are long gone and part of the apron made place for a big shopping mall, which was quite a big change to see compared to 2005. That mall also offers a big parking place and upon arrival quote a few photographers were seen standing there with their ladders and camera bags.

The morning part of the flight display was of course already finished and the lunch break was on. Time to sit down, have a sushi and a green tea...
The view of the static display on the far side was overwhelming: there was a Shin Meiwa US-1 flying boat, jets from the Gifu-based Test Wing, a E-2C Hawkeye from Misawa and many more. Obviously hopes were high for the fly-out, but there was still some time and more to see until then.

Apart from the rescue demo wit two helicopters and two U-125 the highlight was of course the KC-767 tanker demo. Restricted by the massive surrounding cities it was more or less limited to some fly-bys, only slightly showing its top side in the first run. It then flew out of view to formate with two T-4 and an F-2 from Gifu.

The 'Viper Zero' flew in the receiver position to simulate the air-air refuelling procedure. Afterwards each of the jets performed a (high) fly-by. With the landing of the KC-767 tanker the show was over, the cloudless blue sky and the low light gorgeous and it was time to wait for the fly-out.

The Shin Meiwa flying-boat, easily the highlight for most of the photographers, was first and the sound of its four engines and propellers when set to full power settings on take-off will for long not be forgotten! One visitor after the other then taxied for take-off, and the conditions for all of them were perfect as for the orange/white target-towing U-36A Learjet of the JMSDF, the blue F-2 from Gifu or the bright blue C-130 Hercules. Combined with the trees in the background better photographic conditions are rare...

After the last aircraft was gone and the fire trucks also left, it was time to sit down, relax and think a bit about this great day. The last photos were shot of a Fuji Dream Airlines (FDA) E170 coming in shortly before sunset.

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When? March 2017

Alpine Base Meiringen offers a gorgeous setting The airfield is nestled in a small valley in central Switzerland in the canton of Bern. Surrounded by mountains that partly rise up vertically for several hundred meters it is challenging flying terrain, but provides plenty of photo opportunities. Meiringen is the home of the Swiss Air Force's Fliegerstaffel 11 "Tigers", one of Switzerland three F/A-18 Hornet Squadrons, and is also home to the militia Squadron 8 "Destructors" ("Vandalos"), flying the F-5E Tiger II.

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Where? Izmir, Turkey
When? 4-5/06/2011

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.

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50 years later I have been invited to do an air-air photo session with the only remaining airworthy HA-200 in Germany. It is part of the impressive collection of the "Messerschmitt Stiftung" and operated by EADS from their site in Manching.

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