Category: Switzerland


Axalp2012 – Morning Hornets

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Axalp

Axalp je majhna vasica, ki leži nad Brienzom v osrednji Švici na nadmorski višini 1535m. Če pa omenite besedo Axalp letalskim navdušencem, pa se le-tem zasvetijo oči. V neposredni bližini te idlične vasice namreč leži vojaški poligon, kjer vsako leto prva dva tedna v oktobru potekajo vaje njihovega letalstva, kjer piloti z letali F-5E Tiger II in F-18C Hornet napadajo tarče s topovi. Vsa stvar ne bi bila nič posebnega, če se cela zadeva ne bi dogajala na nadmorski višini približno 2.200m, cel poligon pa obdajajo vrhovi, ki krepko presegajo višino 3.000m. V drugem tednu vaj, pa v sredo in četrtek pripravijo celo čisto pravi visokogorski letalski miting.

Axalp is a little village, lying in the hills South of Brienz in Switzerland at 1.535 of altitude. If you mention the word “Axalp” to any aviation fan, you’ll see their eyes widen and they’ll heart beat will rise. In the proximity of this little idilic mountain village lies a military range, where in first two weeks of October each year, Swiss Air Force trains and uses targets on the ground for gun attack practices with F-5 Tiger II and F-18 Hornet jet fighters. The training wouldn’t be anything special if the whole thing wouldn’t be happening high in the Alps with targets at 2.200m and surrounded by much highter 3.000m+ mountains. And they even prepare an afternoon airshow on Wednesday and Thursday on the second week of the exercises.

Zemljevid območja, na katerem potekajo vaje.
Map of the training area.

Here’s the 3rd and final report of the 2009 Axalp trip.

3rd of my stay in Axalp was the first official (and due bad weather the only) airshow day.

 

Hornets started straffing rounds in figure 8 pattern in the morning.

Sunlit Hornet turning towards targets

Heat blur from the engine covering the whole frame

Incendiary ammo hits fired by F-5 Tigers

Super Pumas and Cougars were delivering VIPs and journalists to the event

Huge crowd of around 6000 people – not bad for an airshow in the middle of the Alps at 2.200m

F/A-18s leading the F-5s in a mixed formation over the valley

Super Puma leading the EC-635

Super Pumas escape from the wall of smoke and fire caused by its flares

Swiss pilots are used to landing in a remote spots – as can be seen here

Click on the links below to access the first two parts of the report

PART1 PART2

Below is the selection of my photos from second day of my visit to Axalp range in Switzerland; for more info on Axalp check my first part of the report.

The below photos were taken from Wildgärst mountain (2891m).

Tiger Attack!

 

Smokin’ Hornets

 

Precision mountain flying – Patrouille Suisse

 

For more photos, click on the photo below!

And stay tuned for Axalp – Thunder over Alps part 3

Meiringen Air Base

Meiringen Air Base lies in the near vincinity of Brienz and just below the Axalp range. On my first day of visit we went down there in the evening to take some night photos. I must admit it was one of the hardest things I ever photographed  – fast accelerating jet in total darkness, long exposure, only position and formation lights for visual clue and a bit of rain to top it off. At the end, some of them turned out quite OK.

Axalp part 1

Axalp is a small Swiss mountain village, lying at 1500m over the green Brienz see. In aviation world, Axalp is known for the nearby Swiss Air Force training range, where each year in early October, Swiss AF practices flying around mountains and straffing ground targets with their cannons. Axalp 2009 was my first but defintely not the last. Here’s a selection of photos from Monday 5th October.

Expect photos from Tuesday and Wednesday in the near future