New Zealand is a highly popular tourist destination, and its Southern island a pure source of natural beauty, and visitor numbers increased greatly after the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Additionally to all this natural beauty, New Zealand has also many things to discover for an aviation geek. Some of them are not on the beaten track of the main tourist attractions, but well worth a visit if you are about to travel to this beautiful place.
After a rather long dry spell, airshows around Central Europe started to resume around August. Luckily, amongst them has also been the traditional „Fete Aerienne“ at La Ferté-Alais, which is usually being celebrated during the Pentecost week-end. In 2020 the event was postponed to October, but just to be cancelled prior to that...
White and blue stands for the Bavarian way of life, and those colors have also been chosen for the Luftwaffe’s 74th Tactical Air Wing anniversary jet, the „Bavarian Tiger“. These special markings on a Eurofighter of TaktLwG74’s (Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader - Tactical Air Wing 74) have been applied for this wing's 60th anniversary. Additionally, they also stand for five years of being a full member of NATO’s Tiger Association (NTA).
During World War II, the Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina flying boat became famous for its long-endurance missions over the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean against enemy ships and submarines. Only very few aircraft are still left today in flying condition. One is located not far away from its former wartime base Norfolk, Virgina, at the Military Aviation Museum just South of Virgina Beach. It represents one of the museum's collection jewels, and stands out not only due to its fully documented history.
The Boeing Stearman must be the world’s mostly known biplane. More than 8500 airplanes were build, and the „Model 75“ has been used to train an uncountable number of military pilots in the late 1930s and 1940s.
Low level flying, flares, live firing... The demonstrations are spectacular and the location is unique in the world. Centrally located in the heart of the Alps at an elevation of more than 2250m is the Axalp-Ebenfluh shooting range. During the traditional flight demonstration, fighter jets perform their live firing training only a few hundred meters away from the audience. After a two-year break, the Swiss Air Force event again attracted thousands of visitors to Central Switzerland in October.
The Frecce Tricolori, the Italian National Aerobatics Team, or Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) had their 60th anniversary in 2020. Due to the pandemic the event was delayed for one yearend finally celebrated in 2021. This was the only chance to give a larger audience the possibility to visit this airshow. The traditional location for this birthday party is the Frecce’s home Rivolto airbase in Nothern Italy.
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II had a remarkable 50 year long lasting career in Japan. This is a personal review of Phantom encounters in the Land of the Rising Sun. It covers the final 16 years of JASDF F-4EJ operations and stretches from Chitose in Japan’s cold North down to the tropical Naha on Okinawa.