Text: Régis Rocca - Pictures: Régis Rocca & Patrick Brouckaert - Translation: Charles Cassells  © sbap 2015
Back to the tiger's lair.

As the motto says: "once a Tiger, always a Tiger". This was proven true on the first week-end of September in Cambrai. On the Saturday, we were witnesses to an incredible feat: the re-opening of the runway of the former French Air Force Base 103 (closed in 2012) for the landing of an A400M Atlas, the most recent of its class and the French Air Force's latest addition to its fleet. With five star Generals Denis Mercier (Chief of Staff) and Antoine Creux (Deputy Chief of Staff) and the Mayor of Cambrai plus several other distinguished visitors in attendance, this magnificent aircraft belonging to Airlift Squadron 1/61 Touraine was named "Ville de Cambrai".
After the ceremony, the "Espace Tigre" was opened in the centre of Cambrai, complete with an exact replica of the Escadron de Chasse 1/12 bar. The evening was also the occasion of a joyful reunion of old Tigers, among which "Doc", "Don" and "Damned", which led to a dinner in a true Tiger Meet atmosphere.

On the Sunday, despite non-cooperative weather, a great airshow was staged with a succession of tactical, aerobatic and warbirds displays. To mention but a few: a fine display by a French Navy Flotille 35F Dauphin, skillfully hoisting personnel and stretcher casualties, then came came probably the day's most impressive display with the "Ville de Cambrai" A400M demonstrating its nimbleness and power in such a way that even the fighter pilots among the spectators were left speechless.
Then came a number of teams: the Patrouille Réva trio, the two Dassault Flamants (belonging to the Amicale des Avions Anciens d'Albert, who came as neighbours), the four Aerostar Yak-50s, the Cartouche Doré Epsilons and the very unusual Breton Shuttle -an electrically powered Cricri riding atop of an MH-1521 Broussard.

Among the warbirds, we were treated to a T-6 "circus", complete with pyrotechnical effects, a splendid Curtiss P-40 adorned with a Burma Banshees skull (well known to readers of the Angel Wings comics by Romain Hugault), and a very impressive Grumman TBM-3R Avenger. A fine tribute was paid to the Normandie-Niémen heroes in the shape of a Yak 3 in tricolour livery.
A PBY Catalina was also present, in special livery as it is currently taking part in the filming of a biopic about Jacques-Yves Cousteau (played by Lambert Wilson and directed by Jérôme Salle, expected for 2016).
Jet fans were not forgotten with two Belgian F-16s that took off especially for the airshow before returning to their Operational Presence mission in Belgium. An elegant Fouga Magister was also displayed.
Aerobatic display teams were also there, with Capitaine François Rallet giving his last official display as an EVAA pilot, in front of an audience that saw his debut.
The Belgian Agusta A-109 demonstration team hotted things up with its many flares. But the cherry on the cake was the presence of the Rafale Solo Display, re-routed for a special mini-display in "Monster Tiger" livery, followed, for a perfect conclusion, by the Patrouille de France.
The week-end was a great success, perfectly orchestrated by Philippe Macé, the Aeroclub President, with the participation of the French Air Force and the patronage of General Denis Mercier. The success was also due to the participation of all Tigers and former Escadron de Chasse 1/12 "Cambrésis" members.

Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!

Saturday @ Cambrai-Epinoy

(Régis Rocca)
Sunday @ Cambrai-Niergnies
Sud SE-3130 Alouette II  (Patrick Brouckaert) Sud-Aviation SA365 Dauphin 2  (Patrick Brouckaert)
Agusta A109BA  (Patrick Brouckaert) Globe GC-1B Swift  (Patrick Brouckaert)
Stampe & Vertongen SV-4 Lycoming equipped  (Patrick Brouckaert) Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing  (Patrick Brouckaert)
Piper L4H  (Patrick Brouckaert) UTVA Aero 3  (Patrick Brouckaert)
Cessna 195  (Patrick Brouckaert) Yakovlev Yak 50  (Patrick Brouckaert)
North American T-6 Harvard  (Patrick Brouckaert) De Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk 22  (Patrick Brouckaert)
Max Holste MH-1521 C1 Broussard  (Patrick Brouckaert) Boeing PT-17 Kaydet (A75N1)  (Patrick Brouckaert)
Consolidated PBY-5A (Canso) "Catalina" (Patrick Brouckaert) (Patrick Brouckaert)
(Patrick Brouckaert) Dassault MD-312 Flamant  (Patrick Brouckaert)
Grumman TBM-3R Avenger  (Patrick Brouckaert) Yakovlev Yak 3  (Patrick Brouckaert)

Marine Nationale Dauphin medevac display (Régis Rocca)
Airbus Military A400M  (Régis Rocca) The MSN.19 "Ville de Cambrai"(Régis Rocca)

"Patrouille REVA" aerobatic team  (Régis Rocca)
The Dassault Flamant duo from "Les 4 d'Albert" (Régis Rocca) (Régis Rocca)
(Régis Rocca) (Régis Rocca)

The British team "Aerostars"  (Régis Rocca)

The "Breton Shuttle"... The Broussard and the MC-15 "Cricri" presented by Yves Duval  (Régis Rocca)
Attack Attack Attack... (Régis Rocca) (Régis Rocca)
(Patrick Brouckaert) (Patrick Brouckaert)
(Régis Rocca) (Régis Rocca)

The Curtiss P-40-N-5-CU Kittyhawk from the Burma Banshees  (Régis Rocca)

The massive Grumman Avenger preserved in Switzerland (Régis Rocca)
Normandie-Niemen (alias NeuNeu) tribute with the Yakovlev Yak 3  (Régis Rocca)
The Catalina used for the Cdt Cousteau biopic  (Régis Rocca) The plane is a former RCAF aircraft  (Régis Rocca)
The Belgian Air Force quick reaction alert (QRA)...  (Régis Rocca) ...spending a noisy visit to the show  (Régis Rocca)
The almost elegant Fouga Magister...  (Régis Rocca) ...in the hands of Pierre Fages  (Régis Rocca)

Belgian Air Force Agusta A109 solo display with many flares effect  (Régis Rocca)
Little visit of "Tao" and the "Monstertiger"  (Régis Rocca)

(Régis Rocca) (Régis Rocca)
(Régis Rocca) (Régis Rocca)

(Régis Rocca)
The always appreciated final...
The "Patrouille de France"
(Régis Rocca)

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