(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

User Rating: 0 / 5

Please rate this article:
0 of 5 - 0 votes
Thank You for rating this article.

Swiss Air Force WK at Meiringen - Fliegerstaffel 11 and 19
Where? Meiringen, Switzerland
When? May 2014

The Swiss Air Force still operates two jet types in their fleet, the F-18 Hornet and the F-5E Tiger. During the annual WK (Wiederholungskurs - repetition course) Squadrons operating these aircraft relocate to a certain airbase in order to train their skills in a "€šwartime-like Environment"€˜. In May of each year it is usually time for the 11. and 18. Squadron to hold this exercise at the alpine airbase Meiringen.

Meiringen is located in the middle of Switzerland, having its runway embedded in a narrow valley and surrounded by farms, fields and cows. The scenery around the airbase is thus very scenic and quite unique, as are the caverns, those famous caves that can host a full two Squadrons of aircraft. Their inside is classified as top secret, but it can be derived that their inner includes everything that is needed for maintaining and operating the jets, as well as for '€šdaily life'€˜ activities.

During the WK the two Squadrons operate out of the caverns, and the jets do only appear outside with their pilots already sitting in the cockpit and ready to start the jet. Thus once the aircraft is out, the tow truck is being removed and the engines starts howling and the aircraft is ready within minutes to taxi. This procedure considerably reduces the time the jet sits vulnerable on the ground in emergencies.

The two Squadrons operating the F-5E and F-5F Tigers and F-18C and F-18D Hornets were flying regularly this day in around 5-6 waves, each consisting of up to 4 aircraft. Most of those were training flights in air-ground role, as the aircraft could be seen circling around the famous Axalp air-ground gunnery training range above the valley. Additionally the remarkable sound of the famous M61 Vulcan canon was gently heard reverberating in the valley.

Air-air training was also on the order of the day. For these flights, the "€šAggressor"€˜ Tigers do carry an external fuel tank painted in a high-visibility orange - or the scheme of the Patrouille Suisse to be better seen by their training partner.

Though the F-5E and F-5F Tigers were in full swing during this WK, after more than 30 years in Swiss service they are becoming a rare breed in Switzerland with their days being counted more or less. With the "€žNo"€œ to the Gripen NG of the Swiss public in a recent vote it remains to be seen what the strategy of the Swiss Air Force will be to replace those aging jets and renew their fleet that after disbanding the Tigers would consist of only 30 F-18 Hornets. It will be interesting to see how the Swiss Air Force reacts once this rare breed is becoming extinct in the Swiss Alps.

recently published

Oshkosh EAA Airventure 2017

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Oshkosh EAA Airventure 2017 airshow report and photos
Where? Oshkosh WI, USA
When? 24-30/07/2017

The EAA Airventure 2017 was announced to be the bomber year! And it really became bombastic. 590.000 people attended the event in Oshkosh, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid and also saw for the first time in more than 60 years two B-29 Superfortresses flying in formation. Apart from that once again more than 10.000 aircraft flew to Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, making it at that time the busiest airport in the world with approximately 123 aircraft movements per hour. For the pilots it was once again the great fly-in, and the highlight for the airshow this year were the US Navy Blue Angels.

Read more ...

more Airshows

CoNA Oceana

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

CoNA at NAS Oceana 2011

Where? NAS Oceana, VA, USA
When? 23-25/09/2011

CoNA, the Centennial of Naval Aviation was the major theme for US Navy airshows in 2011. Amongst those events listed as "Tier 1" was also the show NAS Oceana, and with Oceana being the US Navy's 'Master Jet Base' on the East Coast there were many good reasons to go there and celebrate this event.

Read more ...

more Air-Air

Do-24 ATT - A flight for dreams

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Dornier  Do-24 ATT

Do-24 ATT RP-C2403

In September 2004 I have had the exclusive opportunity to do an air-air photo shoot with the Do-24 ATT which was staying in Oberpfaffenhofen (near Munich) at that time. Iren Dornier was keen on getting some photos of his aircraft in front of the stunning scenery of the German Alps. So we met on a nice and warm summer afternoon at the airfield and briefed the flight.

Read more ...

Twitter feed

My Warbird Book

photos on www.airfighters.com