December 31, 2017
Yes, the year has already ended in some parts of the world. Many good meetings with people and aircrafts - but with the loss of activity in many Air Forces due budgetary cuts I have not made too many pictures of our beloved birds of steel.
I've invested again a great part of my free time to discover the natural wonders of my area and found a lot of birds and other animals in less then an 1 hour cycling distance around my village. This mountain coat was walking towards me for checking me up, and I proved no harm. This and many other encounters througout the year will stay forever in my heart and I hope to catch many other local habitants in my area also in the future.
A big Thank You to everyone reading regulary this blog and staying in contact all over those years or discovering only a short time. All the best for the new year and see you soon again around some airfields (or in nature).
December 23, 2017
December 20, 2017
With the end of service life arriving for the Super Puma Helicopters in 2030 and the need of an transport aircraft, Councillor of State Peter Hess (CVP) requested some informations about using bigger, heavy-lift helicopters instead (September 23rd, 2015).
Today, the seven members of the Federal Council approved the study done since, rejecting the need mainly due budgetary causes.
The Council of State is the smaller chamber of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland, and is considered the Assembly's upper house, with the National Council being the lower house. There are 46 Councillors.
Link (pdf), german: https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/message/attachments/50908.pdf
December 16, 2017
After the Calendar of Hunterverein Obersimmental, this time I've got other pictures pubished in the official Aeroclub-Calender 2018 too. Thank you very much, high quality calenders in limited edition. 👌
December 15, 2017
As the 1st class using the faster way of becoming an Swiss Air Force Pilot, Pilotenklasse 16 had opened her website:
More informations about the new shedule in Swiss Air Force Pilot School
More informations about the new shedule in Swiss Air Force Pilot School
December 11, 2017
Time goes fast and with the disbandment of Fighter Squadrons 6, 8 and 19 this year the era of militia fighter squadrons in the Swiss Air Force is coming to an end.
14 years ago, December 11th of 2003, Fighter Squadron 13 was the first of the Tiger-(militia)squadrons ending her history. Still an impressive fleet of the Tiger F-5E/F aircraft where available, but pilots coming to the end of there career due age restrictions or have to transfer to other squadrons.
After an nice celebration in Emmen on September 17th, the final training course in Meiringen marked the official end of Fliegerstaffel 19.
last repetition course in Buochs
March 2003 - last repetition course in Buochs with the Fl Kp 20 (Flieger Kompanie, Ground/Maintenance for the Squadrons 19 (F-5 Tiger). Flights with Recce Sq 10 on Mirage III RS where regular.
last training course in Emmen
Squadron 19 celebrated an Open Day for family members and made an impressive low flybye
final training course, Meiringen
Final training course of the Fliegerstaffel 13 in Meiringen, only bad luck (maintenance) provided an mass formation of 13 Tigers. Impressive lineup and already with an DSLR back then 👍
December 03, 2017
Two of the biggest civil/military transport aircrafts are supposed to land tomorrow monday in Emmen for space and
STA1130 VDA A124 RA-82077
STA1300 QAF C17A A7-MAO
STD1300 VDA A124 RA-82077
(Times in Local Time)
Not the most favourable weather - but a very rare sight indeed 👌
November 23, 2017
Since January 1st, 2017 - the Swiss Air Force is on permanent 15 mins Alert from 0800 to 1800h. Until 2020, the permanence will be increased to 24/365 duty.
This week, from November 20th to 21st, the Air Force tested a permanent QRA for 36 hours.
November 13, 2017
Like every year, the Swiss Air Forces sent some Hornets abroad for intensive night flying operations not possible in Switzerland. After many years in Norway (NIGHTWAY exercise), this year's host of the detachement is Lossimouth in Scotland.
The following Hornets departed Switzerland for Scotland: J-5005/14/15/18/26/232/233
Statement of RAF Lossimouth via fb:
RAF Lossiemouth will host elements of the Swiss Air Force over the next month whilst they undertake their annual night flying training.
Exercise ‘Scotnight’ will last for a total of four weeks, with Swiss FA-18 aircraft operating for the first time in Scotland between Monday 13 November and 8 December, although only two weeks of the exercise will be specific night flying training.
Routinely, the Swiss Government does not permit night flying and as such, the Swiss Air Force generally exercises over Norway; however, due to the Norweigian air base closing for renovation, RAF Lossiemouth has been chosen as a suitable alternative.
In total the Swiss will be bringing ten aircraft and 100 support personnel to Moray, with the crews and engineers getting to enjoy the local area in any spare time they may have. Lieutenant Colonel Aldo Wicki, the detachment Commander said:
“The whole team are hugely looking forward to coming to Scotland for what will be the first time for many of us. It will be a fantastic opportunity not only to train our skills on night-missions and work alongside the Royal Air Force, but aslo to enjoy the Scottish hospitality.”
November 09, 2017
In the aftermath of the NO to finance the Gripen (Federal Votation of Mai 18th, 2014), politic and military leaders of Switzerland are still searching a solution for the future of our Air Force.
From one of the most modern forces in Cold War with more than 750 combat jet aircrafts, Switzerland will becoming an force with only 33 Hornets soon (from 37 delivered four had crashed since):
1960: 182/250/39 DeHavilland Vampire/Venom/Vampire Trainer, 100 Hunter F Mk 58
1980: 103/250/39 DeHavilland Vampire/Venom/Vampire Trainer, 100/52/8 Hunter F Mk 58/F Mk 58A/T Mk 68, 1/36/18/4 Dassault Mirage IIIC/IIIS/RS/B-DS, 66/6 Northrop F-5E/F
1991 (end of Berlin Wall): 100/52/8 Hunter F Mk 58/F Mk 58A/T Mk 68, 1/36/18/4 Dassault Mirage IIIC/IIIS/RS/DS, 98/12 Northrop F-5E/F, 19 BAe Hawk Mk66
2000: 18/4 Dassault Mirage IIIRS/DS, 98/12 Northrop F-5E/F, 19 BAe Hawk Mk66, 26/7 Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet
2015: 30/6 Northrop F-5E/F, 26/5 Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet
2020: 25/5 Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet
(Numbers of Vampire/Venom/Hunter/Mirage and Tiger not corrected due crashes)
Flightworthy Tiger F-5E/F will be decreasing from year to year due policy of not making big maintenances anymore and the last flight will be in between 2018 and 2025 (politic/military sends out other dates every couple of months).
Upgrades/Retrofits of the Swiss Air Force Hornet:
2006: all Hornets received Update21 Phase 1 withhin the budget of 220 Mio CHF (RP 2001): new system software OFP 17C (Operational Flight Program), IFF (Identification Friend/Foe (Bird Slicer antennas)) AN/APX-111 Combined Interrogator Transponder, CIT), exchange of the DMS (Digital Moving Map) with TAMMAC (Tactical Aircraft Moving Map Capability), a new AMU (Advanced Memory Unit) and preparations (Software) for JHMCS and MIDS-Link16-Datalink installed by Phase 2.
2007 - 13: all Hornets received Update21 Phase 2 withhin the budget of 292 Mio CHF (RP 2003) with new system software OFP 19C, Link16 Datalink MIDS (Multifunctional Information Distribution System), Software for using the new AIM-9X Sidewinder and JHMCS, Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System)
2013-2016: Last modifications on the Hornet made by RUAG with Upgrade25, integration of the ATFLIR Pod and carrier of up to 10 AIM-120C-7 possible now.
Problems with the Hornets:
Hornets will reach there service time limit of 5000 flighthours in 2025. The limit was already increased due production. Also, some avionic parts are no longer available. 124 structural parts like fuel tanks, steering cylinders and Flaps has to be changed already 'till 2025.
Possible Solution: Increasing the service time limit to 6000 flighhours. With that the fleet can fly 'till 2030. Not an option are further reductions of flightours per squadron pilot, actually 120 hours per year.
Some of the 124 structural parts to be changed for 2016-2025, not including the increase of the service life up to 6000 flighthours - copyright VBS. Hornet J-5003 is the first aircraft for the modifications.
The Air Force want's not only increasing the flighthours, but also put some modern systems in the upgrade program. For example:
- upgrade of the 2nd generation communication system to a modern 5th generation system like the Super Hornet
- upgrade of LINK16 hardware to the same system like on the Super Hornet
- change of the actual Night Vision Goggles to the new Night Vision Cueing Device integrated in the helmet.
With all those changes, the Swiss Hornet will be state of the art 'till 2030. Without those modifications on the sensors, it will loose some superiority from 2025 on but still is an very capable aircraft in the role of Air Policy.
Politicians and Military have to watch other Air Arms around Switzerland with the upgrade of there fleets. A lot of Air Forces are not as fast as whished with the integration of state of the art technology - are we willing to reach them with a new fighter in 2030 or do we want the Hornet to have this technology 'till 2025 already ?
(scroll down for more investments needed by swiss defence forces)
Links for further infos (german):
The three european aircrafts ready to participe in the Evaluation
Up to 19 billion Swiss Francs needed 'till 2035
Air Force and Army has to exchange multiple systems in the very near future: Air Defense, Super Puma and tanks are also arriving the end of there service life. 2018 - 2021 around 3 billion CHF are already spoken for new personal equipment, Communication and Night vision devices, modernisation of the Spz (Schützenpanzer) 2000, modernisation of the Cougar Helicopters and FLORAKO Air Defence system.
November 04, 2017
Long time sold out, this very good book should be in everyones posession interested in the Swiss Air Force. Although in french, the informations about our only Mach 2 aircraft are great. Many, many pictures (and yes, some are mine), a lot of aircraft profiles and a special view to the flight gear and helmets used mande a very nice book, the icecream top are the personal histories of Swiss Air Force Pilots with Dassault's well known aircraft. The reedition has some corrections made over the years and is a bit cheaper, one idea more to buy it:
L'Histoire des Mirage suisses | En cours de réédition | plus d’informations ultérieurement (03.11.2017)
Ce n’est pas un mirage, la seconde édition arrive enfin ! Vous êtes nombreux à l’attendre, depuis longtemps… Il ne fût pas évident de trouver le temps de remettre le nez dans cet ancien projet. En effet, l’imprimeur de la première édition ayant fait faillite, il a fallu adapter le fichier pour un autre imprimeur. La demande étant moins élevée que pour l’édition originale, il a fallu trouver un imprimeur acceptant de produire un faible lot à un prix raisonnable. Ce livre étant une autoédition de l’imprimerie à la vente, les coûts restent le problème majeur. Peu de changements, donc, par rapport à la première édition. Quelques fautes ici et là ont été corrigée. Certains graphismes ont été allégé. Pour des raisons de budget, le livre aura une couverture souple, dos carré collé, et non plus une couverture rigide, dos carré cousu. (Le prix sera moins élevé, estimé à environ 45 CHF, au lieu de 69 CHF). Le premier exemplaire test sera validé dans le courant de la semaine du 6 novembre 2017. Puis, si le prototype donne satisfaction, l’impression débutera dans le courant de la semaine du 13 novembre. En parallèle, une page sera publiée sur notre site internet pour effectuer les (pré)commandes. Toutes les personnes inscrites par e-mail recevront un rappel pour pouvoir passer commande. Le livre sera exclusivement disponible depuis notre site ! Les frais de livraisons de la poste suisse, en direction de la France, étant tout simplement prohibitifs pour le client, les envois seront effectués depuis la France, directement.
Les commentaires sur le contenu du livre, de l’excellent site aerostories, restent d’actualité : http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/article2793.html
L’aperçu du livre est toujours disponible ci-dessous. Je remercie toutes les personnes qui sont déjà inscrite par e-mail, pour leurs intérêts et leurs commentaires. Vous pouvez continuer à vous inscrire via notre formulaire de contact, pour manifester votre intérêt, et être averti dès qu’il sera possible de passer commande. http://www.aviapic.ch/site/?p=1866
October 30, 2017
EDIT: on wednesday the three helicopters came back after sucessful mission - pictures: http://www.vtg.admin.ch/de/armee.detail.news.html/verwaltung/2017/17-11/17-11-01-incendi-lombardia.html
Three Helicopters Super Puma / Cougar are sent this afternoon to Northern Italy for fighting the fire ravaging the areas since last week. Hundreds of habitants where already evacuated, Italians Protezione Civil received also help with an humanitarian detachment arriving in Bergamo.
October 24, 2017
Now it was time to try again - with official permission and as a small group due an special basevisit.
Two Hornets with running engines, preflight checks with Hook down
Without the mechanics and all the flight activity is not possible
Some other special, but not too special if you know me, positions on that day ;)