Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum and Others as mentionned - Translation: Marc Arys  © sbap 2016

La Ferté Alais. This name still and always resound as the must of the collector's aviation event in continental Europe and even more during the yearly meeting of 'la bande à Salis' (the 'Salis' gang). This traditional event was held on May 14 and 15 at the Cerny airfield and for the 44th edition, the aerial feast was once again a succes.
Sadly in May the weather remains capricious and saturday was one of the coldest days with a harsh northerly wind. Sunday was a little bit better with beautiful blue breakthroughs.
The heavy rains from the preceeding weeks had soaked the ground and as the airfield has a grass runway some aircraft could not take to the sky, as the Skyraider f.e. at the risk of getting bogged down. To highlight the return of the B-17G "Pink Lady", a taxi run was planned but again, in fear of being stuck on the soaky runway, the B-17G team decided not to go ahead. Maybe next time...
Historical aviation is a delicate machinery and a technical failure prevented the Messerschmitt Bf-109G "Red 7" from flying in from Germany. He was a much awaited star on the set but safety and preservation are more important and with regrets, the EADS team had to cancel the appearance of "Gustav" at Cerny.
But let us leave all this aside and move on to what once again was an aviation festival, historical as well as modern, as the meeting at La Ferté Alais, commonly named 'Le temps des hélices' (the propeller era) remains a subtle mix of castor oil and jet fuel.

Before the show, the field vibrates on the aviation themes and one can go wandering around having a look at the aircraft on the apron, have a maiden flight in an historical plane, buying all kind of stuff at the numerous booths, having books signed by the authors or the new phenomena, aviation cartoons like f.e. the Pin-Up Wings 4th Opus from Romain Hugault.
After a profitable morning and a little lunch break, it was time to get to the heart of the matter and make the most of 5 hours non-stop aerial entertainment.
We will not sum up the entire participation list as the pictures speak for themselves, although certain demonstrations deserve some comments.
Right at the start there was a salute to one of the backbones and unparalelled pilots Marc "Léon" Mathis, who tragically slipped away during a testflight in 2015. All his friends at La Ferté valued to give him a last public tribute and flew 5 Zlin 326 and 526, the favourite plane of "Léon", who, during all those years, presentd a mind-blowing display culminating in a low, very low flyby upside down. This was a bit like his signature and she will stay engraved for always in our memories. So long "Léon".
Afterwards, following the comments of Bernard Chabbert, aviation history was told beginning with the pioneers who were real daredevils in their "stringed trays". Followed by the tragical events of World War I and aerial combat overhead the trenches of Verdun.
A little halt on American aviation of the 1930's with exceptional planes like the Laird LC-RW300, the Waco, type 10, the elegant Stinson SR-10C Reliant and the amazing Travel Air 4000, in short, transatlantic aviation history of our grandparents.
The historical presentation during this meeting was from time to time interspresed with more modern displays: the Reva patrouille, the Breitling Wing Walkers or the FX MDM-1 glider from the UK. Surprising demonstration with the "ejection" of the passenger, who flew back to earth under his parachute after a little "duet" with the glider.
Then we had the pages dedicated to Sir Geofrrey de Havilland taking the spectators to the darker pages of World War II. With the German invasion and airplanes adorned with black crosses swarming in the European skies, the allied fighters with the Spitfire LF Mk Vb and the very recognizable whistling of the North American P-51D 'Mustang'.
On with the traditional "Tora Tora Tora" marking the entry of the United States into the war in December 1941. The war in the Pacific was represented by a PBY-5A Catalina, real warbird, which in 1944 sank the U-Boot U-342.
Still into the second world war, the battle of France with the Curtiss H-75 "Hawk" and other falcons from Staline, the Yak of Normandie-Niemen.
Aerial transportation is also part of the history and to highlight this less war-like chapter we could see a splendid Lockheed "Electra Junior" and the elegant Beech D-18. Followed by a tribute to one of the bigger transatlantic manufacturer Boeing with a majestic Boeing B747 "Jumbo" from the Corsair Company, a "Stearman" and a "Kaydet".
Leaving the transport aviation and aerial voyages rhyming with sunny holidays, the history moved on into a more modern and darker world with the Vietnam conflict, the excessively mediatized South-Eastern Asian war.
At last, to conclude, let's have a look at "our era" with a mighty participation of the Marine Nationale, actually in the heart of the anti-islamic conflict in Syria and Irak, the Sécurité Civile, which watches over populations and fights a.o. forest fires. Well done, guys, you are doing a hell of a job.
A tactical demo of a C-160 Transall from the 3/61 "Poitou" and from Belgium, a Westland Seaking of the Belgian Air Force giving a spirited "Search and Rescue" display 'next to the grass'.
The airshow of La Ferté is traditionally concluded by the Patrouille de France, but only on Saturday. On Sunday it was the Patrouille Tranchant who took the honours. What a happiness to see 4 Fouga Magister again flying an aerobatic display, signed with white smokes. This certainly brought me back to my youth when I admired the "Red Devils" during early airshows. Aah well, those 60's and 70's... only joy with these red airplanes and their "butterfly" ('V') tails. Of course, no deafening noise and power, but a superb ballet with pure elegance which thrilled more than one Fouga lover at the Cerny airfield.
This 44th edition was once again a great success to the delight of thousands of spectators, which came to admire these magnificent men in their flying machines. Personally I already blocked the 45th edition in my agenda and the SBAP-team, thought these lines, wishes to thank the organizers, the gang of Salis, the pilots, the mechanics and the media department for their cordial reception. Many thanks to Madame Derenne in particular, our privileged press contact, for her reliance and precious help to the completion of this page.
 Aerial view of Cerny Airfield, well known as "La Ferté Alais" (Google Earth)
Special Visitors
Technam P2006T Dynali Helicopter H3
Back to the past
(© Bruno Ghils)

(© Pierre Taquet)
(© Bruno Ghils) (© Bruno Ghils)
 Scheibe SF 28 Tandem-Falke & Bébé Jodel
 Zlin 326 & Zlin 526
 Marc "Léon" Mathis tribute... ...the missing man formation
 Zlin 526 (F-AZRV) Zlin 326 (F-BNMU)
 Zlin 526F (FHAKZ) Zlin 326 (F-BNRR)
 Zlin 526F (D-EEBH) Goodbye "Léon", we will miss your inverted very low passes
 Dassault Rafale C
 Cpt Jean-Guillaume "Marty" Martinez is the 2016 display pilot High power demonstration with "Tao" as coach
 Caudron G III & Blériot XI-2
 Fokker Dr.1 & SE5A replica
 Bücker B-131 "Jungmann"
SPAD (Société Pour les Avions Déperdussin) XIII
  Edmond Salis
 Acroez Varieze & Acroez Longeze
 Laird LC-RW300 (NC4442) - Waco Type 10 (F-AYCO)
Stinson SR-10C Reliant (F-GPJS) - Curtiss-Wright Travel Air 4000 (NC4418)
 Waco Type 10 Laird LC-RW300
 Stinson SR-10C Reliant Curtiss-Wright Travel Air 4000
 Glider FX MDM-1 Fox (G-IIFX)
 Woupsss... ...little bit crazy, no?
 De Havilland DH-84 Dragon 2 & De Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk T.22
 Junkers Ju-52-3M "Tante Ju" - Morane Saulnier MS-505 (Fieseler Fi-156 "Storch") - Bücker Bu-181B "Bestmann"
 Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb (EP120) & North American P-51D "Mustang" (F-AZSB)
 Extra 330SC (F-TGCJ) & Extra 330SC (F-HXAL)
Male and Female champions together... ...at the break
 Cpt Alexandre "Popov" Orlowski, unlimited world champion Aude Lemordant, world champion 2013-2015
 Naval Aircraft Factory N3N-3 (F-AZNF) - Ryan PT-22A "Recruit" (N53018) - Boeing PT-13 "Stearman" (F-AZJR)
North American T-6G, SNJ-5, AT-6C-1-NT Harvard IIa
Curtiss P-40N "Warhawk" (F-AZKU)
 Early the morning on December 7th, 1941... ...above Hawaï island
 Attack launched... ...by the Japanese Imperial Navy
 Consolidated / Canso PBY-5A Catalina (N9767)

 The 9767 was built in 1942 under licence in Canada. The plane served the RCAF 162 Squadron during the World War II and on on April 17th, 1944, this Catalina sinked the U-342 South of Reykjavik. From 1946 to 1959, the plane was operated by Canadian Pacific Airlines (CF-CRR).
Afterwaerd, the plane was modified into Fire Bomber in 1970 and operated by Avalon Aviation until 1980.
The plane was acquired by a French pilot in 1994 and transformed into flying TV broadcast studio. 
Transferred to Orly in 1999, the plane was abandonned during 10 years. Bought by another French aviation freak, the plane was restaured and left Orly for Melun on December 2010. Since 2015 the plane is paint as the famous "Calypso" from the Commandant Cousteau for a movie about the history of this sea lover.
This is in fact a warbird with a glorious World War II past and a victory against the German invaders.
 RCAF 162 (BR) Squadron colours in 2014
 Like the plane was during the World War II   U-342 (U-boot VIIc type) attack on April 17th, 1944 (© RCAF archives)
Between 1946 and 1959 operated by Canadian Pacific Airlines (SBAP Archives)
 Canadian Pacific Airlines without colours (CF-CRR)
(Courtesy Eddy Coates)
  1960 purchased by Northland Airlines of Winnipeg.
(Courtesy Tim Martin)
From 1977 until 1979, the plane was operated as a fire fighting tanker for Avalon Aviation at Red Deer Alberta (C-FCRR) (SBAP archives)
 Impressive crash picture, on May 27th, 1978 at Sylvan Lake (Alberta). 
Results after a too hard scooping pass. (SBAP archives)
  Put in a wreckage area at Parry Sound in 1988, remaining there until 1992.
(Courtesy Eric Dumigan)
 In October 1995 the C-FCRR owned by Franklin Devaux
 departed for Africa equipped as a flying TV studio for use 
in a French TV natural history series called “Operation Okavango”.
  In flight above Africa
(Both pictures courtesy EFHA)
 In 1998 to commemorate the Aéropostal mail flights flown 
by Jean Mermoz between France and Dakar, 
The Catalina left Toulouse on 14 October, and by 28 November 1998, 
C-FCRR had arrived in Santiago of Chile via West Africa.
(Courtesy EFHA)
  After this commemorative flight, the C-FCRR was presented 
at Paris airshow in june 1999. 
This was the last appearence, the plane was stored 
afterward for 10 years.
(© Serge Van Heertum)
 On December 22nd, 2010,  former C-FCRR, now N9767, took the skies again.  
The flight departed Orly and heading Melun where the plane is based.
(Courtesy Jacques Guilem)
  2011 the N9767 wearing various sponsors' logo
(Courtesy AerialWaters)
 Today at La Ferté Alais 2016
 Today with the "Calypso paint scheme
Splashdown in the grass...amazing
 Lockheed 12A "Electra Junior" (F-AZLL) & Beechcraft D18S (N2913B)
 The Lockheed 12A "Electra Junior" is one of the Stars you can see in the movie "Amelia" shot in South Africa. The plane is owned by Bernard Chabbert Pegase TV. 
 Boeing 747-422 serial 26877 (F-HSEA)
 Boeing PT-13 "Stearman" (F-AZJR) & Boeing PT-17 "Kaydet" (F-AZGR)
 Curtiss H75 "Hawk"
 Yakovlev Yak-3 (F-AZLY) "5 white" - Yakovlev Yak 3-UA "4 white" (F-AZXZ) - Yakovlev Yak-11 "14 white "(F-AZNN)
 Breguet Atlantic II n°21 - Dassault Rafale M n° 14 / 21 / 30 / 42
Morane-Saulnier MS-760 "Paris" (F-AZLT) - Potez Fouga CM-175 "Zéphyr" (F-AZFF) - Breguet BR.1050 "Alizé" (F-AZYI)
Morane Saulnier MS-733 "Alcyon" (F-BKOI) & (F-BKOJ)
 Pitts S-2B (F-HBOB) & Mudry-Apex Cap 222 (F-WWMZ)
 Vogt Lo-100 Zwergreiher (D-1060) & (D-5793)
 North American OV-10B Bronco (F-AZKM) & North American T-28A Fennec (F-AZKG)
 Boeing PT-17 "Kaydet" (N707TJ) & (N74189)
(© Pierre Taquet)   (© Bruno Ghils)   (© Pierre Taquet) 
 Eurocopter EC-145 (F-ZBQG) - Grumman TS-2A "Tracker"/Conair Turbo Firecat (F-ZBMA)
Canadair CL-415-6B11 (F-ZBFS)
 C-160 "Transall" 64-GK from ECT 3/61 "Poitou"
 Westlang Seaking Mk 48 Belgian Air Force 40 Squadron
 Potez CM-170R Fouga Magister n°1 (F-GJMN) - n°2 (F-AZZD) - n°3 (F-GKYF) - n°4 (F-GSYD)
  This recall me the Belgian "Red Devils"
 Thrills guaranteed for the Fouga lovers

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