report by: Anthony Dufour
The International Sanicole Airshow (ISA) is the only civil airshow in Belgium which is organized annually. It all started with a very small “festival of stuntmen” in the mid-70s. Back then several thousand spectators enjoyed the show. During the 80s the show grew into a true international airshow with participants from the Netherlands, England, France, America.In 2017 International Sanicole Airshow celebrate its 40th anniversary. The most important part of the military aircraft involved in Sanicole Airshow were based at Kleine-Broegel Air Base, just distant from around 15 kilometers. For the occasion the airport opened the gates to the general public on saturday September 9.
During the day all fighter jetsperformed familiarization flights for the airshow, a unique opportunity to take pics of them during takeoffs and landings. Kleine Brogel Air Base is a Belgian Air Component military airfield located 0.8 nautical miles (1.5 km; 0.92 mi) east of Kleine-Brogel, in the municipality Peer, Belgium. It is home to the Belgian 10th Tactical Wing, operating F-16 Fighting Falcons, which are capable, among other capabilities, of delivering B61 nuclear bombs.The 10th Tactical Wing is a wing in the Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces. It is based at the Kleine Brogel Air Base, in the municipality of Peer. It employs approximately 38 F-16 Fighting Falcons and 1700 staff. It is organised into three groups, the Flying Group, the Maintenance Group and the Defence and Support Group, and is supported by a medical detachment.
Some interesting participants came to KB for the event : a pair of F-18 Hornet from Finnish Air Force. The aircraft is almost identical to a late F/A-18C/D used by the US Navy, as well as the Hornets used by the Swiss Air Force.The SOLOTURK is a demonstration team which presents the capability of the modern and high-performance F-16 aircraft possessed by Turkish Air Force. The demonstration flights are realized with a solo F-16 C Block-40 aircraft. White-colored smoke is released from the smoke devices which are placed on the edges of both wings during the show. The F-16 demonstration team “ZEUS” displays HAF’s airpower to the public and acts as ambassador for Greece, demonstrating the professionalism and the skills of all pilots in the Hellenic Air Force.
The Royal Air Force sent a single Eurofighter Typhoon T3 from 29 ( R ) Sqn from RAF Coningsby . An other single aircraft was the Swedish Air Force JAS 39C. There were in the transport category a Spanish Air force Airbus Casa-295M. The French Air Force sent a RAFALE B from 4th Escadre de Chasse in Saint-Dizier AB .To represent the Blegian Air Force the local F-16 AM/BM did perfectly te job as usual. One highlight certainly was the composite formation flown to celebrate Tom “Gizmo” De Moortel’s final airshow as the official Belgian solo demo pilot. An NH Industries NH-90NFH flew for some Search and Rescue demos. A venerable Lockheed C-130H Hercules from the 15th Wing in Melsbroek AB. The Lockheed C-130H Hercules is earmarked to be replaced by the all new Airbus Military A-400M. But we will have occasions in the next future to cross the C-130 from 15t Wing due to the enormous delays in the delivery of the A-400. A-109 and Red Devils demo teams were perfoming a flying display also.
In the aerobatic dislay team display were noted the Breitling Jet Team that flies seven Czech Aero L-39 Albatros jets. Then the “Saudi Hawks Aerobatic Team” flying BAE Hawk Mk.65 and 65A jet trainers. They are the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) official demonstration team. Despite some last moment cancellations, it was a pleasant journey and we would like to thank all the poeple devoted to the organisation.