(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

HAF jets at Araxos and Andravida
Where? Greece, Araxos & Andravida
When?
March 2012

Greece currently scores big headlines due to the financial crises, but to find out its effects was not the purpose of this year's trip to the Peloponnese, visiting the F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-7 Corsairs at Araxos as well as Andravida's F-4E Phantoms. Nice spring weather and the Greek hospitality made the trip very worthwhile and resulted in some nice images.

A lot has changed at Araxos since the last visit at Araxos in 2007: 336 Mira has switched from the venerable A-7 Corsair II to the state-of-the-art F-16 Fighting Falcon Bl.52C/D and thus now operates the most modern fighter jet in the Hellenic Air Force's (HAF) inventory.

To see them fly side-by-side with the Corsair was an interesting view and though the F-16s are most impressive with their conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) and the dorsal spine on the twin-seat F-16D, the Corsair was not to be missed, as the HAF remains the only Air Force worldwide to operate this remarkable light attack aircraft from the 1960s.

The HAF received its first examples already in the 1970s, and though rumours said that the financial crisis will put an early end on A-7 operations in Greece, it is highly probable that the venerable Corsair will still soldier on for some - which might mean 2-3... - more years.

336 Mira still has around 30 aircraft available, thus operates at full Squadron strength to fulfil its duty in providing an air-ground attack capability. This function also implies setting up a QRA force with two fully armed jets in the air-ground role, a function not seen very often within any NATO air arm and this is for sure due to the very special political situation in this part of Europe.
Though it also became quite obvious that the Corsair's future fate is quite clear:

These are some more Corsair photos linked and available in higher resolution. They will open in a new window:

The Tiger Squadron 335 Mira did switch in the recent years to the very advanced F-16C/D, overtaking the mission from the A-7 with the additional capability for aerial reconnaissance. Operations are already in full swing and on par with those of the well lined-up Corsairs, but comparing the airframes, maintenance and operations one can easily recognize the age difference of 30-40 years.

Concentrating more or less completely on the A-7, there were not so many opportunities to photograph the Fighting Falcon, but here are still some more photos also available in higher resolution:

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Meiringen WK 2017

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Meiringen Swiss Air Force WK 2017
Where? Meiringen, Switzerland
When? March 2017

Alpine Base Meiringen offers a gorgeous setting The airfield is nestled in a small valley in central Switzerland in the canton of Bern. Surrounded by mountains that partly rise up vertically for several hundred meters it is challenging flying terrain, but provides plenty of photo opportunities. Meiringen is the home of the Swiss Air Force's Fliegerstaffel 11 "Tigers", one of Switzerland three F/A-18 Hornet Squadrons, and is also home to the militia Squadron 8 "Destructors" ("Vandalos"), flying the F-5E Tiger II.

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Nyutabaru Air Festa 2012

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Nyutabaru Airshow 2012
Where? Nyutabaru, Kyushu, Japan
When? 02/12/2012

The annual airshow at Nyutabaru is always a safe bet to see some amazing aerial displays of the JASDF. Three Squadron, either equipped with F-4EJ Phantoms or F-15(D)J Eagles, amongst them the nicely painted Aggressors, assure a stunning and varied display even without any other participants flying in from other airfields.

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Do-24 ATT - A flight for dreams

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Dornier  Do-24 ATT

Do-24 ATT RP-C2403

In September 2004 I have had the exclusive opportunity to do an air-air photo shoot with the Do-24 ATT which was staying in Oberpfaffenhofen (near Munich) at that time. Iren Dornier was keen on getting some photos of his aircraft in front of the stunning scenery of the German Alps. So we met on a nice and warm summer afternoon at the airfield and briefed the flight.

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