Roger Cook/Pynelea Photo Bureau reflects on the Danish Air Show, Skrydstrup Air Base, 11 June 2006
Starting with a cloudless blue sky, the day stayed that way and with temperatures forecast to reach thirty degrees Celsius during the afternoon, the stage was set for a great airshow. With free admission, the local population, plus a few long distance travellers, streamed through the open gates from 07:00 to eventually swell the numbers to over 75,000.
The static proved to be an interesting line-up with one or two gems, although some irritating white tape close to the aircraft made photography a bit tricky, but the larger aircraft, 100th ARW KC-135R, New York ANG LC-130H, Marineflieger Atlantic and NATO E-3A were nicely positioned for photos, if you could avoid the people.
Various Kongelige Danske Flyvevåben (Danish Air Force) displays within the HAS area showed various F-16s with differing weapons fit. It was a first for me to see a Danish Merlin Mk 512, now serving with Esk 722. The static also contained three F-4s - one Greek, one Turkish and one German, and a German Navy Lynx Mk88 from MFG 3 complete with a superb Lynx paint job. An An-2 from the Estonian Air Force was also a rare treat.
The flying display provided something for everyone with vintage fliers from the Dansk Veteranflysamlung from Stauning - P-51 Mustang, B-25 Mitchell, a four-ship display by Chipmunk in KDF marks, to the fast jets of Gripen, Typhoon (German), F-18 (Spanish), Mig-29 (Polish) and displays by solo F-16s from the KDF and Royal Netherlands Air Force. The Dutch F-16 seemed content to use his year's allocation of flares in one display - watch out for this routine in the UK!
The highlight was probably the massed take-off by seventeen KDF F-16s to carry out an airfield attack, followed by a sixteen-ship formation flypast. But, with two squadrons of F-16s based at Skrydstrup, you would expect that, wouldn't you! Apart from the 'Chip Chaps' and the 'Baby Blue' T-17 team from the Danish Air Force Flying School, there were no display teams.
If I have one criticism of the flying display, it is that the crowdline faced south, and with such beautiful weather it meant looking up into the sun for much of the day. Most of the display aircraft were taxied close to the crowd so that everyone could get a good view and show their appreciation to the pilots.
The static contained an immaculate DC-3, LN-WND, whose pilot seemed content to spend the day polishing the gleaming metal to an even higher shine! This was matched by a Beech AT-7 N21FS, a machine once owned by Frank Borman of US Space fame, whose mirror-like reflections made photography a little difficult. Another C-47 marked in KDF colours provided joy flights throughout the day.
The day before the show was designated 'Spotters Day' and allowed close-up photography of some of the flying display aircraft and also the static line without the crowds, although that irritating white tape was certainly in evidence!
With good weather, a full flying programme, an interesting static line and sensible positioning of aircraft, this was a show to remember. Next year the show moves to Alborg.