Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum, Marc Arys & Jacques Vincent - Translation: Marc Arys © sbap 2015
Does one not say that wine gets better when ageing ? The same goes for the airshow at La Ferté Alais ! This year again, the organizers had put everything forward to ensure a magnifcent show, an aerial festival worth its name and, do believe in the experience of our team, it was, without a doubt, surely worth it. Once again this weekend was more than succesful thanks to “Salis and his gang”.
Let's talk about the aerial feast which was made up of various themes offering the passionates among us quite some novelties or original displays.
Following a morning of strolling in the static area or loitering through the various booths (I can assure you your wallet takes a hit...) the airshow started at around 01 PM. As usual, the flying part was opened by the flight of the Bébé Jodel, Fournier and Leopoldorf to commemorate the 'gone ones' of last year. It is always an emotional moment to think about those aviation people who left us on their last and eternal flight.
Here then you have the various panels presented to the public, commented by Bernard Chabert and his uncountable anecdotes.

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

The Marine Nationale

The Aéronavale, the “sailors”, which presented one of the highlights of the day, the Bréguet Br.1050 Alizé, recently overhauled by the “Alizé Marine”-team. Superb and strange machine flying together with a Morane-Saulnier MS 760 Paris of 'Armor Aero Passion' and accompanied by two Rafale M of the 12F.

(Jacques Vincent) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

The onset of aviation
Presentation of the Morane-Saulnier, type G, of “Replic Air” and the Caudron GIII of the “Amicale Jean Baptiste Salis” recently restored and equipped with functional ailerons instead of the original 'warping' system which hampered quite seriously the flight capabilities. In short, a leap back in time to get a feeling of what our grandparents could have lived during the first airshows.

(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Jacques Vincent)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum)

The great war
First we had the take-off of some biplanes, like the SV-4 and Bücker, to set up the scenery, followed by the Caudron GUU, a Fokker DR.1 and the replica of the Albatros (based on a good old Tiger Moth). During WWI GII, which flew observation missions, were often taken on by the German aviation. The allies came to the rescue with two in-house replicas of the Royal Aircraft Factory SE5 A. Imagine being overhead the trenches with aerial combat raging all over... To conclude this scenery, two aircraft from the “Memorial Fligth” association take-off, the fabulous Bristol F2B Fighter and the Fokker D.VII German fighter.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)

(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)   (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Aerobatics without an engine
A little bit of calmness in this brutal world during the nice presentation of a Pilatus B4 acrobatic sailplane. A few minutes of fine arabesques emphasized by wingtip fume trails. Perfect mastery of soaring and a sight of rare elegance.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Modern aerobatics

The contemporary aerobatics full of action were represented with dignity by the Equipe de Voltige of the Armée de l'Air, which at this moment does not have to be introduced anymore thanks to its success greatly reported in the press and media. This prestigious team had dispatched two fine pilots, Cpt Alexandre Orlowski on Saturday and Cpt François Rallet on Sunday which demonstrated the incredible mastery of their Extra 330SC.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Jacques Vincent)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Aerostars
Six Yak-50 in a British civilian team... With its powerful radial engine, the Yak is an extraordinary mount to constitute an aerobatic team... Trailing fume spirals from their powerful and copious smoke system the team presented us a spirited display. The Aerostars are already displaying for over 17 years during airshows all over Europe.

(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Flying at all costs
Basic aerobatics by a Mudry Cap 10, an aircraft designed for training and to start aerobatics with... Nothing very impressive compared to the Extra 330SC... Indeed, except from the fact this plane was flown with great competence by Dorine Bourneton. This pilot with an exquisite smile is the world's first disabled female aerobatic pilot. Dorine owes her passion for aviation to her father. May 12, 1991, a date which will stay engraved in her memory and body forever. Her flying club was organizing a flight and although the weather was not quite good, some experienced pilots decided to go for it. Her pilot lost control of the aircraft and crashed into a wooded area of a mountain side. Dorine was the sole survivor but lost the use of her legs. Her strength and unlimited love for aviation pushed this young lady to take down the barriers, get her pilot license and in the end her aerobatic license. Hats off, Miss !

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent)

The Second World War '39-'45
This dark page of the European and World History was first represented by aircraft of the Luftwaffe such as the Fieseler Fi-156 “Storch” with some incredible maneuvering capabilities, the Junkers Ju-52-3M, affectionately named “Tante Ju” - Auntie Ju and a Pilatus P2 representing a 3rd Reich fighter. This latter suffering from a landing gear problem (one main gear did not retract) but which was solved in the end and the aircraft landed safely.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys)

The Batlle of France
To commemorate this battle, which really marked the start of the second world conflict in our regions, we had the Curtiss H.75 Hawk from the Fighter Collection of Stephen Grey flown in from the British Isles. Pure and designed for speed it was a battle horse for the Armée de l'Air and this flying example is a fighter having really taken part in this battle. The latest news on this aircraft reveals it could be put up for sale and already the French aviation world is standing up as to buy the aircraft to be based in the hexagon and considered as an undeniable historical heritage. Hopefully this historical machine will remain in France and not finish its career across the Atlantic or in New Zealand.

(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

The Battle of Britain

75 years ago Germans tried to invade Great-Britain, but to do so they had to rule the skies. A fierce battle followed... Hitler plans were disrupted thanks to the tenacity of the Englishmen and the help of pilots from various allied nations. To commemorate this page of history of WWII, the public could see one of the rare airworthy Gloster Gladiator from the Fighter Collection owned by Stephen Grey, being his favorite airplane. An excellent report on this aircraft can be found in the latest editions of Aeroplane (UK) and Le Fanatique de l'Aviation (France). The second aircraft was the flagship of this historical fact. The Hawker Hurricane can indeed vouch to have the greatest number of enemies shot down. This Hurricane bought from New Zealand is nowadays based in France. Sadly the aircraft was later involved in a landing accident at its base Dijon-Darois.
At last, it was the fabulous Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIX of Christophe Jacquard which could be admired from all angles and listened to the song of its Rolls Royce Griffon.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Jacques Vincent)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Marc Arys) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Tora Tora Tora

This scenery is always on show at la Ferté, but we never get tired of it. The flights and pyrotechnics are always impressive to watch. This page to mark the infamy of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian Islands which triggered the entrance of the United States of America into the war scene. When Uncle Sam wakes up... Hell gets loose !
The scenery recalls the history we can watch in the famous movie, to know the training aircraft on Sunday being taken by surprise by the massive arrival of Japanese aircraft (represented by Harvards). Once the attack well on its way a magnificent Curtiss P-40N enters the scene and take son the Mitsubishi Zero. The consequences are known...
I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve - Admiral Yamamoto.

(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)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent)

Adémai Aviator
A little flying club in France. The student pilot is already on board of the Piper J-3 and his instructor is on his way. What happens? The clumsy student pilot unfortunately starts the engine and the aircraft starts to roll, faster and faster. No other solution for the instructor as to guide his student (which is still far from being a flying ace) through the radio. Follows an uncoordinated aerobatic flight, which, be reassured, always ends well without any damage. It is its phenomenal pilot Jean-Pierre Lafille, aged 83!, who offered the public this little very appreciated humoristic note.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum)

The Rolls of the skies
No need to present you furthermore the North American P-51D “Mustang”. This mythical plane wrote pages of glory during World War II. The “Amicale Jean Baptiste Salis” flew his P-51D “Nooky Booky IV” just for the pleasure of our eyes and ears. A marvelous American fighter, American you said? In fact the design goes back to Edgar Schmued, a German engineer who fled Germany and the Nazi regime. This superb design needed an engine which finally became the famous Rolls Royce Merlin. All this gathered within this renowned “American” fighter, the “Mustang”.

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

Normandie-Niemen
If there is an historical WWII page of which our neighbouring France is proud, it is the participation into the conflict on the Russian battlefront with the renowned Normandie-Niemen squadron. This war and human adventure was commemorated by the flights of a Yakovlev Yak-3 (F-AZLY), a Yakovlev Yak-3UA (F-AZXZ) and a Yakovlev Yak-11 (F-AZNN), all three stunning by their power and maneuverability. Superb machines just for the pleasure of the public.

(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

The Sécurité Civile

Aviation is not only belligerent, she is also at the service of mankind demonstrated magnificently by the Sécurité Civile. A Eurocopter EC-145 makes a reconnaissance of a stricken area and winches down two coordinators in the vicinity of this area. A Grumman Tracker flies over for a check flight and then comes in again dropping a fire retardant mixture. Finally a Canadair CL-145 comes 'watering' the site. The water mass and blast of it ends the fire. Mission accomplished for these flying firemen with a well deserved applause from the public. Well done, chaps !

(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)


(Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Classic formation
From Switzerland, this team is made up of two Beech Be.18 and a Douglas DC-3. Besides their elegant evolutions overhead La Ferté Alais, one recalls the sun reflecting beautifully on their gleaming bodies.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

If it’s not Boeing… I’m not flying…

The American manufacturer was honoured by a multicoloured formation flight of seven Boeing “Stearman” rejoined by a Boeing B737 cargo of the Aerpost airline wearing special markings “Aeropost love La Ferté”.
Beautiful presentation combining past and present.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(Jacques Vincent) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Jacques Vincent) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Aerobatics with an helicopter

You do not do what you want with an helicopter. On the contrary! Once you had the chance to witness the presentation of the Red Bull Bolköw Bo-105, you do not see helicopters flights the same way you did before. Thanks to its rigid rotor, this little machine can do rolls and loopings like aircraft build for this purpose. If you invite Chuck Aaron and his Bo-105 for your next garden party... Show stopper guaranteed for sure!

(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)

(Jacques Vincent)

(Marc Arys)

(Serge Van Heertum)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

The De Havilland airplanes

A De Haviland Vampire represented this renowned manufacturer from across the Channel. Despite his age, the Vampire remains an elegant aircraft marking the onset of jet engined aviation in Europe. The silhouette with the two tail booms leading to the horizontal stabilizer stays a particular sight and is always a pleasure to watch.

(Serge Van Heertum)

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

The Hawker Patrol

Presented for the first time in 2014, this team flies the Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 from Christophe Jacquard and the Hawker Hunter T.68 from the Swiss Hunter Team in close formation. A brilliant idea!  A nice tribute to this fantastic designer Sir Sidney Camm, who also, let us not forget, designed the Hurricane. Stunning mix, the sound of a piston and a jet engine together.

(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)

(Marc Arys)

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

The aircraft of Marcel Dassault

We do not have to present Mr Marcel Dassault, French manufacturer, who designed several mythical airplanes such as the Ouragan, the Mystère and other Mirage... This scenery was dedicated to some of his achievements to start with the most modern, the Rafale, flown with mastery by Capt. Benoit “Tao” Planche. This last “tiger” (created by our contributor Régis “Rage” Rocca) offered a spirited display to the enchanted crowd. A mixture of strength, power and elegance... Followed by one of the first after war designs as Marcel Dassault, a pair of MD312 and 315 “Flamant” from the “Les 4 d'Albert” association based at the Albert airfield in Northern France

(Marc Arys) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)

(Jacques Vincent)

(Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)    (Marc Arys)    (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Unlikely pair

Normally when you constitute a pair or an aerobatic team, you take care to standardize the aircraft, painting or suits to ensure to be recognized visually. This is not the fact with these two aerobatic passionate stooges creating an asymmetric pair flying a Pitss S2 and a Mudry Cap 231. The small and stubby Pitts opposed to the fine and elegant lines of the Cap 231 makes it a very interesting sight. A pair you need to to see !

(Marc Arys)

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

Apocalypse now

Good morning Vietnam... a scenery dedicated to this South-East Asian conflict which undoubtedly got bogged down. Evolution of conflicts and technologies. For this page of history we had the Rockwell OV-10B “Bronco” observation and ground attack aircraft displaying an incredible flexibility from the European Aviation Museum of Montélimar. Followed by an attack by three Douglas A4D “Skyraider” (F-AZHK from VEGA, F-AZFN from AMPAA and F-AZDP from AJBS) and once again the show was on rendez-vous as the explosions and clouds of smoke were very present. The Vietnam war and the images engraved in our memories are those from the helicopters flying over the jungle and rice fields. To represent this part a Bell Jet Ranger flew in front of the public dancing in and out of the smoke... Once again, a nice show.

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Jacques Vincent)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Marc Arys)
(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)

The Patrouille de France

To conclude these aerial festivities, indeed without a doubt this day was a real aeronautical feast, the Patrouille de France 2015 displayed her routine. Eight aircraft, blue, white and red coloured the skies of la Ferté Alais to salute the crowd present “en masse”. Some 45.000 people (counted) had gathered at the Cerny-plateau to watch those magnificent men in their flying machines.

A flashing finale of a meeting as we love to see them.  Sadly on Saturday the Patrouille de France had to perform her 'low' show as clouds had formed overhead the airfield.
 

The Patrouille de France 2015 :
 

 ATHOS 01  Cdt Romain Bethoux

 ATHOS 02  Cpt Philippe Castagnet       ATHOS 03  Cpt Bertrand Tardif

 ATHOS 04  Cdt Christophe Dubois

 ATHOS 05  Cpt Olivier Blanc-Tailleur      ATHOS 06  Cpt Benjamin Chanat

 ATHOS 07  Cpt Hervé Aubert     
ATHOS 08  Cpt Benjamin Michel
 

 ATHOS 09  Cpt William Leroy (Reserve)

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Marc Arys) (Marc Arys)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Serge Van Heertum)

Memorial Flight

After this finale the “Memorial Flight” association rewarded the last spectators with a flight of their Sopwith 1 ½  Strutter. Again a beautifully restored and rebuild machine. Those passionate are real maniacs rebuilding their aircraft of the Great War with original parts or rebuilding the parts by plan as they were originally built. Simply incredible ! More over, to respect to the maximum the historical aspect of their jewels, they remanufacture the paints, even remanufacturing the brushes like those used in the early years of aviation. Just brilliant to find these aircraft of the Great War as they were back then. Mad men? Maybe, but for the greatest joy of all the aviation aficionados.

Great, guys ! Please do continue like this !

(Serge Van Heertum) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)
(Marc Arys) (Serge Van Heertum)

Machine and men

The most important scenery of this meeting, this aerial feast, took place all along the weekend and more over before and after the airshow. All those men and women who made this weekend to what it was : a real success. Some working in the “shadow” other in the “lights”, but all working towards the same direction...

With our pictures we would like to thank all of them, be they pilots, mechanics, hosts and hostesses, responsible people for the media or any other people on the job.

Congratulations to the team, “Salis and his gang”, who set the sights high, very high.

Already looking forward to the Pentecost weekend 2016...

 (Serge Van Heertum)   (Marc Arys)   (Jacques Vincent)

The SBAP team wishes to thank warmly Jean Salis, his team and in particular Mrs Derenne, responsible for the media, for their cordial reception and facilities granted during our stay at this “Aviation Fair” and dedicate these page in gratitude to them.

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