Text: Serge Van Heertum & Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Bruno Ghils & Jacques Vincent © sbap 2014

100 years of Swiss aviation... An historical event which had to be indelibly celebrated and to achieve this goal, the authorities of the Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) organized an aeronautical meeting of an unmatched scale to date. AIR14 Payerne was indeed planned spanning 10 days, including two complete weekend with demonstrations. The media ensured the follow up of this event during several months, all this with a very strong publicity policy which brought this airshow to a beyond dispute success, unique in continental Europe.

Every day one could find another demonstration program, each time emphasizing a particular theme characteristic of the Swiss military aviation which you will discover all along our report.

Some elected guests were also present, the United Arab Emirates “Al Fursan” or the flying replica of the Messcherschmitt Me262 “Schwalbe”. There were also some quite strong moments like the fly-by of an A-330 of the national airline operator “Swiss” together with the no-less renowned “Patrouille Suisse”. Several formations flew through the Payerne skies presenting the various aircraft types which equipped the aviation forces.

Besides de 100 years of Swiss aviation, other jubilees were celebrated at Payerne. The 50 years of the “Patrouille Suisse”, an incontestable national pride, but also the 25 years of the elegant “PC-7 team”. Each weekend these two teams gave a combined demonstration with a remarkable grand finale.

It was with quite an enthusiasm the SBAP-team planned to attend this event along the surroundings of the Neufchatel Lake and the Vaud airbase of Payerne. But we have to notify a little glitch as the Swiss authorities did not grant us our press accreditation, arguing that our “media” had a to restricted audience (sic)... A pity for our trusty readers and followers throughout the world... Despite our right of reply and pointing out our statistics, the officials stayed mute... We are aware that with such an event, numerous request are formulated and it was certainly not possible to grant an accreditation to everyone, but the invoked argument was not the right one! We could see the “web” media were simply brushed aside in favor of the printed media... So be it.

As we said, the program was worth attending the show and we could not afford to deprive our readers of colourful images of this historical event.
On the site, we had to take note that the facilities for the specialized media were somehow limited. The press center proposed the daily flying program and a little mound was reserved for the photographers. But to our surprise, in front of this little mound, a magnificent grandstand (blocking partially the view of the journalists) accessible on payment for 20 CHF. With a little Swiss banknote we benefit from a fantastic location. No wonder the next day several reporters also paid to get a far better view.

Let us not wander further on this little negative note, but it had to be said.

And above all, let us not deny the pleasure we had to take some exceptional pictures of all these magnificent machines of which quite a number adorned the white cross on a red disk.

The program of the first weekend foresaw the presence of the “Russian Knights” but due to international political reasons and more particularly the Ukraine conflict, their presence was cancelled. Not by the organizers, but simply because the authorizations to over fly the various nations were rejected.
Ready for AIR14? Strap in and choose your desired day…
Enjoy and join the 400.000 counted visitors!

 



Triple jubilee...Happy birthday!
Heavy publicity for this historical event!
Permanent exhibitions and static display by Serge Van Heertum and Bruno Ghils
Make your choice of the desired day and click on the logo...good flight!
Static display and support aircraft departures by Jacques Vincent

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