To celebrate 25 years of Alpha Jet operations with the Belgian Air Force and the graduation of tree new pilots, the 1st Wing at Beauvechain, organised the European trainer meet. The 1st wing invited trainer squadrons from NAVO partners to attend the celebrations. Besides the official visitors, the Belgian air force also invited aviation enthusiasts to watch this special event on the 29th of June 2004.
The invitation list was impressive, so expatiations were high when we arrived at Beauvechain AB. Of course not all invited will show up, probably most new NAVO partners would be a no show, and the did. (so no Su-22, Mig-21 and TA-7 from Greece) But there were enough other special visitors to make this day a success. First there was the special Camo scheme applied to a 11 smaldeel Alpha Jet, to celebrate 25 years Alpha Jet with the BAF. This aircraft was showed for the first time to public on this day. Off course al other Belgian trainer aircraft were present, including the Fouga, SF-260 and F-16B.
The most spectacular visitors on this trainer meet came from the Spanish trainer base of Talavera. The F-5B+ of the Ala23 are rarely seen outside Spain. Both Tigers received a mid-life update, what makes them extra special.
Other interesting visitors were a brand new Irish PC-9, a L-159 from the Czech Air Force, a Union Jack painted Hawk, 2 TB30s from France, a T-17 from the Danish Air Force and two rarely seen Italian Marchetti's.
The second highlight was the arrival of the French F1B (520/33-FD). This aircraft was involved with the D-Day calibrations in May. The aircraft was fitted with a special colour scheme which is still applied. The black-white stripping was also used by allied aircraft involved in the D-day invasion now some 60 years ago.
In all a great event, with money well spend. Special photo spots were created next to the runway and taxiways. Later on the day (about 4pm) the platforms were opened to public with some new close-up photo opportunities. At the end of the day a funny moment took place when people were walking back to there cars over the taxiway, all barriers were already broken down. The two Marchetti's (they were in late) used the same taxiway! No problem, we went on the grass next to the taxiway and the Italians passed. Probably for many the first time operational Marchetti's passed with 2 meters distance.
A64, Alouette II
E105/8-NU, Alpha Jet
E23/314-UG, Alpha Jet
Seen during the spottersday (static only):
|Alpha Jet E||BAF 11sm||AT18 (special c/s)|
|Alpha Jet E||FAF||E-105/8-NU, E-23/314-UG|
|CM170R||BAF||MT49 (special c/s), MT35|
|SF-260||BAF||ST20 (Special c/s), ST48|
|MB339|| AMI 212/3 Gr||MM55084, MM54492/61-36|
|Tucano T1||RAF||ZF-139/139, ZF-447/447|
|SF-5B+||Ala 23||AE.9-018/23-26, AE.9-029/23-18|
|Hawk T1||RAF||XX-159 / 159 (Special c/s)|
|F1B||FAF||520/33-FD (Special D-DAY 60 markings)|