Cambrai 2010 : As the French says : "un dernier baroud d’honneur” !


Text : Serge Van Heertum    Pictures : Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys - SBAP ©


In the North of France in the region of “Pas de Calais” is a  French Air Force Base built by the German Luftwaffe during world war II. Between 1944 and 1946, the base was occupied by Mosquito squadrons of the Royal Air Force. The French authorities took over the base in 1951 and the first Ouragan went there as from 1953 and since than Cambrai Air Base was an important point in the French defense structures. The BA103 “René Mouchotte” (French Heroes of world war II) is planned to disappear in 2011. This well known fighter base has been for years the homebase of the French “Tigers” who won the Tiger Meet 2009 edition. This planned disappearance is the consequence of many reorganisations planned by the French authorities following the budget plan established in 2008 by André Morin, Minister of Defense.

So this year, the base organised a splendid airshow…the last one on this historical French Air Force site, except for the Tiger Meet 2011 that will take place there for the last time (the first Tiger meet was held in 1961 at Cambrai…).

The airshow presented during the last week-end of june was in one word…splendid ! 9 hours of non stop flying activity with solo displays, six aerobatic teams and many historical aircrafts.

All the presentations where wonderfull and some of them deserves to be highlighted like the Morane Saulnier MS406 in the historical aircrafts, an unusual MIG29 from the Slovakian Air Force, the powerfull demonstration of the French Rafale, the presence of the Red Arrows, who left the show after an early presentation,  enabling them to be present at Biggin Hill for the Battle of Britain commemorative airshow held the same weekend. And of course the Patrouille de France, leaded for the first time in it's history by a female pilot, Virginie Guyot. But the most impressive demonstration was done by the Cdt François Rallet “Ralloch” (Last Mirage 2000 demo pilot – see our report Koksijde air day 2008) with an Extra 330SC from the “equipe de voltige de l’armée de l’air” (EVAA), a little aircraft in comparation with the heavy jets present at Cambrai but piloted with a great maestria !

In one word, the high quality of Cambrai airshow 2010 was, like the french expression : “un dernier baroud d’honneur” before the closing of the Tigers homebase…


Lockheed Martin F-16AM (Belgian Air Force)
Short Tucano T1 5Royal Air Force) Battle of Britain commemoration colours
The Red Arrows  (Royal Air Force)
Morane Saulnier MS317 Dassualt MD.315 Flamant
North American AT-6D-NT Texan North American T-28A Fennec
Royal Jordanian Falcons (Jordanian Air Force)
Agusta A109 (Belgian Air Force) Both Belgian F-16's leaving Cambrai for Biggin Hill
Pilatus PC-7 (Austrian Air Force) one was painted in a special "Viper" colour scheme
French Air Force power demonstration
Mirage 2000C RDI from Orange Air Base Intercetion of an intruder
Flying refueling Close formation
C-160 Transall tactical landing Boeing E-3F Sentry (AWACS)
Lockheed Martin F-16AM (Dannish Air Force)
Aerospatial AS555 Fennec intercepting an intruder Socata TB20 Trinidad support aircraft from "equipe de voltige"
Turkish Stars (Turkish Air Force)
De Havilland Vampire FB.6 Potez CM-170 Fouga Magister
Morane Saulnier MS406
Dassault Aviation Rafale C (French Air Force)
The Green March (Morrocan Air Force)
Saab JAS-39C Gripen (Hungarian Air Force)
Yakovlev Yak-3UA
Mig 29UB Fulcrum (Slovakian Air Force)
The spare aircraft of Patrulla Aguila is painted for the 25 years of the Spannish team
Patrulla Aguila (Spannish Air Force)
Lockheed Martin F-16AM (Netherland Air Force)
Extra 330SC from the "Equipe de Voltige de l'rmée de l'air" EVAA (French Air Force)
Mc Donnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet (Swiss Air Force)
  Leaded for the first time by a woman : Cdt Virginie Guyot
La Patrouille de France (French Air Force)
Britih Aerospace Hawk T.1A (Royal Air Force) Lokheed Martin F-16BM   250.000 hours colour sheme (Dannish Air Force)


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