söndag 3 juni 2012

Malmen 2012

This was the first time I have been able to attend the Swedish Air Force display at Malmen Air Base, outside Linköping. Of course, distance has always been an issue, but this time I swore to myself that I would be there to see it.

And so I was.

It was a very fun day, starting and ending in rain. To say the weather was strange is a big understatement but dress properly and that is not a bother.

Entering Malmslätt by the main parking lot, the first thing I saw was the static displays in the far distance. C-130 Hercules and C-17 caught my attention easily enough but moving closer, you started to find the more interesting gems on the field.
Tiger Moth
Of course you had to stroll around the static displays and parked aircraft for a time, making sure to sit in the HPK 16 Blackhawk for some time (if only to rest your weary feet!) but I never really fancied static displays unless you can enter the Aircraft themselves.

Mustang and Spitfire

Helikopter 16 Blackhawk

C-130 Hercules

Helikopter 15



AJ-37 Viggen

Saab Historical Flight Line

J-35J Draken and AJ-37 Viggen
 I never really fancied civilian aircraft, and air shows are no exceptions. I have heard complaints that this was too much of a Swedish Defence Exhibit, but it was called "Air Force Show" so there you have it. We did however have a few foreign guests doing some bit of very fancy flying...

Finnish NH-90

P-51 Mustang

P-51 Mustang

Swiss Air Force display Team

Baltic Bees with L-39 Albatross

 Now, what pretty much everybody present was there for was of course the Saab Aircraft. Whoever says differently is probably a liar. Swedish Air Force Historical Flight and other associations have done a terrific work to restore airframes to airworthy conditions. The early Swedish Dive-Bomber B-17 made an impressive appearance, simulating dive-bombing.

For King and Country!

Then we had the Historical Six-Flight taking off...
(The Flight also included a SK-60 but I missed its take-off)

JAS-39C Gripen

J-29F Tunnan

J-35J Draken

AJ-37 Viggen

J-32B Lansen
While the 6-Flight was forming up, we was given quite the treat. A Two-Flight of Helicopter 14 and a Helicopter 16 Blackhawk did a flyby of the crowd. Helicopter 14 (Or the epic fail of Helicopter Purchases as its sometimes called) had already been seen in Finnish hands doing stunts; but Helicopter 16 Blackhawk was paid keen attention.

Helicopter 14 (NH-90)

Helicopter 16 Blackhawk

Then it was time for the big moment of the show. The Saab 6-Flight...

..and their landing was given so much attention that a civilian show was slighly postponed...

After this, we was treated with a display by the Helicopters and troops, announced with danger-close blank-firing from a Helicopter 15...

All simulated targets destroyed, zero casulties. Simple. Considering how the Fifteens poured it on, one would think that there would either be no need for ground troops - or Blue-on-Blue - but its a display, so we will let it slide ;-).

After this, the air shows continued.

J 32B Lansen and Hawker Hunter does not seem like that odd a pair to couple, but they are quite different in the air...

Eager to defend The Scandinavian Front

For some reason, the official display team of the Air Force, Team 60 are currently in Decommission. Why this is the cause, I do not know, but their place today was taken by instructors at the Malmslätt Flight Academy.

After this, a customer of the Gripen was allowed to show their stuff. It would become an inofficial competition about who could fly the Gripen better - the South Africans or the Swedes...

 The Swedes replied with a total of five Gripens. First a four-ship, then a solo display as the last point of the program.

 Then came one of the highpoints of the show. A solo display flight of AJ-37 Viggen!

Aside from a show by a single Gripen, that was it for the day. Or so I tought when I heard a roar above me. Thankfully, I had not put down my camera...

The day was really awesome, and I got away with a few nice experiences and some neat loot. Aside from a Helikopterflottiljen Shirt, I also got to sit in Helikopter 16 Blackhawk and SK60...

Yes, I tried to hijack it but I was not allowed to. Bugger.

The fact that I have been inside a blackhawk have yet to sink in yet. 
As far as I am concerned, it was well worth the trip, and I will probably do my best to attend next year. Hopefully, we will have a lot better weather then...

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