Located in the North of the country, Flyvestation Aalborg is one of the three bases of the Royal Danish Air Force. It shares its runway with the Aalborg Civil Airport whose terminal is located south of the base. Aalborg is the home of Squadron 721 (Eskadrille 721), a transport squadron equipped with four C-130J-30 Hercules, three CL-604 Challenger and four Saab T-17 Supporter. It is in charge of the tactical transport of Danish troops but also members of the Danish government and the Danish court thanks to its fleet of Challenger 604. These can also be equipped with an on-board surveillance radar placed under the belly of the aircraft. It also houses the Danish Special Forces unit, the Jægerkorpset. Until their decommissioning in 2006, the Aalborg base also housed Squadron 723 and Squadron 726. These two attack and reconnaissance squadrons equipped with F-16MLU Fighting Falcon were transferred to the Skrydstrup base.
Concentrated to a single day, it was dense and intense with activities. The program was busy, leaving little time for the public and despite the difficult weather conditions, almost the entire program was carried out. Only the passage of the KDC-10 of the Royal Netherland Air Force was cancelled.
Saturday was reserved for rehearsals and Spotter Day. Open to the first two
hundred registrants, seats were sold in less than 90 minutes, leaving many
candidates out. The entire air show faced towards the (sun) light, not exactly
great for the photographers. The organizers moved a small group of spotters
accepted on Saturday south of the runway to have the sun in their back for the
all duration of rehearsals.
Despite the air show the airport activity was not stopped as the commercial
flights took precedence, giving the spectators a little (and only) breaks between
the program. The flights took off and landed on the runway flanked by the spectators in mass
The main star of this meeting were unquestionably the Norwegian F‐104D
which arrived on Saturday evening. The Norwegian F‐104's arrival was eagerly
awaited by the numerous spotters who came to admire the venerable
"widower maker". This two‐seater Starfighter is actually a Canadair CF‐104D
that served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Sold to the Norwegian Air Force in
1973 when the Canadians got rid of parts of their Starfighter fleet. The aircraft
served with the 334 Squadron in Bodø before being withdrawn in April 1983
and stored at Sola Air Base. Later, the aircraft returned to Bodø where Air
Force trainees used it for ground training until the early 1990s. Afterwards, the
aircraft was exhibited in the Air Museum in Bodø, until handed over to the association
"Friends of the Starfighter", formed in January 2003. Since then, the
association has been working to restore the F‐104. They received help from
the men of "Starfighters Aerospace", which currently operates a small fleet of
Starfighters commercially on Merritt Island, Florida, as well as by the Aeronautica
Italiana, whichprovided many missing pieces, as they were the last to use
the F‐104 in service. In 2007, the first restart of the J‐79 engine took place. A
year later, the plane made its first taxis trials and in 2011, it received its official
civil registration as LN‐STF. In late 2017 it was expected that the F‐104D would
make its first flight and 2018 for its first demonstration outside of Norway, in
Aalborg. All the spectators anticipated the distinctive spooling up whine and
thunder of the J‐79, and were not disappointed even in the rain.
The second main attraction was the Ukrainian Su27 Flanker which arrived on
Friday. The Ukrainian Air Force sent a pair of Sukhoi Su‐27s with an Ilyushin Il‐
76MD support plane for the event. The Ukrainian presence in European aeronautical
scenes, despite their on‐going skirmishes on their Eastern border, is
much welcomed. The Su‐27s with their special blue camouflage stood out well
against the Danish the grey sky. The spectators had to wait until the end of the
day to see the huge Soviet built twin engined fighter rush on to the runway for
the take off. The demonstration was good but well below of the real capabilities
of the Flanker, which was punctuated by a beautiful and huge flares drops.
Despite a complicated weather, the Danish Air Show kept its promise with an
exotic line‐up and flamboyant display in the air.
We just regret that the website and the excellent communication from organisation on their Facebook page were only available in Danish and not in English. Non Danish speakers had to use the not so accurate Facebook translator program to help them.