Text & Pictures: Serge Van Heertum - Translation: Marc Arys  ęsbap 2021
   

On 28 January 2021, the Belgian Air Force presented the new paint scheme of the Agusta A109BAi solo display. H46 helicopter (OT-AKN), last one delivered (in February 1994) of a series of 46 aircraft ordered by the Belgian authorities on December 8th, 1988, which exchanged its traditional green livery for a much bolder paint scheme.
In fact, in addition to the wolf with the aggressive temperament of the 17th squadron, the new livery created by Jeroen van Veenendaal (to whom we owe the previous A109 demo) is based on a disruptive camouflage. Disruptive camouflage, also known as Razzle Dazzle in Anglo-Saxon countries or in the United States, was a camouflage technique designed to protect ships from artillery and torpedo fire, preventing the adversary from accurately estimating its position and heading.
Attributed to the artist Norman Wilkinson, this camouflage is based on a complex pattern of intertwined irregular lines and high-contrast colours to break up the silhouette of the camouflaged device (boats, vehicles or aircraft).
This type of camouflage was widely used in the last year of the First World War, less so during the Second World War and became obsolete with the progress made in telemetry and the advent of a new detection technique: the radar.
During the presentation, the Air Force wanted to bet on the Roll-out with fog and light effect and the outcome was very successful, the fog dissipating little by little and letting us guess this famous new paint scheme. The aim of this new livery is to show a demonstrator that is much more colourful than the previous ones in order to create the "wow" effect both in flight and when visible on the ground.
The 2021 display of the "Razzle Blades" will be flown by Commander Aviator Jo Jacobs and Stijn Soenens and supported by the men in the shadows, the technical team.
The Air Force authorities want to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Air Force, which was founded in 1946, with a major event of great magnitude and highly appreciated by amateurs, I have named the "Belgian Air Force Days"; and of course by adding the demonstration teams: F-16AM Solo Display, the must-see "Red Devils" and of course the A109 "Razzle Blades".
The only shadow to this idyllic picture remains of course the pandemic situation, the aptly named Covid-19. There is no way of saying whether the festivities will take place or not, but the organizers' confidence in the future remains intact and they must continue to prepare the organization of the event, because this takes time and it is more appropriate to cancel the "rage at the heart" at the last minute than to organize anything in a hurry.
And now, it is time to follow us on the Beauvechain airbase and discover the official presentation of "Razzle Blades". Ready ? Lift off !

   
The first "Belgian Air Force" report of 2021 took place at the Beauvechain airbase...
Welcome to the 17th Squadron den A normal duty day with some rain
The H38 preparing for a mission Engine test for the H24
The H27 on the flight line
 
And here is... "Razzle Blades" !
 
A silhouette emerges in the fog The new design appears softly
The wolf shows its fangs
The other side of "Razzle Blades" Be nice the beast!
The demo pilots 2021: Cdt Avi Stijn Soenens and Cdt Avi Jo Jacobs The nice mascot, just don't forget to feed regularly

The H46 will be one of the BAF display highlights in 2021 A picture with the team and the designer Jeroen van Veenendaal
The wolf comes out of his den On the way to the flight line
Waiting the crew for a little presentation Pilots on the way
Even the helmet took some colours Preparing the machine
The pre-flight walkaround Engine running and some more verifications

Facing "Razzle Blades" Ready for taxi
Taxi clearance received Rear view of the machine
Far away of the former green look Lift off
It is certain that this paint scheme will create the buzz in the airshows... Let's hope that Covid evolution will allow the airshows in 2021
Some passes for the press photographers A last close up
Let's hope and kill the Coronavirus!
(Click on the picture to get the official site)
The beloved Belgian Air Force has fully entered modernity
(Follow the Air Force on Facebook by a simple click on the picture)
 

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