Hire Laszlo as your aviation photographer click here for details
2011 Air Shows
Location: Cambrai, France
Admission: € 15 per car, regardless of number of occupants
Parking: included of the above price
Value: Excellent
Meeting-Aerien was held on May 15th 2011. This gathering of aircraft is a one day air show, featuring some of the NATO Tiger aircraft from the nearby AFB, as well as other French Teams.
The event was organized by the Aero Club Cambrai-Niergnies at the Aerodrome de Cambrai, which is about 15 minutes from the Base aérienne 103 Cambrai-Épinoy. It is an old base from WWII, and now is used by the aero club.
When the event opened to the general public one had to be in a hurry to take images of the static aircraft on display as after 10:00 am, the area was closed to allow the movement of aircraft that flew during the event. This was not usual. However, to take pictures from the outside of the closed off area of taxiing aircraft, a telephoto lens with a min. of 300mm focal length was required. Taking photos of flying aircraft was hampered at first, by the fact the photographers faced towards the sun, not exactly an ideal situation, and there was no way to go to the other side of the field, to have the sun from behind then as the day progressed by darker and darker sky.
There were several merchandising stands, among them from the teams participating in the NATO Tiger Meet. Selling all kinds of memorabilia, they were very busy, as the French people were very interested in these products. If one enjoyed building scale models, there was group of modelers showing accurately detailed scale models.
The flying display started with a Piper J3 Tiger followed by SAR demonstration from the Italian Air Force / 21 Gruppo with two AB 212 ICO. At the end of the display, one of the crew members could be seen with his tiger masking waving to the crowds below them. Smaller aircraft from the aero club followed, such as the Diamond DA 42, Mudry Cap 10, then the Patrouille MD Flamant (one 311 and one 312 Flamant). Three different versions (311, 312 and 315) were built of this aircraft with a total number of 325 between 1947 and 1950.
In the grey skies over Cambrai, the Morane Saulnier D-3801(interesting aircraft built by the Swiss under license of the MS406) was the next with a nice sounding Hispano-Suiza 12Y-31 engine. The first flight of the Morane was in 1935. This was followed by two Mirage 2000. The Breitling Wingwalkers who usually fly with up to five Boeing Stearman, at Cambrai only flew with two Boeings. The performance was dazzling, despite flying with only two aircraft.
One of the highlight of the event was the “Défilé des Tigres”, a formation of different kinds of aircraft participating in the NTM-2011, all painted in Tiger scheme. Another formation consisted with one Mirage 2000 in front of the Patrouille de France. The Tiger formation flew two fly-by passes, unfortunately, at the same time the sky changed to dark grey, limiting the possibilities for any good photos. A historical flight from the beginning of the Tiger-Meet consisting of two aircraft flew by: North American F- 86 A “Sabre” in tiger scheme, and a Swiss license built De Havilland Vampire. Both aircrafts were in pristine condition. The Austrian Air Force presented also the wonderful tiger painted Saab 105OE in a solo display. Additional aircraft from the early jet age era, a Fouga Magister flew by showed the aircraft’s maneuverability in a wonderful display.
The fabulously restored Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 flown by Patrice Marchasson was next with fast passes that demonstrated the power of this aircraft. This Sea Fury was completly restored by the Sea Fury specialist Sanders Aviatio in California, and since 2010 it is based out of France by his owner Christophe Jacquard, who can be very proud about this aircraft.
A bit of pyrotechnics lit up the dark skies, with sirens whaling a simulated bomb attack by a Messerschmitt Me 208 (which really is a Nord 1101 Noralpha) to be chased away by two T-6. It was not a really historically re-enactment, but most attendees did not cared.
The French Security Civil with their Eurocopter-Kawasaki EC-145 also performed a SAR-Mission. Slightly more impressive demo was by the Czech helicopter Mil Mi-35, with it is distinctive rotor and turbine acoustical assault on the ears. This is the newer version of the Mil Mi-24 Hind. The Czech crew and their huge attack helicopter impressed the visitors of the show. The Mil Mi- 35 is always a welcomed guest at any air show. After the Armée del Air formation Cartouche Doreé, who were flying the Socata TB30 Epsilon in a very tight three ship formation, the Swiss F-18 “Hornet” display dazzled all. This had to be the best F-18 display I’ve seen to date. I’m looking forward to see Captain Ralph “Deasy” Knittel, from the Fliegerstaffel 17, at the Airpower 2011 in Austria. Congratulations for the best display of the event! The “smoking glory” of the Slovak Air Force Mig-29 did magically beautiful black exhaust clouds in the skies over Cambrai-Niergnies.
The show closed with the Patrouille de France. Despite the dark clouds, the audience stayed put, no one left the field before the Patrouille de France.
The organizers planned well and it was an exciting flight program with a good mix with jet planes, formations, historic aircrafts and small planes. They also did a good job with traffic to and from the airfield: NO traffic jams at all—just perfect! When taking all into consideration it earned a solid 9 out 10!

Some of the participants on static display were:

  • Cartouche Doree (Armée de l’air / 3 x Epsilon TB30)
  • Yak Aerostars Display Team. (6 x Yak 50 / 52)
  • Breitling Wingwalkers
  • Turbulent Display Team (4xJodel D9)
  • Patrouille de France
  • Défile des Tigres (a formation of many tiger jets, from the NTM 2011)
  • F-86 Sabre
  • Hawker Sea Fury
  • Messerschmitt Me-208 (Nord 1101 Noralpha)
  • Eurocopter EC135
  • Mil Mi 35V Hind
  • and many others
Rating: 9.0 out of 10
Hawker Sea Fury
The Breitling Wingwalkers
Défile des Tigres (a formation of many tiger jets, from the NTM 2011)
The Swiss F-18 “Hornet” display dazzled all. This had to be the best F-18 display I’ve seen to date. I’m looking forward to see Captain Ralph “Deasy” Knittel, from the Fliegerstaffel 17, at the Airpower 2011 in Austria. Congratulation for the best display of the event!
Patrouille de France
Review co-written by Laszlo Nyary and Wolfgang Jarisch with photography as noted.
© 2011 AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All trade names, trademarks and manufacturer names are the property of their respective owners.