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Malta International Air Show 2005
 
SH-60B Sea Hawk - 162347/426 - HSL-42 - United States Navy   P166DPE - MM62199 - 14 Stormo - Italian Air Force   F-4E Phantom II - 68-0506 - 337 Mira - Hellenic Air Force   Hawk T1 - The Red Arrows - Royal Air Force
 
F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-642 - 312 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   Hawk T1 - XX185/185 - 208 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Hawk T1W - XX231 - Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm   Jaguar GR3A (withdrawn) - XZ112 - 6 Squadron (disbanded) - Royal Air Force
 

Malta International Air Show

Words and photographs Michael van der Mee

The 13th Malta International Air Show was held on the 24th and 25th of September 2005, this air show is held on the northern edge of the International Airport, Luqa. This is one of the few air shows in Europe that is held on a busy civilian airport, with the air displays between arrivals and departures of Air Malta aircraft and many other interesting visitors.

The Malta Aviation Society, also the organiser of the Malta International Airshow, was founded thirty years ago. In 1993 the Malta Aviation Society received an approval to organize an airshow. In September of 1993 the first airshow was held at Malta International Airport with the Royal Air Force and the United States Navy as primary participants. The first ever display team who preformed at the Malta International Air Show, where the French Alpha jets of Patrouille de France. Every year more and more participants came to Malta for this huge event. Malta International Air Show is one of the main events on this small island.

Most aircraft arrived on Friday the 23rd from around noon till late in the evening. There where several places for photographers to take nice photos, special arrangements where made for members of the Malta Aviation Society and photographers to be at pre-located enclosure nearby the active runway. Media Facilities where available for the aircraft arrivals and departures as well as on public days.

The static and flightlines gradually mix up at the end of the ramp area. So the Jaguars, Harriers and most of the other participants of the flying display were possible to photograph on the ramp area. The photos we took were prior to the public opening hours so we had little to no others walking around. The light conditions were fantastic in the early morning hours, clear blue skies and much sun made it a good start of the first showday!

The weather on Friday and Saturday was outstanding many nice shots where made through out the day. Unfortunately on Sunday the first rain since six months fell this made photography impossible, after an hour it stopped but didn’t get any better so not much photos where taken on that day. For trying out were to stay next time, we tried one day on the airfield, the other one outside. The photos below are mixed from on and outside the airfield.

A special thanks go to Rene Camilleri from the Malta Aviation Society

 
Hawk T1W - XX231 - Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit - Royal Navy - Fleet Air Arm   E-3A Sentry - LX-N90443 - NATO Early Warning & Control Force - NATO   Mirage 2000C - 17/5-OZ - EC 02.005 - French Air Force   C-160D Transall - 50+81 - Lufttransportgeschwader 63 - German Air Force
 
Hercules C4 - ZH866/866 - 24 Squadron - Royal Air Force   A-109 - PS-45   ATR400MP - MM62166/GF-14   CL.415 - I-DPCF/23
 
Harrier GR7A - ZG472/62A - 20 (Reserve) Squadron (disbanded) - Royal Air Force
 
C-160R Transall - R95/91-ZJ - ET 03.061 - French Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-021 - 312 Squadron - Royal Netherlands Air Force   B-1B Lancer - 85-0090 - 7 Bomber Wing - United States Air Force   SH-3D Sea King - MM5021N/6-20 - 3 GRUPELICOT - Italian Navy
 
Bulldog 120 - AS0020 (w/o 05-08-2007) - Air Wing - Malta Armed Forces   BN2B-26 Islander - AS9819 - Air Wing - Malta Armed Forces   AB47G (withdrawn) - AS7201 - Air Wing - Malta Armed Forces   SA316B Alouette III - AS9315 - Air Wing - Malta Armed Forces
 
AB412HP - MM81507/GF-219   A-109EOA - MM81389/GF-140   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-055 - F-16 Solo Display Team - Royal Netherlands Air Force   Harrier T10 - ZH664/112 - 20 (Reserve) Squadron (disbanded) - Royal Air Force
 
Hawk - The Red Arrows - Royal Air Force
 
Hawk T1A - XX205 - 19 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Hawk T1 - XX205 - 19 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   Mirage 2000C - 17/5-OZ - EC 02.005 - French Air Force   Mirage 2000C - 17/5-OZ - EC 02.005 - French Air Force
 
Tornado F3 - ZG774/WK - 56 (Reserve) Squadron (disbanded) - Royal Air Force   Tornado F3 - ZG774/WK - 56 (Reserve) Squadron (disbanded) - Royal Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-055 - F-16 Solo Display Team - Royal Netherlands Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - J-055 - F-16 Solo Display Team - Royal Netherlands Air Force
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom

Merlins over Malta - the Defenders returned!

This years main event was on the 22nd of September, a Spitfire and a Hurricane arrived in Malta flying through Grand Harbour. 

With the project "Merlins over Malta" it was for the first time since 1952 that a Spitfire and Hurricane flew in the Maltese skies. Both Historic aircraft Collection's fighters made the long trip on own power and the Spitfire was painted in the blue finish as it was controlling Maltese airspace back in the fourties.

This sight and sound which has come at the end of a two year struggle by a small team of volunteers, to help pay tribute to the islands of Malta, its people and those from all over the world who helped to defend her in those dark days of the Second World War, has been described as ‘Emotional’.

Between June 1940 and December 1942 Malta became one of the most bombed places on Earth. The battle for this tiny island proved to be one of the most decisive turning points of World War II.

The Spitfire Vb weared the code U-2 that was to join 603 Squadron. When the aircraft were put aboard the USS Wasp they were wearing standard camouflage schemes but on the deck of an aircraft carrier sailing through the Mediterranean these camouflage patterns offered no protection. The solution was to paint the top surfaces of the aircraft blue. Paint was taken from the stores and applied to the aircraft.

Hurricane G-HURI flies as 'Z5140' with the code letters HA-C and is in a paint scheme that was worn by a Gloster-built Hurricane IIB, flown with 126 Squadron during the siege of Malta. Z5140 arrived at Malta on June 6th, 1941 during Operation Rocket, having flown off HMS Ark Royal. Whilst it would be expected that the aircraft would be in a tropical paint finish, the Malta squadrons were desperate to receive any aircraft regardless of colour and the first ones were kept in the familiar "Battle of Britain" green and brown scheme.

During the Air Show Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and British Army veterans who served on the ‘Fortress Island’ linked up with Veterans from the Commonwealth, United States and Maltese veterans in a week of commemorating and celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of Malta’s Second Great Siege, Victory in Europe, and the end of World War II.

 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Hawker Hurricane XIIa - G-HURI - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Hawker Hurricane XIIa - G-HURI - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 
B-1B Lancer - 86-0133/DY - 7 Bomber Wing - United States Air Force   B-1B Lancer - 86-0133/DY - 7 Bomber Wing - United States Air Force   SA316B Alouette III - AS9315 - Air Wing - Malta Armed Forces   BN2B-26 Islander - AS9516 - Air Wing - Malta Armed Forces
 
Jaguar GR3A (withdrawn) - XZ112 - 6 Squadron (disbanded) - Royal Air Force   Jaguar GR3A (withdrawn) - XZ103 - 41 (Reserve) Squadron - Royal Air Force   AB212AM - MM82107 - MIATM - Italian Air Force   Hawk T1A - XX264 - The Red Arrows - Royal Air Force
 
CL.415 - I-DPCF/23
 
Tornado GR4A - ZA601/O - 2 Squadron - Royal Air Force   Tornado GR4A - ZE116/X - 13 Squadron - Royal Air Force   E-3A Sentry - LX-N90443 - NATO Early Warning & Control Force - NATO   B-1B Lancer - 85-0090 - 7 Bomber Wing - United States Air Force
 
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