More than 50 aircraft were gathered in Francazal, a small airport South of Toulouse. Most of them took part in the dynamic display, not only in the static one. As we came with the baby, we only spent about 2 hours. Nevertheless, we had time to see the following highlights:
A former Air France DC-3 flying, once a common view, not so nowadays. (a joke a local told me in relation to current AF pilots’ strike: “this might be the only Air France taking off today”, a DC-3 in 2014 ;-)).
The Red Arrows are the UK Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team. They are one of the most famous acrobatics teams worldwide. They were formed in the ‘60s when several unofficial teams were united under the new official team of the RAF.
The Red Arrows were performing yesterday at Muret Air exhibition, just 12km away from Toulouse so I went there to spend the day with some colleagues from Airbus (which kindly sponsored the show providing fuel for the aircraft). The organization of the event left the Red Arrows for the end of the day. The team is composed of 9 pilots plus an extra one who acts as road manager and commentator during the show (animator I should say). They fly BAE Hawk airplanes and are about 33 years old on average.
The several figures in different formation patterns that they performed were impressive (Diamond, Apollo, Vixen, Heart, Palm tree, etc.). I must admit that this was the first exhibition I attended, as the only other time when I witnessed acrobatics was at the Red Bull Race in Budapest in the summer of 2007, when I was on holidays there with friends.
I took several pictures and videos of their performance, but somehow I didn’t manage to save most of the videos correctly, so I can only show below the pictures in the slide show below:
There were another two teams performing: the French Air Force Cartouche Doré (flying 3 TB30 Epsilon, made by Socata, a filial of EADS) and the Breitling Jet Team. The latter is a civilian acrobatic team (the only one) based in France. They fly L-39 Albatros.
Apart from these teams, there were several other planes that were flying in the show: L-39 Albatros, Cap 232, ATR-42, Beech King Air 200, some Pipers (simulating a fight between a police airplane and another one), P40… but the only ones my smartphone saved correctly in videos were the flights of the A380 and the A400M (no kidding, I did over 20 videos and discovered only these 2 were stored in the memory), enjoy them:
It was a good experience, perfect for a sunny Saturday. I wanted to remark the importance of having a good commentator and music to enhance the show. In Muret the commentator was great (apparently he is famous in France and engaged in all air shows) but the music was not always the best, though when it was it really made you (seriously) think “I want to fly one of those”…