15 October 2010

Belgian F-16

Impressively loud!

Diving while releasing anti-missile flares

The F-16 tears up the sky like a sharp knife through a piece of paper.  I almost expect to see the air split as this plane goes through it.

Friday's practice plane in 2009 colours

Belgium sent one of their F-16 Fighting Falcons to open Saturday's programme.  Under the command of Commander Mitch Beulen of the Belgian Air Component, the plane was thrown around the sky, giving us a comprehensive display of the plane's flight capabilities.

Up into a climb with moisture flying off the wings

Belgium was one of 4 countries to first order the American-built F-16 fighter - 160 of them in 2 batches.  High attrition rates have seen the number of operational units reduced to 72 - the rest have either been destroyed, mothballed or sold to other countries such as Jordan.

New 2010 livery

The demonstration flight is made up of manoeuvres that are flown during practise sessions for operational missions. The only difference is that the demo flights are at a lower altitude and, as such, the amount of G-forces sustained by the pilot limits the display to approximately 10 minutes.  That's about all that our ears could take anyway!


I took these images of the F-16 during its practice run on Friday, as well as its official demo on Saturday.  It wasn't until processing the images that I saw that 2 planes had been used.  Friday's F-16 was in the old 2009 livery, while Saturday's plane sported the new 2010 design.

Anti-missile flares

 Evasive action

You can read more airshow posts by clicking on the "Festa al Cel" label below.