Static Participants shining
During Belgian Air Force Days, not only can you marvel at spectacular demos of military aircraft in the sky, you can also admire unique aircraft on the ground in the varied static exhibition. With many of them, the crews will be present to tell you more about the qualities of their marvels of technology. We would like to spotlight some remarkable participants from foreign partners of the Belgian Air Force.
A colourful Austrian PC-7 training aircraft is bound to be one of the eye-catchers. The British Royal Air Force is also sending a training aircraft, the modern Juno helicopter, based on the Airbus Helicopters H-135. The British Jupiter training and rescue helicopter will also be alongside it, and it in turn is based on the H-145. You can compare it to the multi-purpose H-145 of the German Armed Forces. This H-145 is also a prominent candidate to succeed the Belgian Air Force's A-109, so it definitely worth a closer look! Much bigger are the Dutch NH-90, and the German NH-90 and CH-53 transport helicopters. As Germany's CH-53 will soon be replaced by the CH-47 Chinook, this is an excellent opportunity to admire this giant perhaps one last time. Another helicopter nearing the end of a long and illustrious career is the Slovak Mi-17 transport and rescue helicopter in striking digital camouflage, a very rare sight in our corner of Europe!
The big helicopters are still a lot smaller than the large transport aircraft you will also find in the extensive static. For example, the German Air Force is sending a huge A-400M, which you will even be able to walk through! In Belgium, we got to know this aircraft well as a replacement for the slightly smaller C-130. Thanks to the Portuguese air force, you will still be able to admire a C-130 up close, which is also a rare occurrence in our regions. Slightly smaller still than the C-130 is the twin-engine Casa 295, presented in the static thanks to the Polish and Spanish air forces.
Besides the C-130, the Portuguese air force will also send an F-16 fighter for the static display, which, together with the Danish F-16, will undoubtedly be an eye-catcher among the jets. The German air force will also claim a starring role here with two ageing Tornado fighter-bombers and an advanced Eurofighter multi-role combat aircraft, which now the sharp end of the German combat aircraft. The future of the Belgian air force will also take pride of place, as the Dutch air force will present their brand-new sleek F-35 Lightning II on the ground to curious fans, side by side with two F-16s they are gradually replacing in the Dutch air force.
As you can clearly see, foreign air forces offer something for everyone on the ground, fulfilling a wide range of tasks. Don't miss this wonderful collection and visit the Belgian Air Force Days on 9 & 10 September in Kleine-Brogel. Join the new generation!
Photos: Peter Steehouwer, Paul Johnson (Flightline UK); Henk Tito, Andrew Timmerman, Robin Mues, Arthur Bijster, Belgian Air Force PR