2014 Event Review

Belgian Air Force Days, September 12-14, 2014
Location: Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium
Admission: Accredited media only
Parking: Free onsite with shuttle, paid reserved parking available
Value: Excellent
Rating out of 10: 9
 
AAJTS logo
F-16A MLU, Belgian Air Force

For the first time after a long absence (15 years in total) a military air show was held at Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium. The 10th Tactical Wing of the Belgian Air Force hosted the so called Belgian Air Force Day between the 12th until the 14th of September 2014. The official show days were Saturday and Sunday, nevertheless there was a spotters day held on the Friday, where one could watch almost all of the arrivals as well as some rehearsals. Beside the aviation spotter also school boys and girls were invited just to raise the interest in aviation for the young people. Over the weekend the base was open for the general public. A huge flying program was offered from 09:00h until 19:00h, which was really outstanding. It is not that often that one can watch such a wide range of participating aircraft coming from all kind of air arms on a single air show.

There were two main themes covered on this particular event, the one celebrated 100 years of military aviation, the other commemorated 40 years of the Lockheed Martin (former General Dynamics) F-16. In the flying display one could see four! FIGHTING FALCON`s coming from four different air arms (Turkish Air Force, Hellenic Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force and last but not least from the Belgian Air Force), several more were placed into the static display (Danish Air Force as well as Portuguese Air Force). The maiden flight of the F-16 took place on February, the 2nd of 1974, only one year later the Air Forces of Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway signed a contract with General Dynamics to replace their aging Lockheed F-104 STARFIGHTER with the most advanced fighter aircraft of its time – the F-16 FIGHTING FALCON, or VIPER as it is called as well. Alone Belgium ordered 116 aircraft in total (96 single seater F-16A and 20 double seater F-16B), which replaced not only the STARFIGHTER (until September 1983) but also their Dassault MIRAGE III/5.

For the friends of military aerobatic teams the air show in Kleine Brogel was real highlight. No less than 8! different teams performed on both show days, like the PATROUILLE DE FRANCE, the RAF RED ARROWS or the FRECCE TRICOLORI, just to name a few. Another show stopper was for sure the so called Joint Power Demo of the Belgian Air Force. On display was an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) B-Hunter which observed the scenario remotely controlled, the F-16´s flew close air support, controlled by a Boeing E-3A AWACS cruising a high altitude. Additionally a wide range of Special Forces coming in with NH-90 choppers and Lockheed C-130H HERCULES secured the scene, receiving fire support from an armed A-109BA helicopter.

The fly by from no less than 7 Dassault Breguet ALPHAJETS impressed the audience. These particular aircraft are already in service with the Belgian Armed Forces for 35 years! To commemorate this anniversary one special painted ALPHAJET was on display as well.

For those enthusiasts, who have seen more than enough aircraft in the flying display, some more attractions were offered in the static display, which were placed mainly on the taxiway. A wide range of aircraft could be seen, like a Hungarian AF Saab JAS-39 GRIPEN, a Czech AF Aero L-159 ALCA, two Eurofighter EF-2000 from Germany, a Norwegian Lockheed P-3C ORION, a Swiss AF Boeing F/A 18 HORNET, a French AMD RAFALE, an two US Air Force Boeing F-15D but also plenty of historical aircraft.

Unfortunately the weather was not always with the organizer and the spectators. After a warm and sunny Friday the sun came out on Saturday as well as Sunday only after lunch (after burning off loads of mist and heavy clouds). This difficult weather situation influenced the flying program up to a certain point, finally all went well and the flying took place until sunset.

The whole event was very well organized, the parking area was outside the base, still everything was within the reach. No much queuing up in front of the entrance, everything went smooth.

Conclusion: a highly successful event for everybody! Great flying demos, fantastic ground displays combined with a professional organization. Well done!!!

The Aviation Magazine would like to thank the organizer, especially Adjudant-Chef Phillipe VAN HUYK, the PAO of the Belgian Air Force, for his great support!

Display paricipants:

F-16A MLU, Demo Team, Belgian Air Force

F-16C, Demo Team “Solotürk”, Turkish Air Force

F-16AM, Demo Team, Royal Netherlands Air Force

F-16C Block 52+, Demo Team “Zeus”, Greek Air Force

Patrouille de France, 8x Alpha Jet, French Air Force

Red Arrows, 9x Hawk T1, Royal Air Force, UK

Frecce Tricolori, 10x Aermacchi MB-339, Italian Air Force

Breitling Jet Team 7x L-39C Albatroses, France

PC 7 Team, 9x Pilatus Turbo Trainer, Switzerland

Al Fursan, 7x Aermacchi MB-339, VAE

Red Devils, 4 x SIAI Marchetti SF-260 M+, Belgian Air Force

Royal Jordanian Falcons, 4x Extra 300L, Jordanian

Super Puma AS332M1, Swiss Air Force

Rafale C Solo Display, French Air Force

Mig 29, Slovak Air Force

Mig 29, Polish Air Force

SV-4 Stampe&Vertongen, Belgium

T 28 Trojan, Belgium

T-6 Harvard, Belgium

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX, Netherland

Hawker Hunter T.8C, Netherland

Cap 232, Belgium

Joint Fire Power Demo

8 x Alpha Jets

Agusta A 109BA

Bleriot IX, Sweden

Saab J 105OE, Austria Air Force

PC 21, Pilatus Aircraft, Switzerland

2x Mirage 2000N “Ramex Delta”

RAF Parachute Team, UK

Mil Mi 24, Cech Air Force

Mil Mi 171, Cech Air Force

AH 64 Apache Solo Display Team, Royal Netherlands Air Force

Fouga Magister CM-170, France

 

Report and photography by Peter Thivessen for The Aviation Magazine

Click on image to start a slide show

Belgian Air Force jets
 
Copyright ©2014 TheAviationMagazine.com All trade names, trademarks and manufacturer names are the property of their respective owners.