Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012
   Text : Serge Van Heertum      Pictures : Serge Van Heertum, Luc Dujardin, Laurent Cuvelier, Paul Rorive & Bruno Ghils © sbap 2012  
   
This year the annual airshow of the Belgian Air Force was held at Florennes air base in the Belgian Ardennes. The home base of the 1st squadron, 350 squadron and more recently the 80 UAV squadron opened the doors to the public on 23rd and 24th of June. The airshow was a real success with around 40.000 visitors on Saturday and sadly much less on Sunday with 10.000 visitors due to extreme bad weather conditions. On Sunday the flying activities were cancelled except for a handful of aircraft.
The main theme of the airshow was the 70 years of the creation of the base. Florennes was built by the German forces in 1942 to complete the defense line against the RAF and USAF bombers. In fact there was a gap in the defense line and the allied forces used this aerial road on their way to Germany. In 1942 the base was built by the famous Todd organization. As soon as the installations were ready the Luftwaffe was based there with the
1/NJG4 (night fighters) and later the JG26 (Day fighters). With the allied progression the base was abandoned by the German and take over by the USAF. September 1944, the 370th and 474th Fighter Groups (P-38 Lightning) were based at Florennes and also the 422nd night Fighter Squadron (P-61 Black Widow). January 1945 the 365th Fighter Group "Hell Hawks" equipped with P-47 Thunderbolt takes the place and later on, in April, after all the Fighter Squadron's some B-26 Marauder are still based at Florennes.
After the war the base was taken by the Belgian Air Force until today but also during a period by the USAF and their famous
485th cruise missile Wing. Until 2009, Florennes was also the home base of the Tactical Leadership Program, better known as TLP. Due to unstable weather in Belgium and growing aerial traffic above this part of Europe, the TLP moved at Albacete in Spain. To commemorate the Second World War history of the base, some war scenery was presented with many costumed people, vehicles and aircraft.
The flying program was the main attractor of the week-end success with a lot of unusual presentations. More than words, you will see the pictures overview.
To give the most largest view possible we have divided this page in six items: The Friday arrivals, the static display with a view on the aircraft but also on the other activities like the official  95th birthday presentation of the 1st Squadron, the operational zone were the demonstration teams were parked, the dynamic part of the airshow, a special page about the Belgian Air Force display with the first
official presentation in Belgium for “Grat” and his wonderful F-16AM and finally some visuals of the departures on Monday. We hope that this panel will give the readers a clear view of the different activities proposed during one of the main airshow event in Belgium. Via this page, SBAP team would like to thanks Florennes Air Base authorities and the Comopsair IPR team for the fantastic organization, the facilities allowed during this event and mostly their usual and well appreciated kindness.
More than words make you choice by clicking on the chosen category and enjoy your visit at Florennes airshow 2012
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Friday, an overview of the participant arrival
for the static exhibition or for the week-end display

The static exibition and some events held during the airshow like historical reconstitution, official inauguration, demo team shop...

An overview of the operational zone with the different
 solo display and aerobatic teams

The international airshow with some amazing participation,
colour smoke and flares festival

 

A special page for the Belgian Air Force display
A great black, yellow and red spectacle

Airshow is over...an overview of the departure on Monday

   

 

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