Le Temps des hélices

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

The 47th Meet­ing Aérien at La Ferté-alais near Paris on 8-9 June suf­fered from stormy weather un­til the sec­ond day. A typ­i­cally var­ied show lost no more than twenty min­utes of sched­uled run-time on Satur­day, open­ing with La Pa­trouille de France ac­com­pa­ny­ing an Air France Boe­ing 777. Sun­day’s fly­ing ended with the French na­tional team joined by the civil­ian Pa­trouille Tran­chant’s five Fouga Mag­is­ters.

Three fur­ther dis­sim­i­lar air­craft for­ma­tions be­gan with a Das­sault Avi­a­tion quin­tet led by an MD312 Fla­mant−the com­pany’s first post-wwii air­craft−to­gether with a Fal­con 10, the lat­est Fal­con 8X, a Mi­rage 2000 and a Rafale. The Nor­mandy cel­e­bra­tions were marked by two French DC-3S and two Spit­fires: D-day vet­eran T9 ML407, flown by Richard Grace, and LF XVIE TE184 pi­loted by owner Stephen Stead. As usual, the French Navy sup­ported the show with a new/old com­bine of serv­ing At­lan­tique, Fal­con 10 and two Rafales with his­toric Fouga Zé­phyr and−pass­ing the other way−three Mo­rane 733 Al­cyons.

The Salis col­lec­tion’s CASA 352−cur­rently Europe’s only fly­ing Ju-52 vari­ant−was dis­played on Satur­day with a Nord 1101 No­ral­pha and Storch cir­cling around and, on the sec­ond day, with the de­but­ing Junkers F13 replica HB-RIM. Other high­lights in­cluded Frédéric Akary’s new­ly­im­ported Canadair CL-13B Sabre F-AYSB and the un­usual ‘push-pull’ Moynet 360-6 Jupiter F-BLKY, re­cently re­stored to fly­ing con­di­tion by the Musée Re­gional de l’air at Angers.

Sun­day’s nicer weather en­abled flights by some of the early air­craft in­clud­ing the Cau­dron G.III, Ble­riot XI-II and Mo­rane H, which pro­vided a great dis­play. The two World Wars were rep­re­sented by fewer types than nor­mal, WWI be­ing de­picted by only the Me­mo­rial Flight’s Bris­tol Fighter, two replica Se5as, a replica Al­ba­tros and a Fokker Tri­plane. WWII ‘war­bird’ lev­els were down but TFC’S Hawk 75 and Bearcat were both good to see. ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’, with around eight Har­vards sim­u­lat­ing Ja­panese Zeros, was en­ter­tain­ing but the stand-out set­piece was the Viet­nam re-en­act­ment that saw a Skyraider and four T-28s lead­ing the at­tack, sup­ported by a Cessna O-2 Bird Dog.

Re­port & pho­tos: Nigel Hitch­man

Spec­tac­u­lar open­ing fly­past courtesy Air France and the French Air Force

Ble­riot XI and Cau­dron G3 rep­re­sented the early years of French avi­a­tion

Fla­mant, Fal­con 10, Mi­rage 2000, Rafale and Fal­con 8X cel­e­brate Das­sault’s post-war out­put

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