Meeting du Centenaire

Article Index

The Meeting du Centenaire – "Meeting of the Centennial" – was announced as a big celebration of the first airshow held at Reims in August 1909, celebrated at the location that is today the airbase BA112 of the French Air Force. Additionally to this reason it was also the last meeting at this airbase which is due to close in 2011.

Top

Where? Reims, BA112 - France
When?
27-28/07/2009

MeetingMany display teams have been invited to the show additionally to the French regulars Patrouille de France and the civil Breitling Jet Team: Red Arrows, Patrulla Aguilla, Royal Jordanian Falcons or the Asas de Portugal.
In addition to these modern teams many aircraft from all eras were invited to attend the show. Unfortunately they flew only in the early morning hours (= only half an hour after the opening of the gates...) and on Saturday morning even in dull weather conditions. Therefore many spectators missed these fabulous aircraft that still transfer the spirit of flying of the past. Especially the Blériot monoplane is always an amazing sight in the air, but also the Noratlas, the only remaining flying example worldwide, is an amazing sight with its nice display routine. But, due to the early start, both of these acts were only seen from the far distance when I was about to enter airfield.

 

two of the Display Teams: Patrulla Aguilla & Breitling Jet Team

061 ---- 062 ---- 063 ---- 064

TailsUnfortunately the attendance of French Air Force (FAF) aircraft, especially the venerable Mirage F1s, which are now all based at Reims, was also quite low – or my expectations were too high, I do not know...?! The F1s did only one single recce pass as a two-ship on Saturday with no flying activity at all on Sunday. Two Mirage 2000 took of for a fly-by with a KC-135F tanker and did a fly-by afterwards. Among the FAF only the Rafale stood out at the end of the afternoon with a splendid solo display routine and this aircraft is surely to become a highlight of the airshows in the future.

 

Armée De l'Air flying: KC-135F & Mirage 2000

037 ---- 038 ---- 039 ---- 040

Mirage 2000 fly-bys

041 ---- 042 ---- 043 ---- 044

Mirage F1

045 ---- 046 ---- 047 ---- 048

Foreign aircraft participating were the F-16 display teams from the Netherlands and Belgium - both arriving on Saturday midday directly from the event held at Zeltweg and flew later in the afternoon.

Swedish Gripen

049 ---- 050 ---- 051 ---- 052

Dutch F-16

053 ---- 054 ---- 055 ---- 056

Belgian F-16

057 ---- 058 ---- 059 ---- 060

French Alpha Jet & Fouga Magister

065 ---- 066 ---- 067 ---- 068

some more flying: Morane, PAF Alpha Jef, USAFE KC-135

069 ---- 070 ---- 071 ---- 

 


F1bThe static display offered a great variety of aircraft and was joy to see, even if the conditions for photography were not always that good.
The highlights were for sure the three special coloured Mirages, one of them, the Mirage 2000C of E.C. 2/12 "Picardie" just being finished two days before the show. Unfortunately this was due to the disbandment of the Squadron, the same reason why an F1CR was literally wearing black.

 

 

Mirage F1CR "Normandie-Niemen farewell"

001 ---- 002 ---- 003 ---- 004

Mirage 2000C "E.C. 2/12 Picardie"

005 ---- 006 ---- 007 ---- 008

Mirage F1B "Alsace" & Portuguese Alpha Jet

009 ---- 010 ---- 011 ---- 012

OldThe display teams were lined up all along the taxiway and the long row made a most impressive sight. At the other end of the airfield the historic aircraft were parked and some oldtimer driving around and actors in ancient costumes gave an impression of what it might have looked like some decades ago.
In between the modern jets were parked, giving some good comparisons for example between the French Rafale, Swedish Gripen and an Italian Eurofighter. A German Tornado, American F-15E as well as several jets of the FAF rounded up the multifaceted line-up.

 

ancient Aircraft

013 ---- 014 ---- 015 ---- 016

Mirage F1 & Mirage III

017 ---- 018 ---- 019 ---- 020

different versions of the Mirage 2000

021 ---- 022 ---- 023 ---- 024

more AdlA: C-160 Transall, Rafale, ALpha Jet & a Venom

025 ---- 026 ---- 027 ---- 028

Italian Eurofighters, British Hawk, Belgian Alpha Jet

029 ---- 030 ---- 031 ---- 032

Swedish Gripen, USAFE F-15E, German Tornado, Dutch F-16

033 ---- 034 ---- 035 ---- 036

Expectations for the show were given the importance of the celebrations, but unfortunately the flying could not meet those, at least not in the eyes of the regular airshow visitors. Adding to this a second fence towards the runway made good photos impossible and demotivated the serious photographers.
However three stunning French special schemes in the static display made up for this, but nonetheless I skipped the second day at the show against a lazy Sunday back at home...

Pinit Fg En Rect Red 20
Rate this article:
0 of 5 - 0 votes
Thank you for rating this article.

Add comment

/component/jcomments/captcha/10000
Refresh

more Airshows

03  0308 4737

Eggebek Airday

90 years of german naval aviation and 45 years Marinefliegergeschwader (MFG) 2...these have been the two anniversaries and main themes for the Eggebek Airday, the only open doors day of the German Air Force (GAF)/ Read More
04  0409 1846

Air04 Payerne

The first week-end of September 2004 will long be remembered as the week-end during which another of the legendary Swiss airshows like the one in Sion 1997 took place. This year it was time for Read More
09  0905 1420

La Ferte-Alais

Though the airshow season is not over yet, the event at La Ferté-Alais can surely be rated amongst the top shows of the year. This is not only due to perfect weather, but also due Read More
02  0204

Payerne

This open doors day at Payerne AF Base, located near Bern, was originally meant as a celebration day for young recruits of the Swiss AF, who officially got their promotion that day. For the parents Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23

Latest Tweets

Statistics

Today 66

Yesterday 497

Week 826

Month 11738

All 2591709