One week of aviation photography can be easily spend around central Honshu, Japan‘s main island. This article focuses on a selection of major military airfields around Tokyo that are within the reach of a one-day drive.
The thundering noise of a Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18C fighter jet astonished the visitors of the 2019 airshow at Omaka. That is no wonder, as fighter jets are a rare view in New Zealand since 2001, when the RNZAF disbanded its last A-4 Skyhawks. The secret star of the show, which focuses on propeller-driven aircraft, was however once again the FlugWerk FW190. It celebrated a new maiden flight after its landing accident four years ago. This warbird dominated a highly diverse flying program.
With thundering afterburners four F-35A Lightning II soar into the clear blue sky of the Negev desert. They are followed by another four F-15 "Baz" of the Israeli Air Force. The jets are the vanguard of the "Blue Force" and have to protect the territory of the "Falcon State". With a fight over water and other natural resources, it is threatened by the aggressive neighboring country "Nowhereland". This can become a realistic scenario in this part of the world and was certainly not chosen by chance as a theme for the high-value exercise "Blue Flag 2019" at Ovda Air Force Base in southern Israel.
The 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy also brought some highlights for the aviation enthusiast. Nearly two dozen Dakotas made their way from Duxford in England over the English Channel to the Caen region to drop parachutists over Northern France just as in the morning hours of 6 June 1944, and numerous L-Birds gathered at St. André de l’Eure, close to Evreux.
Swiss Tigers are facing their extinction! 110 have originally been ordered by the Swiss Air Force. Nowadays their number is down to only 27. Apart from the F/A-18 Hornets, the F-5s are the Swiss Air Forces only other jet type, and are today only flown by reserve pilots. With the referendum for a future jet fighter on the horizon, their near future is becoming even more uncertain. They are indeed a rare breed - time to go to stunning Meiringen airbase and catch them!
2019 saw the 19th edition of the Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide. You may also call it a fly-in, a pilot meeting or a warbird airshow, and with around 400 participating aircraft it is arguably Germany’s biggest aviation event. It is an avgeek festival, and an aviation photographer’s challenge!