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Israel AF Academy Graduation Course #158

Where? Hatzerim AFB, Israel

A unique and rarely offered possibility to see the aircraft of the Israeli Defence Forces / Air Force (IDF/AF) in action is the chance to attend the annual graduation ceremony of future IDF/AF pilots at the end of June. Scheduled shortly before sunset this event focuses of course on the achievements of the young graduates to gain their wings and the celebration by their families and friends. But the airpower demonstration remains also an important part of this venue, proudly showing the IDF/AFs strength in the sky.

IAF Squadron Flag ParadeWhereas the speeches were dragging on for most of the time of the ceremony, the flying did happen really fast, with all the acts following in quick succession and precise timing. One highlight of the flying happened already at the very beginning of the program with the formation of a Stearman, T-6 Harvard and the famous black Spitfire, a sight not seen in Hatzerim for many years. The Spitfire formed later also up with an F-16I Sufa of the "Knights of the orange tail" Squadron representing Israeli air power from the past until the present.


F-16I Sufa take-off & Spitfire "Heritage Flight"

Warbirds: Stearman, Texan & Spitfire Solo Display

C-130 Hercules flying inSilently the Hermes 450 and the Heron TP UAVs sneaked up low level next on and turned away to vacate the airspace for the formation fly-bys including amongst others the Grob G 120A Snunit trainer aircraft, the Eitam and Nachshon modifications of the Gulfstream G-550 and a B-707 Re'em leading three F-15 Baz.
Furthermore a C-130 Karnaf demonstrated the refuelling of a CH-53 Yasur 2000 that split up for a solo and SAR demonstration. This also included a demonstration of the C-130's capabilities, ending with the ever impressive JATO short take-off.

Formation Fly-Bys: S-70 Flag Parade, A-4 Ahit, B200 Tsofit

UAVs: Heron Shoval & Hermes 450 - AS565 Atalef & G-120 Snunit - B707 Re'em Tanker & 3x F-15C Baz - SIGINT formation: G550 CAEW Eitam & GV SEMA Shavit

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C-130 Karnaf JATO take-off - Cargo Demo

C-130 refuelling CH-53 Yasur 2000 - CH-53 Yasur 2000 CSAR exercise

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