2019 Sanicole Airshow

Once a year the skies over the small airfield of Sanicole fills with the thunderous noise of airplanes of all shapes and sizes. Supported by their friends of BAF airbase Kleine Brogel they stage a great airshow on Friday and Sunday. And in most cases a spottersday on Saturday.

Obviously, there is displays by the components of the Belgian Air Force like the Red Devils–one of my personal favorites–and our F-16 solo display.

BAF Red Devils Flying SIAI-Marchetti SF.260
BAF Red Devils Flying SIAI-Marchetti SF.260
BAF F-16 Solo Display – Dark Falcon
BAF Red Devils Flying SIAI-Marchetti SF.260
BAF Red Devils Flying SIAI-Marchetti SF.260
BAF F-16 Solo Display – Dark Falcon

But you also get to see airplanes that you don’t get to see often in the skies over Belgium, like this Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet and Sukhoi Su-27. And one of a kind formations too.

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet
Sukhoi Su-27
Breitling Jet Team with Patrouille Suisse

Armed forces all over Europe are commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe. Our own Belgian Air Force his painted liberation stripes on F-16’s of 349 SQN and 350 SQN and a C-130. It is real nice to see those Fighting Falcons of 349 SQN and 350 SQN–2 squadrons that originate in the RAF–in liberation stripes.

F-16 of the BAF 349 SQN in Liberation Stripes
F-16 of the BAF 349 SQN & 350 SQN in Liberation Stripes
F-16 of the BAF 350 SQN in Liberation Stripes
BAF airplanes in Liberation Stripes
BAF airplanes in Liberation Stripes

We should never forget that we owe 75 years of peace, freedom and prosperity to the gallant men and women that fought in WWII. They were the soldiers on the beaches of Normandy and in the dessert of Africa, the nurses in shimmy little field hospitals, the sailors at Pearl Harbor and across the Pacific. And they were the pilots and bombers that manned Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress like Sally B on bombing raids over Germany.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Sally B"
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Sally B"
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Sally B"
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Sally B"

And certainly don’t forget the little fighter buddies that escorted and protected the bombers en route to their bombing raids. The English build Supermarine Spitfire reigned the skies over Europe, and the North American P-51 Mustang definitely helped win the war in the Pacific theater.

Supermarine Spitfire
North American P-51 Mustang & Supermarine Spitfire
North American P-51 Mustang

But to me, the absolute highlight of the show was the flypast of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. It was the 1st time that this mix between an airplane and a helicopter visited a Belgian airshow. And I happen to think that it is an amazing airplane.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Sanicole airshow spans over 2 days. Since about 8 years they have a 2 hour show on Friday night next to their long running Sunday show. One of the coolest participants on Friday night, is Otto the Helicopter. His show is like New Year’s Eve and the 4th of July rolled into 1.

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