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Tsuiki Airshow 2017
Where? Tsuiki Airbase, Kyushu, Japan
When? November 2017

Tsuiki Airbase on the Southern Japanese island of Kyushu hosts nowadays two Squadrons of the Mitsubishi F-2 jet. 6 Hikotai and 8 Hikotai are half of the JASDF Squadrons operating the indigenous, F-16-look-alike fighter, painted in an extraordinary and cool looking blue camouflage. The airshow at the end of October was a good possibility to see the pilots and their jets in action.

0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 508976 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 508976 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0221 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0229 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0242 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0265 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0267 Zeitler 100 67 85

JASDF Mitsubishi F-2 Squadrons

With the swapping of Squadrons in recent years the JASDF obviously pursued the goal to reduce the mix of aircraft types at their bases and to clearly concentrate and strengthen its air superiority fighters in the North and South to counter airspace violations. China respectively Russia take care that they happen regularly happen in these regions and JASDF QRA jets are sent up to identify these aircraft.

Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 0195 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 0195 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 0211 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 0213 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1272 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1759 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1774 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1775 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1775 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1780 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1793 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1802 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1841 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Alert 1844 Zeitler 100 67 85

Following this Squadron shuffling 304 Hikotai flying the F-15(D)J Eagle moved to Nyutabaru and was followed by the “Black Panthers” 8 Hikotai from Misawa, which in 2008 converted from the F-4EJ Phantom II to the F-2. The nicknamed “Viper Zero” is a 4.5th generation multirole fighter used in the air-air as well as in the air-ground role, with a focus on anti-ship operations using the ASM-1 and ASM-2 air-sea missiles.

Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 2 1729 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 2 1729 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Static 1645 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Static 1651 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Static 1658 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Static 1667 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Static 1756 Zeitler 100 67 85

6 Hikotai and 8 Hikotai Flying Displays

The multitude of missions was well represented during the airshows flying display. First of all the opening formation of six F-2s was an impressive sight. Both Squadrons contributed three jets for this formation, with the 6 Hikotai aircraft clearly standing out by their yellow Squadron patch containing the sword and arrow compared to the 8 Hikotai’s less visible Black Panther.

0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0076 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0076 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0319 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0328 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0622 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0636 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0401 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1111 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1111 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1180 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1187 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1222 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1245 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1265 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0515 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0515 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1232 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0418 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1107 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1137 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Formation 1169 Zeitler 100 67 85

During the day 6 Hikotai performed the air-ground attack using four jets, whereas two pilots of 8 Hikotai were responsible for the ‘maneuvering flight’, showcasing the F-2s flight performance. Of course some of these display were suited to give the crowd a nice view of the aircraft, especially when the jets turned tightly around the apron, trailing nice vortices and showing cool condensation above their wings when “pulling the g’s”.

0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 1028 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 1028 Zeitler 100 67 85
1Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0972 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0105 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0939 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 1002 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 1060 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 1080 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 1080 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 1092 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 9827 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 9848 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 9899 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 9997 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Manouvering 2001 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Manouvering 2001 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Manouvering 1870 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Manouvering 1882 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Manouvering 1892 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Manouvering 2069 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0247 Zeitler 100 67 85

Unfortunately, as you might have already noticed by the photos, the sky remained in an unfavorable grey throughout the day. Whereas autumn can give a great light all around Japan, weather around that time can also be difficult in that part of the country. And this was clearly the case during the airshow day.

0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0883 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0883 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0707 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0846 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0858 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 0892 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  6 Hikotai 9991 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 0108 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 0108 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0006 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0022 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0042 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  8 Hikotai 0060 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 0070 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 1330 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 1330 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 1356 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 1362 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 1417 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Air Ground 1426 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 2 0619 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0244 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0244 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0258 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0292 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 1638 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 508981 Zeitler 100 67 85
ZTsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0231 Zeitler 100 67 85

JGSDF AH-64 Apache and JASDF F-15 Eagle Flying Display

With the grey sky the colourscheme of the JGSDF AH-64 Apache also literally drowned and became dark gray, the same goes for the 304 Hikotai F-15J Eagle, that came over from nearby Nyutabaru for a short flying demonstration. It even was the aircraft painted in the current special scheme to celebrate the Sqaudrons anniversary, but it was barely visible under these conditions.

Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Apache 0179 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Apache 0179 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Apache 0470 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Apache 1314 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Apache 1406 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Apache 1467 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Apache 1475 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 15 1579 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 15 1579 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 15 1596 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 15 1622 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  T 4 1300 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  T 4 1300 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  T 4 1324 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  T 7 1277 Zeitler 100 67 85

JASDF Blue Impulse Display Team

Due to the weather I cut the show shot and left before the flying display of the JASDF’s aerobatic team Blue Impulse and only watched them from the outside. With the massive crowed on the apron it was better to leave early in order to avoid that most likely traffic jam when everybody wants to leave around the same time. Queuing was already the order of the day and could be observed during lunchtime when looking at the food stalls and mobile toilets!

0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0547 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0547 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0534 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0535 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0544 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0545 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0546 Zeitler 100 67 85

Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0191 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0191 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0298 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0655 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0665 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0686 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0696 Zeitler 100 67 85

0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 9948 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 9948 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 0701 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 1789 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 2100 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 9939 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Blue Impulse 9974 Zeitler 100 67 85

Don't blame the weatherman...

It was a big shame for the weather, as the flying display would have provided some fine photo opportunities and the static display was also rather nice collection of JGSDF, JMSDF and JASDF aircraft with an F-15J, C-130 Hercules, P-3C Orion and especially the rare visit of a KC-767 tanker aircraft.

Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 15 0020 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  F 15 0020 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Fly Out 2180 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Fly Out 2194 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Fly Out 2254 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  Fly Out 2260 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  T 4 0274 Zeitler 100 67 85

Maybe next time the sun will shine on the Tsuiki airshow again, the sunny shots presented in this report have been taken on the Saturday morning, when a smaller event for the base personal’s families was held. Standing on the fence that day really payed off!

Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0537 Zeitler 700 470 90
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0537 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0538 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0542 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0549 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 1777 Zeitler 100 67 85
ZTsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0529 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 9976 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 9976 Zeitler 100 67 85
1Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 9966 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0086 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0301 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0840 Zeitler 100 67 85
Tsuiki JASDF F 2  So 0912 Zeitler 100 67 85

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