2018 Event Review

Belgian Air Force Days, 8th and 9th September 2018


Location: Kleine Brogel AB, Belgium
Type of event: Airshow
Rating out of 10: 9.5
 
Belgian Air Force Days

 

Kleine-Brogel Air Force Base is located in the north-eastern part of Belgium and hosted this year’s edition of “Belgian Air Force Days” on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of September. Also, a Spotterday was organized on September 7th, where arriving and practicing aircraft could be watched.

Kleine-Brogel is home to the 10th Tactical Fighter Wing and is one of two Belgian airbases that are equipped with the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The event itself showed a very strong international participation which to this extend was certainly above average. The flying display lasted from 10 am to 6 pm and included many highlights as for example a Greek F-16C Block52+ with conformal fuel tanks, Swiss F/A-18C, Belgian Seaking Mk48, Czech JAS 39C Gripen, Danish F-16AM, Spanish EF-18M, Belgian NH-90-NFH and a spectacular painted F-16AM called "Dark Falcon". Also, the display of four Belgian F-16 called "Thunder Tigers" was very much welcomed. They performed very pleasing formation flybys which was topped by a combined formation with a Dutch KDC-10 simulating an air refueling. However, for many the most fascinating aircraft was the display of a Ukrainian Su-27 painted in a very attractive “digital” camouflage scheme consisting of blue and gray colors. The demonstration itself was more on the modest side but nevertheless very impressive. Just the crowd that gathered around the static display of both Su-27 was a clear message. Those who already attended the Spotterday on Friday were lucky to witness the arrival of both Su 27 which flanked a supporting Ilyushin Il-76MD. This surely was a sight to be remembered. Unfortunately, the Il-76MD landed somewhere else. The static display comprised types like a F-35A from Italy, three AW101 from Portugal, Denmark and UK, CV-22 Osprey from USAF, Mi-8MT from Poland, A400M from Airbus (will be delivered to UK), Mig-29UBS from Slovakia, Typhoon FGR4 from UK, Tornado IDS from Germany, to name only a few.

The Belgian Air Force is in a phase of change. Types like the Sea King and C-130 Hercules are being replaced or are going to be replaced soon and types that are replacing them like NH-90 or A400M could be seen at this event. Also, the venerable F-16 is reaching the end of its useful life span and it is a suspenseful question which aircraft will be selected to supersede them.

Air show events at Kleine-Brogel are usually well worth a visit and this year’s edition of "Belgian Air Force Days" was no exception.

Participants


JAS 39 Gripen
F-16 Fighting Falcon
NH-90
EF-18M Hornet
Seaking
KDC-10
Su-27
Il-76
F-35A Lightning II
AW101
MiG-29 Fulcrum
CV-22 Osprey
Mil Mi-8
A400M
Tornado
TyphoonPilatus
A-109
AH-64
C-130 Hercules
CASA CN235
Alouette II
G-222
Tiger
Breitling Jet Team
and many more


Report and photography by Udo Leischner for The Aviation Magazine

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Belgian Air Force Days 2018
 
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