La Ferte-Alais

Many thousand visitors cannot be wrong, and so I made my way also once again to La Ferté-Alais, South of Paris. Gorgeous blue skies this year and a warm welcoming French ambiance provided some great days out during its 40th edition.

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Where? La Ferté-Alais - Aerodrome de Cerny, France
When? 26-27/05/2012

Though being typically a classic 'Warbird' airshow with mainly vintage and historic aircraft the first act were two Mirage 2000 of the "Lafayette Squadron" on Saturday moring. They gave a short wake-up call following their fly-by at the "Lafayette Escadrille Memorial", not far from Versailles, before returning to their homebase. This memorial stands as a tribute to the American pilots of the Escadrille La Fayette and the Lafayette Flying Corps who gave their lives during the First World War to assist the Allies.

LFA2012 Static 5411 700 470 90
LFA2012 Sea Fury 6563 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5411 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5413 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5426 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5428 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5907 100 67 85
LFA2012 M2000 2755 700 470 90
LFA2012 M2000 2755 100 67 85
LFA2012 M2000 2769 100 67 85
LFA2012 M2000 2786 100 67 85
LFA2012 M2000 2789 100 67 85

Then it was time again to sit down and relax a little bit until the real flying program started at 1pm.
In the meantime an An-2 and a Ju-52 of Ju-Air did sightseeing flights, before the la Ferté-based Ju-52 took-off with some parachutists to open the flying display.

LFA2012 An 2 4593 700 470 90
LFA2012 An 2 4593 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ju 52 Ju Air 2791 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ju 52 Ju Air 4667 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ju 52 Ju Air 4679 100 67 85

Next was the Aeronavale role demo with two Super Etendards, that followed a formation of these two aircraft with a Morane Saulnier MS760 "Paris".

LFA2012 Aeronavale 5999 700 470 90
LFA2012 Aeronavale 5999 100 67 85
LFA2012 MS760 Paris 2819 100 67 85
LFA2012 SEM 2813 100 67 85
LFA2012 SEM 2867 100 67 85
LFA2012 SEM 2877 100 67 85
LFA2012 SEM 3646 100 67 85

Even more modern was the Airbus A400M military transporter, but this was a special guest on Saturday only:

2012 A400M 5479 700 470 90
2012 A400M 5479 100 67 85
LFA2012 A400M 2947 100 67 85
LFA2012 A400M 5482 100 67 85
LFA2012 A400M 5486 100 67 85

After that the usual round dance of aircraft performances and Bernard Chabberts commentary started. First were the "Parasol" aircraft, as their type of wing construction resembles an umbrella.

LFA2012 C270 Luciole 3567 700 470 90
LFA2012 C270 Luciole 3567 100 67 85
LFA2012 C270 Luciole 5455 100 67 85
LFA2012 Jungmeister 3884 100 67 85
LFA2012 Jungmeister 5526 100 67 85
LFA2012 MS138 3707 100 67 85
LFA2012 MS138 3726 100 67 85
LFA2012 MS230 6059 700 470 90
LFA2012 MS230 6059 100 67 85
LFA2012 MS317 3735 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ryan PT22 3922 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ryan PT22 5524 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ryan PT22 6151 100 67 85
LFA2012 Tiger Moth 3892 100 67 85

During the course of the day there was also a further step back in time with the two Blériots, which were flown in a fantastic formation doing several circles above the airfield:

LFA2012 Bleriot 4279 700 470 90
LFA2012 Bleriot 4279 100 67 85
LFA2012 Bleriot 4300 100 67 85
LFA2012 Bleriot 4310 100 67 85
LFA2012 Bleriot 6448 100 67 85
LFA2012 Bleriot 6478 100 67 85
LFA2012 Bleriot 6489 100 67 85

World War I was presented by a German-British dogfight. This year it coold be observed that the German triplane were more often in the 6 o'clock position of their British counterparts:

2012 WW I 3794 700 470 90
2012 WW I 3794 100 67 85
2012 WW I 3845 100 67 85
LFA2012 DrI 3804 100 67 85
LFA2012 RAF SE5 6089 100 67 85
LFA2012 Sopwith 3786 100 67 85
LFA2012 WW I 3776 100 67 85

The Mémorial Flight Association also flew their splendid restored Spad XIII C1:

2012 Spad 4363 700 470 90
2012 Spad 4363 100 67 85
LFA2012 Spad 3294 100 67 85
LFA2012 Spad 4335 100 67 85
LFA2012 Spad 4385 100 67 85

Big applause was given to the quiet demonstration of the Habicht glider:

LFA2012 DFS Habicht E 4320 700 470 90
LFA2012 DFS Habicht E 4320 100 67 85
LFA2012 DFS Habicht E 4326 100 67 85
LFA2012 DFS Habicht E 5706 100 67 85

More modern aerobatics were presented by a French Air Force Extra, the Belgian Air Force "Red Devils" Team, the Breitling Wingwalkers Team and last but not least the wolrd's first four-engine all-electrical aircraft, a modified CriCri:

2012 Breitling Wingwalkers 3953 700 470 90
2012 Breitling Wingwalkers 3953 100 67 85
LFA2012 Breitling Wingwalkers 3448 100 67 85
LFA2012 Breitling Wingwalkers 3942 100 67 85
LFA2012 Breitling Wingwalkers 3953 100 67 85
LFA2012 Breitling Wingwalkers 5797 100 67 85
LFA2012 Breitling Wingwalkers 5799 100 67 85
2012 Extra 330 AdlA 4241 700 470 90
2012 Extra 330 AdlA 4241 100 67 85
LFA2012 Extra 330 AdlA 3214 100 67 85
LFA2012 Extra 330 AdlA 6423 100 67 85
LFA2012 Red Devils 4419 700 470 90
LFA2012 Red Devils 4419 100 67 85
LFA2012 Red Devils 4500 100 67 85
LFA2012 Red Devils 4503 100 67 85
LFA2012 Red Devils 6541 100 67 85
LFA2012 CriCri 3423 700 470 90
LFA2012 CriCri 3423 100 67 85
LFA2012 CriCri 4400 100 67 85
LFA2012 CriCri 4404 100 67 85

A colourful visitor was the Sikorsky S-38 "Flying Yacht" and there was a formation fly-by of 6 Stieglitz biplanes:

LFA2012 S 38 5619 700 470 90
LFA2012 S 38 5619 100 67 85
LFA2012 S 38 5671 100 67 85
LFA2012 S 38 5680 100 67 85
LFA2012 S 38 5683 100 67 85
2012 Stieglitz 6104 700 470 90
2012 Stieglitz 6104 100 67 85
LFA2012 Stieglitz 2919 100 67 85
LFA2012 Stieglitz 3864 100 67 85
LFA2012 Stieglitz 3870 100 67 85
LFA2012 Stieglitz 5467 100 67 85
LFA2012 Stieglitz 5518 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5921 700 470 90
LFA2012 Static 5921 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5927 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5929 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5962 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5968 100 67 85
LFA2012 Static 5970 100 67 85

Of course World War II played in – if not the - big part in the flying program.
It did amongst others remember the "Croix de Lorraine", the symbol of the Free French Forces, with a formation flight of the Stephen Gray's Curtis Hawk 75 and Daniel Koblet's Morane-Saulnier MS406.

2012 MS406 3959 700 470 90
2012 MS406 3959 100 67 85
LFA2012 Curtis H75 Hawk 3072 100 67 85
LFA2012 Curtis H75 Hawk 5545 100 67 85
LFA2012 MS406 3983 100 67 85
LFA2012 MS406 5533 100 67 85
Zfa2012 MS406 5539 100 67 85

The "Pearl Harbor" set-piece involved Zeros (well, actually these were T-6 trainer aircraft) and the P-40, and the "Eastern Front" scenario made use of the German Ju-52 and Storck aircraft as well as the Yaks that were on place.

LFA2012 N3N 3098 700 470 90
LFA2012 N3N 3098 100 67 85
LFA2012 T 6 3093 100 67 85
LFA2012 T 6 4055 100 67 85
LFA2012 Zero 4060 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 40 4044 700 470 90
LFA2012 P 40 4044 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 40 4081 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ju 52 4034 700 470 90
LFA2012 Ju 52 4034 100 67 85
LFA2012 Ju 52 6208 100 67 85
LFA2012 Po 2 6298 100 67 85
LFA2012 Storch 4024 100 67 85
LFA2012 Storch 5580 100 67 85
LFA2012 Storch 6192 100 67 85
LFA2012 Yak 3 4135 700 470 90
LFA2012 Yak 3 4135 100 67 85
LFA2012 Yaks 4673 100 67 85
LFA2012 Yaks 6270 100 67 85

More piston power from this era was presented by a Mustang, Spitfire, Sea Fury and the Red Bull P-38 Lightning:

LFA2012 P 51 3226 700 470 90
LFA2012 P 51 3226 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 51 3244 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 51 4238 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 51 4259 100 67 85
2012 Spitfire 3386 700 470 90
2012 Spitfire 3386 100 67 85
LFA2012 Spitfire 3373 100 67 85
LFA2012 Spitfire 5712 100 67 85
LFA2012 Spitfire 6530 100 67 85
2012 Sea Fury 6545 700 470 90
2012 Sea Fury 6545 100 67 85
LFA2012 Sea Fury 3365 100 67 85
LFA2012 Sea Fury 3391 100 67 85
LFA2012 Sea Fury 3412 100 67 85
2012 P 38 3184 700 470 90
2012 P 38 3184 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 38 3164 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 38 3196 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 38 4198 100 67 85
LFA2012 P 38 4605 100 67 85

Two Skyraiders and a T-28 Trojan flew during an impressive background music representing "Vietnam", which of course involved many protechnical effects:

LFA2012 Skyraider 4546 700 470 90
LFA2012 Skyraider 4546 100 67 85
LFA2012 Skyraider 4568 100 67 85
LFA2012 Skyraider 4691 100 67 85
LFA2012 Skyraider 5788 100 67 85
LFA2012 Skyraider 5838 100 67 85

Shortly before the end of the show two Dassault Flamands give a nice presentation in formation. It did not matter that at this time of they day the sun was nearly facing the crowds, as it generated some nice effects on their aluminum fuselages:

LFA2012 Dassault Flamand 3464 700 470 90
LFA2012 Dassault Flamand 3464 100 67 85
LFA2012 Dassault Flamand 4511 100 67 85
LFA2012 Dassault Flamand 4524 100 67 85
LFA2012 Dassault Flamand 4615 100 67 85
LFA2012 Dassault Flamand 5823 100 67 85

The closure of the program was up to the Armée de l'Air with the Solo Demo of the Rafale and last but not least the Patrouille de France.

LFA2012 Rafale 3506 700 470 90
LFA2012 Rafale 3506 100 67 85
LFA2012 Rafale 3521 100 67 85
LFA2012 Rafale 3546 100 67 85
LFA2012 Rafale 4589 100 67 85
LFA2012 Patrouille De France 4102 700 470 90
LFA2012 Patrouille De France 4102 100 67 85
LFA2012 Patrouille De France 6255 100 67 85
LFA2012 Patrouille De France 6260 100 67 85
LFA2012 Patrouille De France 6261 100 67 85
LFA2012 Patrouille De France 6281 100 67 85

In the end the Sopwith Strutter still flew, but not seen by most of the visitors which were already queueing on the parking place on their way out.

So once again the "Temps des Helices" proved to be an excellent day out with much variety in the air and an excellent atmosphere on the ground.
It was my 5th visit to La Ferté-Alais this time and for sure not my last!

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