report by: Danny Bonny
Every year a significant increase of the flying traffic can be noticed around Evreux AB. It is happening on the thirteen of July . This is due to the arrivals for the Flying Display expected to happen the day after over the Paris Champs Elysées avenue . Habitually the Military Parade is open via a flightpass made up of every type of fighters in order in ” Armée de l’air , Aéronavale and Arméee de Terre”. A tradition want that only the fighters are comming to Evreux. Exceptionally in 2019 we had a drastic restriction of the Rafales but we gained the participation of RAF and Spanish AF Eurofighters plus Belgian AF F-16 the German AF Tornados.
The Royal Air Force’s first Typhoon Development Aircraft (DA-2) ZH588 made its maiden flight on 6 April 1994 from British Aerospace Warton. On 1 September 2002, No. XVII (Reserve) Squadron was reformed at BAE Warton as the Typhoon Operational Evaluation Unit (TOEU), receiving its first aircraft on 18 December 2003. The first operational RAF Typhoon squadron to be formed was No. 3 (Fighter) Squadron on 31 March 2006, when it moved to RAF Coningsby. The RAF Typhoons were declared combat ready in the air-to-ground role by 1 July 2008. No. 6 Squadron stood up at RAF Leuchars on 6 September 2010, making Leuchars the second RAF base to operate the Typhoon. The National Audit Office observed in 2011 that the distribution of the Eurofighter’s parts supply and repairs over several countries has led to parts shortages, long timescales for repairs, and the cannibalisation of some aircraft to keep others flying. The Ministry of Defence had warned the problems were likely to continue until 2015. In February 2019, No. IX (B) Squadron received its first Typhoon FGR4s. No. IX (B) Squadron officially converted from the Tornado GR4 to the Typhoon FGR4 on 1 April, becoming an aggressor and air defence squadron at Lossiemouth. ] Four Typhoons of No. XI (F) Squadron deployed from RAF Coningsby to Ämari Airbase, Estonia, on 24 April to undergo a four month long NATO Baltic policing mission (Op AZOTIZE) No. 12 (B) Squadron were assigned their first Typhoon FGR4 in July 2019.
In 1973 Belgian Airforce began the search to find a replacement for the Lockheed F104G Starfighter, which resulted on June 9th, 1975 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase of the General Dynamics F16 Fighting Falcon. The initial contract for 116 aircraft (96 F16A single-seaters and 20 F16B dual-seaters was signed on May 5th, 1977. The Belgian aircraft (as where the Danish aircraft) were to be assembled at the SABCA factory at Gosselies, using components produced in the other participating countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway). A second follow-on buy for 44 aircraft (Block 15 OCU) was signed in February 1983, with deliveries taking place between 1987 and 1991 (40 F16As and 4 F16Bs). This second batch was bought to replace some of the Mirage 5Bs. Over the years the F16-fleet has been updated and modernised continuously. The F16 initially equipped 2 Fighter Wings, No 1 at Beauvechain (349 & 350 Squadrons) and No 10 at Kleine Brogel (23 & 31 Squadrons). Deliveries of the 44 aircraft from the follow-on contract meant that a third Wing, No 2 at Florennes could be converted to the F16. No 1 Wing at Beauvechain was disbanded and its flying units dispersed over the two remaining wings, 349 Squadron and the Operational Conversion Unit moved to Kleine Brogel and 350 Squadron moved to Florennes.
The first Spanish production Eurofighter Tifón to fly was CE.16-01 (ST001) on 17 February 2003, flying from Getafe Air Base. CE.16-01 was the first to be delivered when the Spanish Air Force accepted delivery of it on 5 September 2003 at Morón Air Base. The Spanish Air Force assigned their Tifóns to QRA responsibilities in July 2008, the last of the original five customers, with it operating alongside McDonnell Douglas EF-18M Hornets and Dassault Mirage F1Ms A Spanish Air Force Typhoon, on a training exercise near Otepää in Estonia, released an AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile by mistake on 7 August 2018. There were no human casualties, but the ten-day search operation for missile remains was unsuccessful and the unknown status of the missile (self-destructed in air or landing unexploded) left a hazardous situation for the public. The pilot was disciplined for negligence, but received only the minimum penalty in the light of mitigating circumstances. Sources inside Spain’s military have reportedly told a Spanish newspaper that only a handful of the country’s Eurofighter Typhoon jets are fully operational and that semi-retired F-18 aircraft are being called back into full service to meet NATO commitments. According to Spanish daily El Confidencial Digital, the fleet is plagued by support system failures which have been linked to a chronic lack of cash in Spain’s treasury. Airbus Defence and Space has delivered to the Spanish Air Force the first two Eurofighter Typhoons to be produced in the latest configuration with enhanced air-to-surface capabilities. The aircraft were manufactured at the Getafe Final Assembly Line in the P1Eb FW (Phase 1 Enhanced Further Work) configuration which marks a key step in the overall Eurofighter evolution plan. The remaining six of the 73 aircraft currently contracted by Spain will be delivered to the same P1Eb FW standard during 2018 and 2019. This same configuration is being retrofitted to in-service aircraft by other Eurofighter nations.
The first GERMAN AIRFORCE Tornado prototype made its first flight on 14 August 1974 from Manching airbase, in what was then West Germany.Deliveries of production Tornados began on 27 July 1979. The total number of Tornados delivered to the German Air Force numbered 247, including 35 ECR variants. As many as 15 German Tornados undertook combat operations as a part of NATO’s campaign during the Bosnian War. Defence cuts announced in March 2003 resulted in the decision to retire 90 Tornados from service with the Luftwaffe. This led to a reduction in its Tornado strength to four wings by September 2005. Currently, the Luftwaffe operates Tornados with Tactical Wings Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33 in Cochem / Büchel Air Base, Rhineland-Palatinate and with Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 51 “Immelmann” in Jagel, Schleswig-Holstein.
The Transall C-160 is a military transport aircraft, produced as a joint venture between France and Germany. “Transall” is an abbreviation of the manufacturing consortium Transporter Allianz, comprising the companies of MBB, Aerospatiale and VFW-Fokker. It was developed to meet the requirements for a modern transport aircraft for the French and German Air Forces; the C-160 remained in service more than 50 years after the type’s first flight in 1963. It has provided logistical support to overseas operations and has served in specialist roles. Escadron électronique aéroporté 00.054 Dunkerque is an electronic warfare unit of the French Air Force equipped with the C-160G Gabriel. It was stationed at Metz-Frescaty Air Base (BA 128) until it was transférred to Évreux-Fauville Air Base. The squadron was equipped with eight Nord 2501 “Gabriel” ; the first operational flight of a Nord “Gabriel” took place in October 1962; the last flight took place on 5 octobre 1989. Since 1989, the Transall Gabriel or C160G has replaced the Nord Gabriel. Only two aircraft of the type are in service.
For many of the present spotters, the Gabriel was the great star of this édition for its probable withdrawal in the next two years. Globalairpower would like to thank Mr Gilles SCHEFFER and the BA-105 Communication Office for their always perfect organisation and assistance.