Tag Archives: Patrouille de France

Spectacular Flyover in Paris Overshadows French Formation Smoke Color Faux Pas

Sacré Bleu! French Aerobatic Team Admits Color Blunder in Amazing Bastille Flyover.

Following a week of spectacular flyovers beginning with the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force in London last week, the French were not to be outdone on the weekend of their annual national celebration of Bastille Day over Paris on Saturday, July 14, 2018.

On Saturday, formations of France’s most impressive aircraft overflew Paris and the picturesque Avenue des Champs-Élysées in an impressive review that accompanied a large military parade up the Avenue.

The French flyover and military parade, an annual spectacle in celebration of France’s independence, adds to the discussion of a proposed similar display in the U.S. that has largely been shouted down by opponents. Russia, North Korea, China, UK and France among other smaller nations stage conspicuous military parades with flyovers as a means of memorializing their armed forces, paying homage to their history and as a show of military might.

A new French Airbus Defense Industries A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport escorts delta-wing Mirage 2000 attack aircraft over Paris on Bastille Day. (Photo: Armee de l’Air)

The French flyover on the anniversary of the Bastille Day, the anniversary of the French uprising and storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 during the French Revolution, featured an impressive 64 aircraft. The display included the Dassault Rafale, Airbus Military A400M Atlas, the Boeing E-3F Sentry AWACS aircraft, the C-135FR tanker variant, and the beautiful delta-wing Dassault Mirage 2000s.

A formation of pretty Dassault Rafales over Paris on Bastille Day. (Photo: Armee de l’Air)

The French Armée de l’Air also produced a nice video short of the flyover from a CASA CN-235M light tactical transport.

There was a minor, widely publisized embarrassing moment for the normally outstanding French Patrouille Acrobatique de France flight demonstration team.

During the July 14, 2018 Fête Nationale or Bastille Day flyover in Paris the team added a ninth aircraft to the normal eight-plane formation. The additional aircraft, normally not a part of this wedge formation, flew in the right-wing position. As the team began their dedication flyover of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the picturesque Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile they actuated their traditional colored smoke trails. Normally the tricolor smoke trailing the aircraft mimics the blue, white, red pattern of the French national flag from the right of the formation to the left as viewed from the pilots’ perspective. But in this instance the extra ninth aircraft on the pilots’ right side of the formation mistakenly trailed red smoke instead of the correct blue smoke.

Some social media observers thought this may have been a purposeful modification to the display because the aircraft were carrying three members of France’s special forces on board for the celebration. But on Sunday following the flyover, French Air Force Spokesman Colonel Cyrille Duvivier, told news media, “It was not planned. It was an error.”

Colonel Duvivier went on to tell France’s Le Connexion news media that, “La Patrouille de France is normally eight planes, and on July 14, it presents as nine. The ninth plane is the ‘extra’…and it can take any position. It is the only one to have all three colors. We must ascertain why, precisely, this color was not correct.”

As it stands the color mismatch by the normally fashion conscious French was not the day’s only faux pas. Two motorcycle gendarmes collided and toppled over during an attempted impressive display of precision low-speed motorcycle handling along the same parade route. The two Gendarmes were seen scrambling on French television like keystone cops to get their heavy motorcycles upright. This is not typical of the French special police motorcycle forces, many of whom are working as anti-terrorist security forces during the Tour de France bicycle race being held across France during the month of July. For the second year, the forces at the tour de France include both the Garde Républicaine motorcycle unit and the elite French anti-terrorist police unit, the GIGN (Groupe d’intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale).

France’s Patrouille de France flight demonstration team flies the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet light, twin-engine, two-seat jet trainer. The team has an illustrious record and flew a first-ever month and half demonstration tour at airshows in the United States and Canada in 2017. Interestingly, the USAF Thunderbirds participated in an exchange flyover in Paris in 2017 also as a salute to France on Bastille Day.

Top image: the French aerobatic team normally flies with blue, white and red smoke to mimic the French flag. (Photo: Twitter/Pandov Strochnis)

Check out these stunning photographs of the French display team flying over New York City today

The Patrouille de France has officially started his American tour flying over the Statue of Liberty in New York City. And here are some great images.

On Mar. 25, at 12 pm local time, the Patrouille de France display team kicked off its first ever U.S. tour flying over the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

The formation of eight Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet twin-engine two-seat jets flew over Manhattan trailing an A400M airlifter belonging to the Escadron de Transport 1/61 Touraine from BA 123 Orléans-Bricy, that acted as camera-ship and from where the cool photographs you can find in this post were taken.

Patrouille de France has reached the U.S. via Keflavik, Kangerlussuaq (Greenland), Bagotville, and is scheduled to perform a fly-by in Washington DC on Mar. 29 before taking part in 9 full airshows plus a number of arrival/departure, fly-by and special events across the country.

Here’s a selfie from the cockpit of Athos Leader, the team’s #1.

Image credit: French Air Force / Patrouille de France

 

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French Aerobatic Team Patrouille de France Announces Official U.S. Schedule

World’s Oldest Aerobatic Team to Fly 9 Full Demos Plus Flyovers in USA.

The world’s oldest aerobatic demonstration team, the French Patrouille de France, has announced their official flight demonstration calendar for their first ever U.S. tour. The team has scheduled 9 full airshow flight demonstrations in the United States plus a number of arrival/departure, fly-by and special events.

Patrouille de France began flying in 1931 using an early radial engine, high wing monoplane, the Morane-Saulnier MS-230. The MS-230 was an exceptional aircraft for the time and one of the first tandem cockpit single engine monoplanes, paving the way for modern tactical aircraft. It was an ideal demonstration aircraft then operated by French military flight instructors at early airshows.

The team disbanded as a result of WWII but reformed in 1954 and began operating the U.S. built Republic F-84, also flown by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The team went on to fly the indigenous French built Dassault Ouragon, the Dassault Mystere IV, the Fouga Magister and finally their current aircraft, the nimble and pretty Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet light attack and advanced trainer twin-engine two-seat jet.

Patrouille de France will fly a unique demonstration for U.S. airshow fans since the team operates a large formation of eight Alpha Jets compared to only six demonstration aircraft by U.S. jet teams the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. Some opposing maneuvers in their routine similar to U.S. team “knife edge” solo passes use four opposing aircraft instead of two making for a sensational photo opportunity.

According to AirShowStuff.com this is the United States demo schedule for Patrouille de France in 2017:

2017 North American Tour Appearance Schedule – Patrouille de France

March 19th: Arrive Bagotville, QC
March 25th: Statue of Liberty Flyby, New York
March 27th: Washington DC flyby and reception with French Ambassador
April 1st and 2nd: Melbourne Air Show, FL
April 4th: Sun-n-Fun Airshow, Lakeland, FL
April 5th and 6th: Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of US entry into WW1, Kansas City, MO
April 7th-9th: Maxwell AFB Airshow, AL
April 10th-12th: Visit w/USN Blue Angels at NAS Pensacola, FL
April 12th: Flyby over Trescal Factory, Dallas, TX
April 12th: Refueling in Santa Fe, NM
April 13th: Grand Canyon, AZ Flyby/photoshoot
April 13th-16th: California Capitol Airshow, Sacramento & Golden Gate Bridge Flyby in San Francisco, CA
April 17th-18th: Visit w/USAF Thunderbirds at Nellis AFB, NV
April 19th: Refueling at Peterson AFB and USAF Academy Flyby, CO
April 19th: Refueling at Scott AFB, IL
April 20th-21st: VIP Event at Langley AFB, VA
April 22nd-23rd: Airshow at Stewart ANG Base, NY
April 28th-29th: NATO Tattoo in Norfolk, VA
April 30th: Wings Over Gatineau Airshow, Gatineau, QC
May 1st: Montreal, QC
May 2nd: Quebec City, QC
May 4th: Departure from Bagotville, QC

In celebration of the U.S. tour the demonstration aircraft will feature a special U.S. themed paint scheme recently unveiled on the official Patrouille de France Facebook page. The scheme features a new tail livery with stars and stripes.

Image credit: Patrouille de France

 

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Amazing video shows three Jetmen fly in formation with the Patrouille de France display team

The three Jetmen Yves Rossy, Vincent Reffet and Fred Fugen flew together with the Patrouille de France in an unprecedented aerial choreography.

Little more than one year ago, Jetman Dubai flew in formation with an Airbus A380 over Dubai during a special publicity event organised by Emirates Airlines.

In October 2016, the three jetpack-equipped pilots formed up with the 8 Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France, the French Air Force aerobatic display team and flew together at an altitude of 4,000 ft (1,200 m) and a speed of 140 knots (260 km/h).

Although it may seem an easy or random task, such formation flying requires much preparation in order to reduce turbulence and consequent instability.

Here below you can watch the rather unusual men-aircraft formation.

Image credit: © Airborne FilmsJetman

In 2011, Jetman Yves Rossy flew in formation with the Breitling Jet Team.

[Video] Rafale fighter jets perform aerobatics with the Patrouille de France

This video is not only interesting for the quality of the footage.

What’s really intesting is the fact that it shows the Patrouille de France, the French Air Force display team, performing some (basic) aerobatic maneuvers with a couple of Rafale multirole fighter jets.

Even if display teams fly in formation with aircraft of a different type to celebrate specific events or air-to-air photo shootings (the large final formation including Mirage 2000s is a clear example of such episodes), they usually don’t fly the whole or part of their display (not even a loop, as shown in the video) with other aircraft not belonging to the team.

Rafale PdF

This is because the peculiarities of the formation aerobatics are such that a long and focused training is required to be able to fly aerobatic maneuvers so close to other planes, a kind of flying not normally conducted by pilots belonging to operative combat units.

Anyway, the French Air Force did a great job and the resulting short promotional video is quite cool.

PATROUILLE DE FRANCE vs RAFALE www.patrouilledefrancelefilm.com from AIRBORNE FILMS on Vimeo.

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