Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: SBAP team see personnal mention - Translation: Marc Arys
© sbap 2018
 
 

Awaited for two years, it was the major public event of the Belgian Air Force in 2018. Alternately organized between the two fighter bases, Florennes and Kleine Brogel, the latter had the honours to host the 2018 edition.
On Friday preceding the public weekend, a "spotters day" was organized for some 2.000 photographers and schools in the vicinity of the airbase. Despite a very pleasant weather and some beautiful aircraft, as we will see further on, frustration of the spotters (who paid for this day) was high, as more of half the participants already arrived on Thursday and most of them had their rehearsals done. The general criticism was they paid a little too much as to only have part of the arrivals. Besides this flaw, Friday saw arrivals and demonstrations, with in the morning the "smashing" arrival of the Ukrainian delegation with a fly-by of the two Sukhoi SU-27 and the support Ilyushin IL-76.
Also noteworthy was the very awaited arrival of the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II flown in from Italy. Normally the arrival was foreseen on Thursday as well, but due to a technical problem with the support aircraft, the "beast" flew in during the "spotters day"… Luckily…

Doors closed at 18.00 hrs and unfortunately, two "exotic" machines arrived after the closure (one more frustration for some spotters), the CV-22B Osprey from Mildenhall and the Portuguese Air Force EH-101, both to be displayed in the static area during the weekend.
On to the weekend of the Belgian Air Force Days, which attracted some 72.000 visitors and made this event a success. Beautiful weather, numerous displays in the skies of Kleine Brogel, mixing modern and ancient aircraft, helicopters, military and civilian as well…
Regarding the highlights of the program, the Ukrainian Air Force SU-27 was undoubtedly the culmination of those two days. Also noteworthy was the flight of our "Red Devils" together with the Fouga Magister MT-5 based at Deurne-Antwerp, but also the preamble of the F-16 solo-display "Vador" together with the Spitfire Mk XVI recently arrived in Belgium.
The airshow as well stressed out the end of the venerable and still elegant Seaking within the Belgian Air Force and which, on this occasion should have been put in the spotlight with in pair of NH-90 NFH or even a fly-by with all remaining Seakings…
On the international side, we had the presence of the Spanish and Swiss F-18 solo display, Czech Gripen, Typhoon FGR4 from our neighbours from across the Channel, the Armée de l'Air Rafale…
The aerobatic teams on the other hand, lacked some participants. We had the Royal Jordanian Falcons and the Danish "Baby Blue" Team for the "light" teams, the civilian Breitling Jet Team and the Patrouille de France only for the closure on Sunday. Too bad the skies of Kleine Brogel did not see more colours of other nations' display teams…
Another organizational problem, which is not only to happen at the BAF Days, but also at other European airshows, is the incessant ballet of shuttles and other vehicles driving in front of the public, masking more than regularly the views of this public. Could there be any possibility to let those civilian vehicles, driving VIP and other guests, pass behind the public area, public, not to forget, public which paid to see an airshow, and not a ballet of utility vehicles.
At last, the static exhibition, allowing everyone to have a closer look at these mythical aircraft. First thing to see, was the scantiness regarding former years. I remember the parallel runway of KB stretching some 3 km, filled from end to end with international aircraft, like F-15 wearing combat marking, a litany of all kind of Tornado's wearing anniversary markings or all the decorated aircraft of the Belgian Air Force, be they based at Kleine Brogel or not. I would like to emphasize, that the presence of the Alpha Jet, especially painted for the 11th Squadron anniversary and probably the last painted one to be seen, as the Alpha Jets have been put up for sale, would have been one of the major highlights of the static exhibition. But the aircraft was displayed at another airshow abroad and not in Belgium. Which reminds me of the saying : the cobbler's children go barefoot !
What came out of this static display line, despite the presence of three candidates for the replacement of the F-16, were numerous empty spots and numerous civilian or collection aircraft, giving the impression to have been put into place to fill up those emptiness's.
The criticism included is the present report has to be taken objectively and in a constructive way. The goal being to bring the message out from the visitors to the organizers, far from being destructive, as in the end 72.000 visitors, including the SBAP-team, enjoyed the show, the sounds, the fuel smells and smokes…
As we were about ten on the premises, you will have a "best of" every of our photographers presenting 25 pictures each, with in the end a focus on what will stay the stars of 2018 edition, the Sukhoi Su-27 and the Lockheed-Martin F-35A.
We present you around 300 pictures, giving you an idea of the event and the talents of our team members, who were present on those four days, all over the base, be it on the public or operational side.
Hopefully this page can generate the envy to attend the 2020 edition at Florennes airbase, as only being organized every two years.
SBAP would like to thank the team at ComOpsAir IPR for the granted press facilities, and the "Vielles Tiges de Belgique" for the VIP invitation, and all those who worked hard for giving us this fabulous aviation weekend.

 
 
Good little Devils
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Tornado arrival
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Typhoon Vortex
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Dark Falcon
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The past and the present
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 Black sky
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
An Indian in the bush
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Sky trooper
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Pollution control ... in an airshow?
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 Alouette...Gentille Alouette!
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
You are warned
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 The "Red Devils" then and now...
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Majestic clouds...we are so little
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 Jordanian maestria
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Allo Police...
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The King
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
One of the last public appearance
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 The  and only one fighter
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Vador force...
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
 Metalic green camo
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Olé!
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
The burning storm of Zeus god
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Parking assistance
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Swiss lighter
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Hot turbulences
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
Greek reversal
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Swiss Support
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Reverse
(Anthony Graulus ©)
The reflections of the Hawk
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Black bird duo
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Portuguese wizard
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Iberian Hercules
(Anthony Graulus ©)
 Orange above
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Devils forever
(Anthony Graulus ©)
 Gripen force
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Facing the HUD
(Anthony Graulus ©)
The flying classroom
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Weapon flail squadron
(Anthony Graulus ©)
On the runway
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Fulcrum
(Anthony Graulus ©)
French gust
(Anthony Graulus ©)
So green as a Baby Blue
(Anthony Graulus ©)
 Perfect quartet
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Back in the glorious 60's
(Anthony Graulus ©)
 From the Caiman...
(Anthony Graulus ©)
...to the Tiger
(Anthony Graulus ©)
 Austrian Lerche
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Blur of greenery
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Peninsula Hornet
(Anthony Graulus ©)
Greek fashion smoke
(Anthony Graulus ©)
When the British meet  the American
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Around the bird 
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Dijon's men
(Pierre Taquet ©)
 Break Baby...Break!
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Polished Falcons
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Festive Gripen
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Victory roll
(Pierre Taquet ©)
 Lightning support
(Pierre Taquet ©)
An American in KB
(Pierre Taquet ©)
His Majesty's Navy
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Local birds
(Pierre Taquet ©)
 The new sea...King
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Fire Typhoon
(Pierre Taquet ©)
 The old lady is going well
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Perfect knife pass
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Face to face with the Hirundo 
(Pierre Taquet ©)
41 years ago
(Pierre Taquet ©)
 Swiss top fighter
(Pierre Taquet ©)
When Atlas makes the Grizzly
(Pierre Taquet ©)
 Landing gear roll
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Greek fashionable falcon
(Pierre Taquet ©)
 Clear smoke and Dark falcon
(Pierre Taquet ©)
So perfect
(Pierre Taquet ©)
French mode crossing 
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Do we mix up the brushes?
(Pierre Taquet ©)
Refueling and a little chop on the windshield?
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
 Hip Hip Hip...hourra
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
In case of...
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Slow motion Tiger 
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Eliptic wings
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Apocalypse Brogel 
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Special forces
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
So new as the Sonaca 200 
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
ecroF riA eceerG
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Swiss top side
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
From Merlin to Merlin
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
 Go...go...go
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
The tight peloton
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Danish fashion
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
The king and his court
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
All out...
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
...and landing with the arrestor hook still deployed
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
 The Hunter
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Fruit salad...(Orange and Grapefruit)
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Remove before flight ! 
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Flying Gas Station
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Like a Swiss Chronograph 
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Spider "Babouc" at low level
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Extra...isn't it? 
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Against the light
(Serge van Oosterzee ©)
Behind the scenes
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
 When the French...
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
...meet the British (competitor)
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
 Move before start up !
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Treiber und Browser
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Duck plan
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Citation style
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
 Still nose up
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Danish sweeties
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Final short turn 
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Hornet drag
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Nap at the edge of the track
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
A fiery horse in tall grass
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
 21 in total...
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Slovakian surprise
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
The "young" one...
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
...and the "old" one
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Hercules leaves the arena
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Jordanian speed
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
The best position to see what happen under the wings 
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
As at rush hour
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
SAR (Seaking Air Remembrance) 
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
72.000 visitors...Impossible to put everyone on the picture...
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Swiss curves 
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
American Indian people (Chinook)
(Philip Verhasselt ©)
Fast Czech 
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The weapons choice
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Inverted British vortex
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Into the team 
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Tiger Grasshopper
(Jacques Vincent ©)
 Danish big nose
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The "candy box"
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Head in the clouds
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Tiger turbine
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The Royal Navy on HMS KB 
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Colibri
(Jacques Vincent ©)
 Avord Teacher
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The Greek in the pampas
(Jacques Vincent ©)
 Fregate Helicopter
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Hercules and the indians
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Swiss power 
(Jacques Vincent ©)
High turn
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Belgian white bird 
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Black and Grey
(Jacques Vincent ©)
The run 
(Jacques Vincent ©)
RAF Falcons parade
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Gliding bull
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Twin Falcon
(Jacques Vincent ©)
 Gear down pull up
(Jacques Vincent ©)
"Babouc" dance
(Jacques Vincent ©)
Shards of sun
(Marc Arys ©)
Flying bear 
(Marc Arys ©)
Aerobatics
(Marc Arys ©)
Bothelin guy's in action 
(Marc Arys ©)
Light effects
(Marc Arys ©)
Pleasure flights 
(Marc Arys ©)
Defender pair
(Marc Arys ©)
Glider tango 
(Marc Arys ©)
Lack of lift
(Marc Arys ©)
In the claws of the Gripen
(Marc Arys ©)
Hawker jewell
(Marc Arys ©)
Synchro trio 
(Marc Arys ©)
From France with love
(Marc Arys ©)
Rafale wash 
(Marc Arys ©)
"Babouc" at office
(Marc Arys ©)
Like a razor
(Marc Arys ©)
Tip Top position
(Marc Arys ©)
A little bit fresh air
(Marc Arys ©)
Griffon perfection
(Marc Arys ©)
 Dutch trio
(Marc Arys ©)
Yellow trainer
(Marc Arys ©)
Flashing Typhoon 
(Marc Arys ©)
Like a shark
(Marc Arys ©)
 Upsite down
(Marc Arys ©)
# "Vador Force"
(Marc Arys ©)
Make your choice! Heu...it's done Sir...
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Avispón
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Σπαρτιάτης
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
الصقر الملكي الأردني
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Elegancy
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Tactical Capacity 
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
"Pierre" and his OO-NEW toy
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Summer in the wheat fields
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Pandion haliaetus (alias Osprey)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Special forces Osprey 
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Point 50 caliber machine gun
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
They need a glazier more than a watchmaker
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Cargo bay
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Devils...yes but not so "Red"
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
The tiger's paw
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Back to the past ... Forward to the future
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
"Vador"...the Black side of the Air Force
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Bursting in the sun
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Our beautiful colours!
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
 Oups...arretor hook landing...
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
...and how to give some work to the firebrigade
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Big eyes are watching you
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Facing the Merlin
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Brazilian forms
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
Bye Bye KB
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
 
Ukrainian delegation Sukhoi SU-27
(Jacques Vincent ©)
(Philip Verhasselt ©) (Philip Verhasselt ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Philip Verhasselt ©)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Serge van Oosterzee ©) (Serge van Oosterzee ©)

(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Anthony Graulus ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Philip Verhasselt ©) (Philip Verhasselt ©)
(Philip Verhasselt ©) (Philip Verhasselt ©)
(Philip Verhasselt ©) (Philip Verhasselt ©)
(Anthony Graulus ©) (Anthony Graulus ©)

(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Anthony Graulus ©)
(Jacques Vincent ©) (Pierre Taquet ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Jacques Vincent ©) (Pierre Taquet ©)
(Pierre Taquet ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Serge van Oosterzee ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Marc Arys ©) (Marc Arys ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©)
(Philip Verhasselt ©) (Patrick Brouckaert ©)
(Anthony Graulus ©)
 
Italian Air Force Lockheed-Martin F-35A Lightning II
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Pierre Taquet ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Anthony Graulus ©) (Serge van Oosterzee ©)
(Pierre Taquet ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Philip Verhasselt ©) (Philip Verhasselt ©)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©) (Patrick Brouckaert ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Serge Van Heertum ©)
(Philip Verhasselt ©) (Philip Verhasselt ©)
(Patrick Brouckaert ©) (Patrick Brouckaert ©)
(Jacques Vincent ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Jacques Vincent ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Jacques Vincent ©) (Jacques Vincent ©)
(Marc Arys ©) (Patrick Brouckaert ©)
 

On October 25th, the decision of the Belgian government was unveiled mentionning its choice concerning the F-35A Lightning II Lockheed - Martin to replace the fleet of F-16A & B.
The order will cover thirty four aircraft, the first four ship should be delivered in 2023 and it is Kleine Brogel airbase who will receive these first batch. Could that give this ...

Just for fun...  (Serge Van Heertum ©)
 

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