<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to Pilot Magazine today click here

Old Timers: Meeting Aérien ‘Le Temps des hélices’

PUBLISHED: 10:49 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 22 August 2017

La Ferte Alais poster

La Ferte Alais poster

NA

The 45th annual gathering hosted by the Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis (AJBS) on 3-4 June lived up to the high expectations of the large crowd, with over 100 aircraft in the flying display and nearly as many lined up on the ground. Words and photos by Peter R March.

There can be little doubt that the Meeting Aérien ‘Le Temps des hélices’ held on the French Pentecostal holiday weekend at the Aerodrome de Cerny – La Ferté Alais south of Paris, is one of Europe’s finest airshows.

Where else could you see so many examples of the earliest flying machines, WWI and WWII combat aircraft, civilian types from the past ninety years, right through to current commercial airliners and military front-line aircraft?

While the weather was not kind on the opening day with flying curtailed by a heavy storm, Sunday provided ideal conditions with light winds and bright skies for the full cavalcade to take to the air.

Caudron GIII over Bristol Fighter Caudron GIII over Bristol Fighter

While accustomed to seeing the Blériot XI-2 ‘Pegoud’ and Morane H flying together, the appearance of the Deperdussin T replica with them for the first time since 2008 was welcome. The AJBS Caudron GIII and Albatros C2, the Memorial Flight Association’s Spad XIII, Les Casques de Cuir’s TVAL-built Bristol F2B and the big Breguet XIV, together with various RAF SE5a replicas, represented the WWI period admirably. The Breguet replica F-POST built that first flew in Toulouse on 11 November 2003 after eleven years’ construction, was making a rare visit to La Ferté Alais.

There was a distinctly new feel to the ‘years between the wars’ with Stearman wing-walking, Bücker Jungmann, Stinson Reliant, Laird Speedwing and visiting Ryan SCW in the air. This was the first time that Australian Steve Carter has been able to participate in a flying display as under French rules he does not need to have a national display authorisation.

Breguet XIV Breguet XIV

WWII was portrayed in fine style as always with the Luftwaffe-painted Storch and Ju-52 respectively surveying the Russian battlefield and dropping parachutists. Both aircraft were ‘taken out’ by a quartet of Yaks that included Will Greenwood in his Yak 3UA G-OLEG. With only one AT-6/Zero replica available the very effective Tora! Tora! Tora! attack comprised a colourful ‘armada’ of Texans and Harvards with a solitary P-40N Warhawk defending the base.

The Fighter Collection sent two of its aircraft to the show — Gloster Gladiator and Curtiss Hawk. Unfortunately the Gladiator had an engine problem en route from Duxford and despite the efforts of TFC’s engineers could only complete a brief circuit on Saturday morning before returning to the hangar. The Hawk gave a very nice display on the first day before departing for another engagement in Holland.

Under the programme title ‘Warbirds Legende’ three iconic WWII fighters took to the air. Christophe Jacquard’s Dijon-Darois-based PR XIX PS890, recently fitted with re-sparred wings, represented the Spitfire. It was partnered by Hurricane IIa P3351, owned by Jan Friso Roozen and based at Cannes since it was imported from New Zealand in January 2013. The locally based P-51 Mustang Nooky Booky IV gave a spirited solo performance.

Deperdussin T Deperdussin T

There were two special formations in the flying display. ‘La Saga des Caps’ saw a flypast of thirteen Caps (10, 20, 21, 222, 231, 232, 332 and 432) as a tribute to Auguste Mudry designer of the Cap 10 and ‘l’Escadrille du Souvenir’ flew five Piper Cub variants to mark Jean Salis’s 80th birthday. Its involvement lower key this year, the French Navy provided a Breguet Atlantic that arrived with a rare Fouga Zephyr (navalised Magister) and a pair of Alcyons.

The ever popular appearance of Christophe Jacquard’s Sea Fury F-AZXJ accompanied by the Swiss Hunter T68 HB-RVR heralded outstanding duo and solo displays. When they were joined by the brightly painted French Air Force Rafale the heritage formation presented ‘three generations of fighters’. There was another opportunity for the AJBS pyrotechnic team to demonstrate their explosive skills in the ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ sequence involving two Skyraiders and a T-28A Fennec.

Texans Tora Texans Tora

The return of Air France to La Ferté Alais some thirty years after the airline first participated with Concorde accompanied by the Patrouille de France, was a highlight of the Sunday afternoon. This year the PAF’s eight Alpha Jets escorted an Air France Boeing 777-300.

As usual the lines of aircraft on static display and the nearby hangars had a number of historic aircraft and non-flying replicas that were new to the event or were unable to make it into the flying programme for various reasons. These included the Memorial Flight Association’s Fokker D.VII and Sopwith 11/2 Strutter, a Fokker EIII locally built by Hubert Mars, a ‘new’ Sopwith Pup replica that arrived with a Nieuport replica from Villerupt and Argenteuil Retroplanes’ Donnet Leveque amphibian (F-AZXB) on show to the public for the first time.

However, catching the attention of visitors because of its strange shape and bright red paint scheme, the replica of Henri Coanda’s 1910 aircraft had been brought to the show from Craiova, Romania where it had been built by ARPIA over three years from October 2009. Coanda’s original ‘turbine’ aircraft was exhibited at the second Paris Salon in 1910.

Accompanying the Coanda at La Ferté Alais was another ARPIA replica — Traian Vuia’s No 1 aeroplane. On 18 March 1906 he flew his steam powered machine a distance of 12m at a height of 1m at Montesson near Paris. The replica was built in 2015 in Craiova.

To complete their ‘vintage day’ at La Ferté Alais, visitors wanting to take to the air had an appropriate choice of aircraft to fly over the local area: Swiss Ju52, German DH Dove and home based Travel Air 4000, Stearman, Texan and T-28 Trojan, as well as several helicopters. This is the show not to be missed. The next Meeting Aérien is on 19-20 May 2018. www.ajbs.fr

_______________

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Pilot visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Pilot staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Pilot account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from News

Thursday, April 19, 2018

At the official opening of the 26th AERO at Friedrichafen – Europe’s leading GA expo and the place to see light aviation’s future unfold in front of your eye - the development of quiet and environmentally-friendly electric aircraft continues to pick up speed and dominate the headlines

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This year’s Royal Air Force centenary and the connections between rugby and the RAF will be celebrated by the opening of a new exhibition at the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham Stadium

Read more
Monday, April 16, 2018

The Housing Secretary promises to balance the economic contribution of general aviation with development needs

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

Keep your diary clear, these aviation events will have your April sorted

Read more
Thursday, April 12, 2018

The CAA has released a new version of its listening squawks flight card together with LARS frequencies

Read more
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bose has introduced its new active noise cancelling headset for the flight deck, the Bose ProFlight Aviation Headset, a headset described as lightweight and comfortable with three levels of user selectable active noise cancellation

Read more
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Air racing is set to be revolutionized with plans for the world’s first all-electric airplane race announced this week which will be led by the same racing promoter who founded the Air Race 1 World Cup

Read more
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Reborn Aviation, Europe’s leading remanufacturer of light aircraft, yesterday delivered it’s first Reborn Warrior to Aerobility, the charity offering disabled people the opportunity to fly an aeroplane

Read more
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Following confusion arising over Notam changes to radio frequencies at London Oxford (Kidlington) Airport, the situation has been clarified by nearby Bicester Gliding Club’s CFI

Read more
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

…and soon be able use a Medical Declaration for an EASA Licence on conversion, says the UK Civil Aviation Authority in a last-minute reprieve to many Private Pilots who had been wondering how and even if they would continue to fly after the deadline

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read


Subscribe or buy Pilot Magazine