Koksijde Airshow 2009

30 years F-16, 60 years NATO



Text : Serge Van Heertum -  pictures : Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys  - S.B.A.P.




As every year at the beginning of the summer holydays, the Belgian Air Component organises his annual airshow at the Belgian coast. This year the headlines of the event were the 30st anniversary of the F-16 in Belgian service and also the 60 years of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation well known as NATO.


An official ceremony to empasize both anniversaries was held on saturday morning July 04 in a special corner of the base dedicated to the F-16 community with the presence of Mister Pieter De Crem, Belgian Minister of Defence. Lieutenant General Aviator Gerard Van Caelenberge, Commander of the Air Component opened the ceremony with a minute of silence in memory of the two pilots who died the day before, when a Piper Cub from the Royal Belgian Air Cadets crashed at Goetsenhoven airbase, leaving its base to participate at the Koksijde Airshow.

SBAP also present their condolences to the family and friends of the victims.


30 years ago, the Belgian authorities decided to buy one of the most advanced combat aircraft available on the market : the F-16 from General Dynamics. This was a realy good decision as 30 years later, this fighter remain one of the most performant aircraft of the world. Of course the F-16 from 1979 is not the same aircraft as today.

Gone through many modifications and upgrades like the MLU program, the Belgian F-16's are still fully combat ready. Participation of the Belgian Air Componant in open conflicts like Kosovo and the operations in Afghanisthan were only possible thanks to this performant vector.

During 30 years the F-16 fleet has gathered around 400.00 flight hours and a special booklet was presented for this occasion. This booklet gives an overview of the 30 years F-16 in Belgium and the SBAP team is proud that their realisation was appreciated by the authorities.

This booklet is available through the Royal Belgian Air Cadets.


After the introductory speech of Lieutenant General Van Caelenberge, Mister Loren E. Timm, Director  F16 Customer Requirement of Lockheed Martin Company congratulated the Air Force for this event and offered the guests a coin especially made for this particular occasion. The last orator was the Belgian Minister of Defence Pieter De CRem who gave an overview of the F-16 career and emphasized on the real necessity for a countries like Belgium to be part of these specials missions, like the one actually in Kandahar, to contribute to NATO goals.


Lieutenant General Van Caelenberge Mister Loren E. Timm showing the booklet of the 30 years
MOD receiving the commemorating coin from Mister Loren E. Timm Mister Pieter De Crem, Minister of Defence


After the differents speeches, the authorities presented also a new book regarding the Air Component realised by our friend and colleague Daniel Brackx of the BAHA.

A great teamwork under the lead of Lieutenant General Van Caelenberge and the Kolonel Lepez. This book is a  must for every Belgian Air Force fan !

This splendid book is available through FONAVIBEL.



Mr Pieter De Crem and General Charles-Herni DELCOUR with the new book Daniel Brackx and Eddy Kellens receiving the first examples of the book
30 years in action
with Belgian Air Force
Belgium Through Blue Eyes



The airshow


The airshow 2009 was like a good wine : a very good milesime ! The program was a mix between old glories and modern combat aircrafts. No less than nine demonstration teams were present at Koksijde.

More than details, explanations and long text, SBAP provides you with a photographic overview of all the flying aircraft and some of the participant of the static display. The 2009 edition was a real success, more than 80.000 visitors came to Koksijde airbase to admire the men flying their machines.


The SBAP team would like to thanks COMOPSAIR IPR team for their help and facilities during this memorable airshow.



 The F-16 community


F-16CJ block 50 - U.S.Air Force F-16BM - Belgian Air Component
F-16AM - Belgian Air Component "Tiger" F-16AM - Belgian Air Component
F-16BM - Belgian Air Component F-16BM - Danish Air Force
F-16AM - Danish Air Force F-16AM - Norvegian Air Force
F-16D block 30 - Greek Air Force F-16AM - Netherlands Air Force
The sympathetic F-16's drivers

Static aircrafts and support

NH-90 mock up, the future of the Belgian Air Component Alouette III with folded rotorblades
T-6 Harvard from the Netherlands Antonov AN-26 - Hungarian Air Force
Tornado IDS - German Air Force Gazelle - French Army
MBB-BO 105 - German Army Fieseler FI-156 "Storch" from Italy
F-5M - Spanish Air Force Mirage 2000D - French Air Force
Alpha Jet E - French Air Force MD900 "NOTAR" - Belgian Federal Police
C-130H "Hercules" - Belgian Air Component Jetstream T2 - Royal Navy
EMB121AA "Xingu"  - French Air Force CASA C295M - Spanish Air Force
CASA CN235M-100 - Moroccan Air Force CASA C295M  - Polish Air Force

Solo Display and Old Glories

Potez CM-170 Fouga Magister from France Hawker Hunter from the Netherlands
Belgian Air Component F-16AM display
Hungarian Air Force  SAAB JAS39C  display
Swiss Air Force AS532 "Cougar" display
Spitfire Mk PR XI  display
Netherlands Air Force F-16AM display
Belgian Air Component Seaking Mk48
Belgian Air Component F-16's made an attack on the airbase
P-51D Mustang display
Swiss Air Force F/A-18C display
Royal Air Force Hawk T1A display
French Air Force Rafale display

The 9 demonstration teams

The civilian "Victors" from Belgium Danish Air Force   -   Baby Blue Team
Belgian Air Component       HARDSHIP RED
French Air Force          CARTOUCHE DORE
Croatian Air Force        KRILA OLUJE
Moroccan Air Force          MARCHE VERTE
Jordanian Air Force          ROYAL JORDANIAN FALCONS
Polish Air Force            TEAM ISKRY


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