Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012 
Text: Serge Van Heertum  &  Pictures : Serge Van Heertum & Luc Dujardin © sbap 2012

Eastbourne is an important seaside resort located on the south coast of Great Britain, not far away of Hastings. Thanks to the rail establishment and the impulse of William Cavendish (7th Devonshire duke), Eastbourne became a first quality seaside resort in the pure Victorian style. Eastbourne is located at the beginning in the South Downs near the Beachy Heads cliffs. Sheltered by the chalk cliffs the city has a microclimate and is considered as the sunniest city of Great Britain. Recognized as an urban Victorian model, the city attracted many distinguished visitors like the composer Claude Debussy, the writer Lewis Carol, Friedrish Engel, Karl Marx and probably many others.
Life of the city deteriorated during World War II. To secure the London children from German bombs, the government evacuated them to Eastbourne. But after the invasion of France and the armistice of June 22nd, 1940, the city was in the possible invasion area planned by the German and the children had to be evacuated further. The operation Seelöwe (German plan to invade the United Kingdom) was planning a landing at
Eastbourne. Many people closed their houses and migrated away from the coast... Access to the coastal strip was banned. This caused the closure of most hotels and guesthouses. The residential school also left the city. Many abandoned houses and schools were requisitioned by the armed forces. The Royal Navy established a school for underwater weapons and the Royal Air Force built a radar area at Beachy Head in the marshes near Pevensey. Thousands of Canadian soldiers were stationed in the town and its surroundings from June 1941 to June 1944 landings. Many Edwardian and Victorian houses were damaged or destroyed during German air raids. According to the Department of the Interior affairs (Home Office), Eastbourne was the city most frequently attacked in the south-east. The situation was particularly critical from May 1942 to June 1943 during dawn raids by fighter-bombers based in the northern of France. After the war the city was reconstructed, keeping the Victorian architecture of the time giving a particular character at this city which is very pleasant to sightsee. Since twenty years now, the authorities organize each year a special week-end including a sea front airshow. This year for the 20st anniversary the program was really attractive with the presence of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, British Army and also civilian teams. The headline was probably the Avro Vulcan present on Saturday. The presence of different kind of aircraft like Spitfire, Lancaster, Messerschmitt, Tornado, Seaking and Dakota was the key of success. It was also pleasant to watch different aerobatic teams like the “Red Bull Matadors”, “Reva team” and “Breitling wing walkers” above the blue colors of the North Sea. Parallel to this amazing airshow above the sea, in all the coastal avenues located different exhibitions like the Royal Air Force benevolent fund, dog and raptor show and of course the possibility to taste British food and drink like the “Spitfire” beer. More than a simple airshow, “airbourne” is a British fair, so British!
We would like also to underline that this this report was possible thanks to the Eastbourne authorities and particularly Miss Tracey Drake promotion manager. Our team would like to thank them to have granted our accreditation, a perfect organization, real kindness during our visit and last but not least a wonderful photographic spot along the coast.

From Beachy Heads to Eastbourne seafront (google map)

Beachy Heads cliffs (Luc Dujardin)

The Victorian style of the city (Serge Van Heertum)

Some view of the city (Luc Dujardin)

Royal Navy recruitment (Serge Van Heertum)

Wasp engine (Serge Van Heertum)
Gazelle instruments  (Luc Dujardin)  Precious helmets (Luc Dujardin)
 British Army (Luc Dujardin)  Future Battle of Britain memorial flight pilot  (Serge Van Heertum)
 Meet the pilots: Phil Bird Hawk solo display (Luc Dujardin) Bus sightseeing  (Luc Dujardin)

 

Raptor exhibition and presentation

(Luc Dujardin)

 (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)

 

The wish tower and lot of people

(Serge Van Heertum)

 No comments…two “Spitfire” please (Serge Van Heertum)
 Different simulator providing the flight sensations (Serge Van Heertum)  150.000 visitors expected on Saturday (Serge Van Heertum)
Pre airshow with some display…
 Low pass (Serge Van Heertum) Landing gear problems  (Serge Van Heertum)

 Midair collision (Luc Dujardin)

 Short final (Luc Dujardin)
Hot temperature and sea freshness (Serge Van Heertum) Another way to watch an airshow (Serge Van Heertum)
Eastbourne pier (Serge Van Heertum) Proud to be British !  (Luc Dujardin)
Westland Seaking HAR3A – 22 Squadron Chievenor Air Base
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Royal Navy parachute display team “The Raiders”
 Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander from “Headcom parachute club”
(Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Luc Dujardin)
Hawker Hunter F.58 (G-PSST)  “Miss Demeanour”
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  Air race...who will be the fast?  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Extra EA300-S “The Blades” display team
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Luc Dujardin)

 (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Folland Gnat T.1 (XR538-XS111) “Red Gnat duo”
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Luc Dujardin)
Silence Twister “Swip team”
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
North American SNJ-5 Texan
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
   

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF)  Avro Lancaster (PA474)  &  Supermarine Spitfire Mk PRXIX (PS915)

 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Luc Dujardin)

 (Luc Dujardin)
Westland WG13 “Lynx” AH7 British Army

 (Luc Dujardin)

 (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Grob G-115E Tutor T.1 – 16 Squadron Cranwell Air Base
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Beech B200 – 45 Squadron Cranwell Air Base
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Xtreme Sbach XA-41 (D-EYXA – D-EVXA) “Red Bull Matadors”
 (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 Paul Bonhomme double winner of the Red Bull air race (Serge Van Heertum)  Steve Jones (Serge Van Heertum)
BAC 84 Jet Provost T5 (XW324)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Avro 698 Vulcan (XH558 / G-VLCN)
 (Luc Dujardin) x3
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Boeing PT-17 Kaydet (N707TJ – N74189) “Breitling Wing Walkers”
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Boeing CH-47 “Chinook” HC2 – 7 Squadron Odiham Air Base
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)      (Luc Dujardin) x2
 (Serge Van Heertum)
Rutan 61 Long-Eze (F-PJLB) &  Rutan Vari-Eze (F-PREV- F-PYSM) “Patrouille Reva”
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Luc Dujardin)

 (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Tornado GR4A (ZA405-ZA547) - 15 Squadron Lossiemouth Air Base

Role Demo (Luc Dujardin)

Both Tornadoes were not flying an usual aerobatic display because the Role Demo shows some manoeuvres that are currently utilised on operations. The Tornado GR4 Role Demo is provided by the OC XV(R) Squadron. This unit is based at Lossiemouth and is the operational conversion unit of the Tornado Ground Reconnaissance Force.  The crew members are Flight Lieutenant David "Simmo" Simmonds and Flight Lieutenant Chris "Stradder" Stradling (Poker One) and Squadron Leader Bev Thorpe and Flight Lieutenant Rich Parsons (Poker Two). It is noticeable that each crew is made of an experienced aviator and a younger one.
Most of the people on the Eastbourne beach watching to the show has seen aircraft flying low and fast, but not only. In fact the whole display programme is made of typical operational manoeuvres.
Poker One and Two are showing the tactical capabilities of the Tornado. The two aircrafts are coming front to front in opposition arrival. After that crossing, Poker One makes a maximum rate turn and Poker Two comes back in an oblique pass. Poker One comes then in front of the public making an inbound break. Both planes are now on each side of the public and are crossing again in front of him. It is now Poker Two who makes a maximum rate turn while Poker One, coming from the right, makes a show of force. That manoeuvre consist in a very low level and high speed pass. It is very noisy and this is often used in the Afghan theater of operations to show that combat aircraft are in the zone and ready to strike immediately. This operation often allows to scatter the suspect groups without having to open the fire. The nearness of the ground and firings of light weapons always possible are the main risks incurred by the pilot. After this spectacular crossing, Poker One and Two are coming back in front of the people to make an opposition break. Next pass is a show of force made by Poker Two and immediately followed by a strafing  pass of Poker One coming from the opposite side. Shortly thereafter, Poker One makes a missile break while Poker Two simulates a Brimstone attack. The last fly-by in front of the public area is a simulated Paveway IV attack made by Poker One while Poker Two is coming to make a strafe pass. The Tornado GR4 Role Demo is concluded by the pair's departure. Both aircrafts are climbing and rolling vertically in front of the shore prior to disappear in the sky.

That was really a powerful demo !

 Flight Lieutenant David "Simmo" Simmonds (Luc Dujardin)  Flight Lieutenant Chris "Stradder" Stradling (Luc Dujardin)
 Squadron Leader Bev Thorpe (Luc Dujardin)  Flight Lieutenant Rich Parsons (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF)  Douglas C-47 Dakota (ZA927)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
Casa HA-112 M1L “Buchon” (C.4K-102)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  (Luc Dujardin)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia (P9374)

 (Serge Van Heertum)

 (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)
 (Luc Dujardin)  (Luc Dujardin)
 (Serge Van Heertum)  (Serge Van Heertum)

 

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