Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Marc Arys, Bruno Ghils, Laurent Cuvelier & Danny Carels © sbap 2014

The airshow season has taken off and it was the dynamic team of the airport of Lens-Bénifontaine that kicked off of the season which will be full of aeronautical events through Europe.

We can vouch the fact this first airshow was an overall success by the presented aircrafts and demonstrations, the beautiful summer weather and a glitch free organisation. In one word, an airshow as we love them, offering to the public the proximity of the pilots and technical crews. Since a couple of years the organizers of the show focus on one defined theme as the French-Polish friendship in 2012. This year saw the French-Belgian theme high on the scene. This close understanding with our French neighbours could be felt several times all along the week-end.

Regarding the main theme, our team was contacted by the organizers to carry out the Belgian part of the program and we have to admit that through the collaboration with Mr Christophe Langlain, we have had the opportunity to offer quite some nice pages in the Belgian part of the booklet. We are grateful for the confidence the Lens'team put in SBAP providing us with much pleasure to realise these pages.

But let's go back to the show providing the public a mix of older aircraft and modern jets, from the basic aerobatics with historical planes to high performance planes masterly flown by the French Armée de l'Air aerobatic team or by the French champion Pascale Alajouanine. In short, a real delight for our eyes.

As we said, the French-Belgian friendship is not a hollow word, proven by the presence of the Belgian F-16 display, the Bronco-team from Tony De Bruyn, the Piper L-18C from the RBDA flown by Jean-Claude Kaisin and many other aircraft from our country. The only dark spot for us and the organisers was the absence of the Red Devils and the A109 team, which surely could have emphasized even more this immeasurable friendship.

Saturday was reserved for the rehearsals and in the evening they organised a 'sunset airshow' where some of the participants flew their routine in the setting sun and even nightfall. This concept always offers pictures with an unbelievable beauty of colours.

On Sunday, under a summer sun, the public came to admire all these flying machines and the organizers counted some 70.000 visitors.

Rather than giving you a exhaustive list of the flown demonstrations, we invite you to browse our 3 photographic reports:
- the jets of the Armée de l'Air, the Marine Nationale and the Belgian Air Force based at Lille-Lesquin
- the 'Sunset Airshow' of Saturday evening
- the Sunday show
In conclusion, if you are passionate about aviation and airshows you have to attend the next edition at Lens-Bénifontaine. Great show and a warm welcome will be yours.
The SBAP team wishes to warmly thank Mr Régis Grébent (the boss), Mr Christophe Langlain (communications) and the whole team at Lens-Bénifontaine for their confidence and hospitality but especially for the facilities given to our team.
After this success we wish them all a well deserved rest, but with their minds already focussing on the next show which will put forward the French-English friendship. Let us not forget that hundreds years ago some sinister events marked the history of Lens and northern France.

The English men were there and may not be forgotten!

Some pages of the airshow booklet
Lille - Lesquin


Lens Sunset Airshow

Lens Airshow

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