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With still some time left until the start of the fly-past the seafront was already really crowded and the ship parade was taking place. Several battleships and a submarine led a parade of sailboats along the coastline. Above one of the frigates an SA-565MA Atalef circled around and was the first one of the aircraft that should be up in the air a bit later on.
At first unrealized by many, thus typical for its usual kind of missions, a Heron UAV approached the beach and acted as an advance guard for the formation fly-bys. Then the first helicopters arrived in 3-ships of the following types: AH-1 Tzefa, UH-60 Yanshuf, AH-64A Saraf & AH-64D Seraphim and CH-53 Yas'ur. The propeller aircraft arrived as a formation of 3 Beechcraft B200 Tzufit and two special ELINT RC-12K together with a B200CT and a Beech A36 Bonanza Chofit. A Gulfstream G550 and a Boeing B707 Re'em performed solo fly-bys and tanker demonstration included a KC-130 Karnaf together with 2 CH-53 and a B707 accompanied by 3 F-16D Barak. All jets appeared in 5-ship formations, led by F-16I Sufa and F-16C Barak. F-15I Ra'am followed after this and furthermore TA-4 Ayit were up in the air, F-16A Netz, F-16B Barak and F-15C Baz.
UH-60 Helicopter Display
But the highlight for most of the visitors was for sure the Tzukit Display Team above the beach of Tel Aviv and of course the solo display of the F-15I, turning and burning around and releasing many flares in the hazy sky.
Parachutists jumping out of an C-130 were the final act and this great day of flying was concluded by a final fly-by of the Tzukit team.
F-15I Ra'am Solo Display
Tzukit Display Team
With this Fly-Past the Israeli Air Force clearly demonstrated its strength and importance for the country, while simultaneously celebrating itself and referring to the many wars that might have ended in a different way without their intervention.
The rest of the day and the holiday was then spent along the beach before returning to Germany and setting off for another trip.
I have to thank "Israel Aviation Tours" for the organization of this trip and the Israel Air Force Public Affairs for their gratitude of allowing access to the airbases.
Category: Air Forces
Published: 20 May 2008