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If somebody would have told me last year that I will have the possibility to take photos at a Greek military airfield without restrictions I would not have believed him. Even more after all the stories that have been told about Greek security measures...
Where? Tanagra, Greece
BUT fortunately the times are changing and in 2005 the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) organized its first ever international airshow at the Tanagra Air Base in connection with the "Archangel" festivities. These festivities are held every two years to honor the HAF's patron, Archangel Michael. The show featured many well known European acts on the ground and in the air. Sometimes a bit boring to us the Greek were very pleased to see the Patrulla Aguilla or the Frecce Tricolori, and the displays like the one of the Eurofighter Typhoon or the Dutch F-16, that also released flares, caused a lot of cheering among the crowd.
But the foreign enthusiast came of course to Greece to see the (still) rare aircraft of the HAF. Unfortunately not a lot of jets could be discovered on the ground. The stars of the show, a special coloured A-7 Corsair and an F-4E Phantom II, were presented as well as the s/c RF-4 and a 'Peace Ikarus' F-4E, but the Mirage 2000 and a F-16C Bl.52+ with saddle tanks had to stay in the hangar.
Anyway we have been rewarded with the flight displays and fly-bys. Name it and you get it. Displays included:
A 4-ship opening formation of the s/c F-4 and A-7 together with a M2000 and an F-16, a remarkable dogfight between 2 F-16s and 2 M2000, a base attack consisting out of a mix of around 20 jets of the HAF, a Combat SAR mission using Super Pumas, fly-bys of 3 T-2A Buckeyes and 3 T-6 Texan II followed by a flight demo of the T-6, C-130 demonstartion, Canadair CL-415 waterdrop demo, helicopter fly-by and an AH-64 Apache and S-70 Aegean Hawk flight display and finally a fly-by of 3 Super Pumas, 3 C-130 Hercules, a C-47 and a Navy P-3 Orion.
other display specials (Helicopters and Props)
Special coloured F-4E Phantom (337 Mira)
Tiger A-7E Corsair (116SQN)