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

The regional airport of Valenciennes-Denain was, as every year, the privileged host of an airshow on this July 14.

Indeed, Mr Pierre Deprez fights every year to maintain this event on he French National Holiday. What more enjoyable than to have a day off and admire the presentations of the Armée de l'Air, of foreign Air Forces or of some civil owned aircrafts. This event, completely for free - let's emphasize on this, was again a real succes gathering around 50.000 spectators. And moreover, the weather was on call, although a little cloudy in the morning the sun was bright and generous during the afternoon's demonstrations.

It was a first choice program with all the demonstration teams of the Armée de l'Air, to know the parachuting team, the aerobatic team (Ecole de Voltige de l'Armée de l'Air - EVAA), the team "Cartouche Doré", the Rafale solo-display and of course the inescapable Patrouille de France who thrilled our French neighbours with their tri-coloured fumes still meaning something for them.

The Belgian Air Force A109 display team, also present, gave a fantastic show flown with maestria, highly complimented by the Armée de l'Air commentator. Let's not forget the flying demonstrations of model planes, an autogiro, Piper Cubs and Fouga Magister.

During the lunch break our team became acquainted to a charming couple, natives from Bretagne and Corsica and actually living in Spain. Talking about aviation photography through beautiful French regions, all with a beer and fries... We cannot redo ourselves...

In short a very gratifying and friendly airshow. Sadly some posts on social networks were quite obnoxious, even murderous for the organizers. At random, there were so much people we could not get to the fences; due to the airplanes of the “Cartouches Doré” we did not have a good look at the preparations of the Patrouille de France and much more of this (Sic)...

I will stand up for the organizers who, again, did a great job to bring a great show and most of all completely for free.

There were indeed some time outs and no, not all the foreseen planes were there, but for most of us this was a normal weekday which prevented some foreign visitors to attend the show at Valenciennes, most certainly taken by other professional activities. The organizers on the other hand were reliant upon the operational needs of the Armée de l'Air and so the A400M could not perform his fly-by or flyby's. And of course there were a lot of spectators and if you are willing to sit in the front row, you have to be present very early, take a place and stay there. There are no other means to do so and this is the normal way to proceed. To conclude, Valenciennes-Denain is a regional airport and does not have an enormous apron so the airport authorities did their best to manage the space regarding the numerous attending aircraft.

The only little glitch, if we can call it this way, was when leaving the parking lot the exit only permitted one car at the time and so for certain people the way outward took some hours. But be reassured, this was maybe the only flaw and the organizers will take this into account for the next edition.

A prime choice and holy event full of Blue, White and Red colours, recommended without tempering, let for the atmosphere alone, and 2015 is already booked in our agenda.
The SBAP-team wishes to thank warmly Mr Pierre Deprez and his team for the reception and facilities granted during our stay. And a little wink to all the personnel of the Armée de l'Air for the privileged moments with the Rafale, Mirage 2000D and other Alpha Jets.

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Some high speed passes (Serge Van Heertum)

Little bit wet... (Marc Arys)

Simply impressive (Marc Arys)

(Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
A good old Fouga Magister (Bruno Ghils) Public could make flight with this Alouette II (Serge Van Heertum)
Arrival of the Mirage 2000D (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)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
After the Paris fly-by (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)

80 years...Happy Birthday!  (Serge Van Heertum)

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

(Marc Arys)

Just arrived and already on duty (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)

(Bruno Ghils)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Pilot at the "PAF"...a friendship team (Bruno Ghils)

Technicians will take care of the planes (Serge Van Heertum)

Interview (Serge Van Heertum)
Ground crew busy to prepare the planes for the afternoon show (Serge Van Heertum)
If you are looking for the wheel...just behind you! (Bruno Ghils) (Marc Arys)
Arrival of the support C-160D Transall (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) All the material have to be unloaded (Serge Van Heertum)
Cirrus SR-22 as support for the EVAA (Serge Van Heertum) Little problem for this Rondone F4 (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) Some flying models were also presented in the flying program (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
On scale flying model Nieuport... (Serge Van Heertum) ...and SE5A (scale 7/8) both made by Paul Roquelle (Serge Van Heertum)
Pilatus P3-03 (Bruno Ghils) Stampe & Vertongen SV-4c (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Boeing KC-135R back from Paris National Day (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Rafale Tiger RC Model (Serge Van Heertum)
Fox Glider, also a RC model (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Autogiro MTO (Marc Arys)
Piper L-4J (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Parachute team of France (Bruno Ghils) On the way to the plane (Bruno Ghils)
(Bruno Ghils)
Preparing and embarcation (Bruno Ghils)
(Bruno Ghils) Pilatus PC-6 B2 Porter (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
The National colours and the 80 years flag (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Eye of the tiger (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Safety (Serge Van Heertum)
Tiger skin (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
"Tao", a real sympatic guy! (Serge Van Heertum) Sign the form (Serge Van Heertum)
Turn around (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) Mental display (Serge Van Heertum)

Preparing for the start up (Serge Van Heertum)
Running (Serge Van Heertum) Cpt Michael Brocard, former display and "Tao" coach (Serge Van Heertum)
Full power take off (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)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Back to the parking (Serge Van Heertum)
Relax after the display (Serge Van Heertum) Demo pilot is also a public relation job... (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
Spectacular flares effect...with congratulations of the Armée de l'Air commentator (Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
The great final (Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
Pierre Fages count around 28000 flight hours... (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)

Always elegant...
(Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) The traditional smoke at shut down (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
Front seat (Serge Van Heertum) Back seat (Serge Van Heertum)
Little bit oil for the engine (Serge Van Heertum) Waiting for the clearence (Serge Van Heertum)
First display with some grey sky (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Bruno Ghils)
(Bruno Ghils) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
Sunny afternoon display (Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Bruno Ghils) (Bruno Ghils)
(Marc Arys) (Bruno Ghils)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Technical check from a "shadow man" (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
"Bunny"   (Marc Arys - Bruno Ghils - Serge Van Heertum)   "Raloche"
(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)
Start of the display, same was done the morning above Paris
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
New smoke system? (Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) Gnap! (Marc Arys)
Crab claw... (Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) low! (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)

Apache roll... (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) The final split (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
The team on duty... (Bruno Ghils) Thanks for reception and facilities to the organizers (Serge Van Heertum)

Reports Menu - Homepage