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La Ferté-Alais 2023


The La Ferté-Alais - Le temps des hélices airshow is one of the oldest and biggest aviation events in France. In one weekend, more than 40 000 visitors visit an old grass airfield near Cerny where the famous Musée Volant Salis is located. Unlike other airshows, the La Ferté-Alais airshow starts only in the afternoon and in the morning visitors have the chance to admire all participating aircraft up close in the presence of pilots and re-enactors. What is unique about this airshow is that it presents the entire history of aviation through numerous important historical aircraft that are still flying. For example, this airshow traditionally begins with the flight of a Blériot XI propeller plane that first flew in 1909. This edition of the La Ferté-Alais airshow also paid tribute to renowned French female test pilot Adrienne Bolland. She was the first woman to fly her Caudron G.3 aircraft over the Andes between Chile and Argentina in 1921.


The La Ferté-Alais airshow also features important themes in aviation history such as World War I and World War II, the Golden Age of Aviation, and the war in Vietnam. One of the highlights during this airshow was the famous "Tora Tora Tora" show simulating the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 with more than ten North American T-6 warbirds and accompanying explosions on the ground. In addition to vintage aircraft and warbirds, this anniversary edition of the La Ferté-Alais airshow also featured demonstrations by the famous French formation team Patrouille de France, the Rafale solo display of the French Air Force, a tactical demonstration by the French Navy's Rafale fighters and the F-16 'Dream Viper' solo display and Red Devils formation team of the Belgian Air Force. For the first time, the La Ferté-Alais airshow also featured a demonstration by a Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules of the Franco-German Binational Air Transport Squadron. For me personally, this airshow is a must-go event for every aviation enthousiast or photographer. The organizers of this airshow, really seem to know what airshow enthousiasts want and succeed flawlessly! 

Text & photos: Kris Christiaens

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