Tag Archive: Hornet


Axalp is so much more than an airshow. Axalp is experience!

Not only do you have to climb the mountain, to attend it, you must also expect the unexpected – especially the sudden changes of weather. And the weather was the culprit this year as well. Tuesday’s afternoon airshow was cancelled because of incoming rain. Wednesday’s airshow was already cancelled the night before and while we woke up to a starry night on Thursday’s early morning at 3AM, the show was eventually cancelled because of the low cloud cover.

Below photos were taken on Tuesday, waiting for the to-be cancelled afternoon practice on Tschingel and Thursday’s hike up to sunlit Wildgärst.

The people of Tschingel

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Hike up the mountain always wets the appetite – forget the power bars; there’s nothing better than a piece of bread and sausage enjoyed in fresh Alpine air.

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Damn, this thing is heavy!

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When visiting such an event, don’t forget to document everything! By any means necessary.

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Sharp, Soft, Out of Focus, Delete, Sharp, Soft, Out of Focus, Delete,…

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While most of the photographers feel sorry for themselves, carrying the heavy camera equipment up the hill, the award goes to this guy – carrying two kids!

The attack on Wildgärst

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While we started in pitch black night, crossing alpine streams and our paths lit only by headlamps, the dawn up in the Alps always look amazing.

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Panorama of the area below the Schwarzhorn, looking towards the West. Click on the photo for bigger resolution.

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One of the most amazing things in the Alps – sunrise!

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My two Swiss guides, Grimmi and Adrian with our destination, Wildgärst in the background.

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Finally on top! Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains bask in the morning sunlight!

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NE to SW panorama from the Wildgärst. Click on the photo for bigger resolution.

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F-5E Tigers flew in to check for the weather…

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…but while we were enjoying the sunshine, targets on the range were covered by low clouds, as was most of the Switzerland.

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Next visitor was this Pilatus PC-21.

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While the pilot couldn’t perform his display on the range, he did make a few inverted low passed for the people gathered on Wildgärst…

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…and disappeared behind the mountains again.

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In the meantime, we could at least feed and observe the feisty Alpine Choughs.

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Watchbird.

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The poser!

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Later, F/A-18 Hornets tried their luck to no avail.

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And all we could do, before returning down the mountain, was to observe Hornet intercepts above our heads.

F/A-18C Hornet at Axalp 2015

Swiss Air Force uses Hornets for main air-defense duty. Based at Payerne (FS17 and FS18) and Meiringen (FS11), they constitute the backbone of aerial defense of Switzerland. Although designed as a carrier-borne aircraft and a reliable multi-role platform, Hornet’s short reaction time and good performance make it ideal for the diverse Swiss terrain.

The following photos were taken on Tuesday, October 6th 2015.

Video clip shot with Samsung S5 Active.

 

 

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Axalp2012 – Morning Hornets

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This is the last part of my Zeltweg Airpower 2011 report. If you have a chance, please do visit it, as it is one of the best airshows in the central Europe. Thanks for watching my photos and stay tuned for more (MAKS 2011 coming soon).

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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