Browsing Tag: #switzerland

Swiss F-5s fly during the 2018 Fliegerschiessen Axalp live fire demonstration.

This story is written by Jerry T. Lai. Jerry is a Chicago-based photojournalist who read our coverage of 2017’s Axalp show in Switzerland, and decided he had to make the trip to see it for himself. This is his story about the 2018 show – hope you enjoy it, and be sure to let us know if you decide to attend at some point, too!

We’re all AvGeeks here, but what really gets my heart pumping is fast jets at air shows and demonstrations.  As someone based in Chicago, I’m spoiled with having the wonderful Chicago Air and Water Show in my backyard, as well as EAA AirVenture in nearby Oshkosh, and am a short flight away from many other fabulous official demonstrations like Fleet Week in SFO.

But there was one show I had somehow not ever heard of, until I read about right here on AirlineReporter: Fliegerschiessen Axalp.  An air show that combines liberal use of flares, cannon fire, vapor, and set with a backdrop in the Swiss Alps?  SIGN ME UP!

Parachuting, Swiss Army style.

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.