Browsing Tag: Airshow

A Northrop F-5E Tiger II of the Patrouille Suisse shows off some sexy paint.

A Northrop F-5E Tiger II of the Patrouille Suisse shows off some sexy paint

Axalp is, in my humble opinion, very likely the best air show on earth, although the Swiss Air Force will be quick to tell you that it’s not really an airshow, rather, it’s a live-fire training exercise to which the public is invited. It’s officially named Fliegerschiessen Axalp, which translates to Air Force Live Fire Axalp.

At precisely 2 p.m. (this is Switzerland after all), a pair of F/A-18s rocketed up the valley spitting flares, signifying that the demo had begun.

At precisely 2 p.m. (this is Switzerland after all), a pair of F/A-18s rocketed up the valley spitting flares, signifying that the demo had begun

It’s an exercise that’s held on top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps, uphill from the ski town of Axalp. Attendance requires getting to Switzerland, a long drive, a bus ride that’s almost as exciting as the show itself, a chairlift ride, then a hike up the last 1,000 vertical feet.

Taking a shot of an F-16... air-to-air

Taking a shot of an F-16… air-to-air

Every now and then, the stars align, and the trip you often dream about lands in your lap. Events over the last five years came together over a few days, and the decision to attend the 2015 Sanicole International Airshow in Belgium was made. As a bonus, while researching the trip from Vancouver, Canada, I came across the opportunity for an air-to-air photoshoot. How could I refuse? One new camera and two new lenses later…

Looking out the back of the skyvan

Traffic at six O’clock: looking out the back of the skyvan, taking air-to-air shots

DAY 1: Vancouver to Toronto on Air Canada & Toronto to Belgium on Jet Airways

It’s been close to 20 years since I’ve flown business class (never on my own dime), so I was excited to start my trip in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Vancouver (YVR). I work at the airport, so it’s always nice to get a new viewpoint of the apron. I knew I’d be eating non-stop for awhile, so I made do with just a quick coffee and muffin in the lounge, before heading to the gate.

The CSeries CS100 test aircraft on display at Dubai Airshow 2015 Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The Bombardier CSeries CS100 test aircraft on display at Dubai Airshow 2015 – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

I was fortunate enough to attend the Dubai Airshow this year which was held at Al Maktoum International Airport from November 8th to 12th. As part of the various events and substantial flying program, I was invited along with my friend Bernie to attend a press conference and aircraft tour of the new Bombardier CSeries which was present on the static display.

The CSeries has been the center of much media hype and excitement even though it has not always been smooth sailing for the company. Despite the various challenges facing Bombardier at the present time, all the staff were incredibly positive and excited to showcase their aircraft on its first debut in the Middle East. Following a rather spirited press conference where many questions were posed by local media with regards to the regulatory and political complications of selling the aircraft to Middle Eastern Airlines, it was time for the AvGeek’s favorite moment: the aircraft tour!

The aircraft on display at Dubai is used by Bombardier as a test-bed Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The aircraft on display at Dubai is used by Bombardier as a test-bed – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

At the time of the aircraft’s debut at the Dubai Airshow, Bombardier was in the final stages of receiving certification from Transport Canada; as such the aircraft on display was a test model without an official certificate of airworthiness. In practice this means that there are a few extra placards on the aircraft and not all equipment is fully operational, however the interior and exterior are identical to what it will be once it enters full scale production post certification.

Sally B towed to stand (c) Lidia Long

Sally B towed to stand – Photo: Lidia Long

“Up and at ‘em, scramble!”: Duxford’s Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Tribute

“Would you like to come to Duxford Air Museum with me?” is the question that the hapless airline pilot, Captain Martin Crieff, asks two women in BBC Radio 4’s brilliant aviation comedy Cabin Pressure. Whilst it’s perhaps not the most conventional place for a date, I applaud the fictional AvGeek for his splendid choice.

The crowds gather in anticipation (c) Lidia Long

The crowds gather in anticipation – Photo: Lidia Long

Originally home to the RAF’s famous No. 12 Group “Big Wing” and Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, Duxford Aerodrome, in Cambridgeshire (UK), is currently a live airfield (IATA code: QFO), a branch of the Imperial War Museum (IWM), and home to a number of modern and classic military and civilian aircraft.