RAF Northolt Night Time Photocall
The last in the series of highly successful photocalls during 2009, was held at RAF Northolt on the evening of December 3rd. The temperature was not far off freezing and the assembled photographers looked more like an expeditionary party to the North Pole.
Sheiks Last Performance
Just before 3PM at this Autumn Afternoon, Captain Ralph 'Sheik' Aarts set the throttle to full military power in order to take off for his last flight as demonstration pilot of the RNLAF F-16 Demoteam. For 3 years he has represented the Royal Netherlands Air Force across Europe as well as the USA at many airshows and aviation events. The last show was flown at the celebration of 30 years F-16 Demoteam on November 27th, 2009.
Fly Navy 100 Finale
Concluding the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of the Fleet Air Arm. RAF Shawbury in the county of Shropshire was chosen as the forwarding operating airfield to house aircraft for the flypast over HMS llustrious which was docked in Liverpool for a weekend of celebrations.
TOP GUN 40th Anniversary
Located in the state of Nevada, Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon is host to the Naval Strike and Warfare Center (NSAWC), better known as TOP GUN, one of the worlds leading fighter weapon pilot schools. Established in 1969 as the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School at NAS Miramar it celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2009, reason enough to visit the unit and their good looking aircraft.
Green Shield - الاخضر شيلد
From October 5 until 16, 2009 the annual Franco-Saudi Green Shield (Bouclier Vert, in French) exersice took place. This time hosted on Base Aérienne 102 Dijon in France. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) deployed 6 F-15 Eagles and almost 175 personel from 5 Squadron to the French Air Base, marking the first deployement of the RSAF to the European Continent.
NATO Tiger Meet 2009
From September 14 until 25 Kleine Brogel air base in Belgium was the place to be as the 48th annual NATO Tiger Meet was hosted by 31 Smaldeel of 10 Tactical Wing.
With more then 50 participating aircraft, the NTM is the biggest exercise held by NATO in Europe during 2009.
Royal International Air Tattoo 2009
Following last year’s disaster, there were a number of changes on the 2009 edition of the RIAT. On base parking was once again permitted and the operational flight-line was moved to the northern side of the base. Unfortunately the participants list shrunk dramatically and the show could wel have been saved by the big Fleet Air Arm Fly Navy 100 celebrations.
RAF Waddington International Airshow
The annual RAF Waddington Air Show held over the weekend of July 4th-5th was a huge success, with massive crowds attending on both days. The weather was fine and warm and though a few dark clouds threatened on Sunday, everyone stayed dry if not sun burnt.
The Grim Reapers at Fighter Town
At the beginning of July in scorching temperatures, RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire hosted the 493rd Fighter Squadron The 'Grim Reapers' from the 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, whilst it was having some maintenance work carried out on there runway.
51 Stormo - Ferruccio Serafini
Touchdown Aviation visited the 51 Stormo at Istrana on July 2, 2009 and joined on an operational day with the Wing currently flying the AMX ground attack fighter.
On June 26, the day Michael Jackson passed away, and 27 the Austrian Air Force and Red Bull - the Flying Bulss organized the AirPower 2009 airshow for the first time since 2005. Due to the conversion from the J-35Ö Draken to the EF2000 the Zeltweg airbase was seeing major reconstructions in the inbetween years.
RNLAF Airshow 2009
On June 19th and 20th Volkel hosted the 2009 Open Days of the RNLAF. With an interesting line up it looked to be an interesting show! Abolute star of the show was the Vulcan to the Sky Trust owned and operated Vulcan B2 making its first overseas appearance since it entered the airshow circuit in 2008. For Touchdown Aviation it was also a first to see the Vulcan after we donated in the recent pledge campaign.
RAF Northolt Photocall
The weather Gods shone on the assembled gathering of aviation photographers at this year’s annual RAF Northolt Photocall. The torrential rain that had soaked Southern England on the previous day and night, eventually moved northwards to give pleasant clear and sunny conditions. The rain clouds gathered once again as the last photographers left for home. For once, lady luck was on our side.
Army Days 2009
The fifth edition of the Army Days were held at the Bernard Kazerne (Barracks) and military training area 'The Vlasakkers' at June 6 and 7. In co-operation with the City of Amersfoort, celebrating its 750th anniversary this year, the general public was given an opportunity to meet the army and take a closer look to the operations it performs in Afghanistan right now.
SAR Meet 2009
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Search and Rescue (SAR) flight of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, a SAR meet was held at Leeuwarden Air Force Base from May 25-29. SAR units from Europe and Canada were invited by 303 Squadron based at Leeuwarden to celebrate the jubilee and to compete against each other for the 2009 trophy.
Centrum Leteckého Výcviku LOM
In May 2009 Touchdown Aviation were guests at the Czech Air Force Centrum Leteckého Vycviku LOM (Centre of Air training / CLV) at Pardubice air base in the Czech Republic. The history of CLV is very young, it was established on the first of April 2004, after the disbandement of 34 zSecL on November 30, 2003. The Centre of Air training was established as a new a part of LOM Praha, and is located at Pardubice air base.
Florennes farewells the TLP
On May 19 the Belgian Defence - Air Component hosted a media day at Florennes Air Base to give the media the opportunity to witness the last TLP course to be hosted at the base before the complete TLP organization moves to Albacete in Spain in July of this year.
Fly Navy 100
The Fleet Air Arm celebrated 100 years of Navy aviation flying on May 7th 2009, with a flypast of fixed and rotary wing aircraft over the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious which was moored in the river Thames near the famous Royal Naval College at Greenwhich.
Frisian Flag 2009
From April 14 until 24 Leeuwarden Air Base hosted the multi-national Frisian Flag exercise. Aim of this exercise is training and executing complex missions by multi-national forces. The exercise is based on previous experiences with operations over Afghanistan and scenarios the future NATO Response Force is likely to meet.
The Dutch Lion ROARS!
On the second of April the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Solo Display Team traded their good old J-055 for a new painted F-16, the J-015. The F-16 supports a black and orange livery, with the Dutch symbol, a lion, on as well the top as the bottom of the jet. The orange colour symbolizes the colour of the Royal Family.
Being the before last on the base before the complete TLP moves to Spain. and with Hellenic Air Force Mirages and French Mirage F-1CRs -in combination with nice weater since long time- it was time to visit the TLP at Florennes.
Four years J-055
After serving with the F-16 Solo Display Team since 2004 the well known J-055 with its grey, silver and black livery is about to make way for the new F-16 of the team; the J-015. Not only a new F-16 but also a new paintscheme will be revealed along with it.
RC 01/030 Normandie - Niémen
On March 10 Touchdown Aviation were guests at BA 132 Colmar-Meyenheim in the Alsace to experience an operational day with the legenadary Régiment de Chasse 01/030 Normandie - Niémen flying with the Mirage F1B and F1CT. Untill June 2008 the unit was known as RC 02/030 but renumbered after the disbandment of sister unit GC 01/030.
Jagdgeschwader 71 Richthofen
On February 25 Touchdown Aviation were guests at JG 71 Richthofen stationed at Wittmund airbase, Ost-Friesland in Germany. The wing is the last F-4 operator in the German Air Force and continue to operate this legend until 2014 when it will be fully transitioned to the EF2000 Typhoon.
RAF Northolt Night Photocall
The extreme cold conditions did not deter the assembled photographers for the night time photo-shoot hosted by 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Northolt on the evening of January 29th, 2009. Those that braved the elements were well rewarded by a small static display of aircraft positioned perfectly for photography illuminated by sodium lighting.