Meiringen AFB – 24 March 2022
Today the press conference was held in Emmen for the update by the Swiss authorities on the AIR2030 program (you can find the article which).
It's always nice to see the F. 35, but the smell of kerosene burnt by the reactors in motion attracts me strongly.
The distance that separates Emmen airport from Meiringen airport is 50 about km, the day is beautiful and the decision is soon made.
While I cross the track on foot, in the midst of a scenery of incomparable beauty, I am beginning to see the changes taking place at the edge of the airport:
the shelter behind the level crossing has been demolished and another building is being built in its place. Also the one next to the runway head 23 it is gone and in its place there is nothing.
They were 2 exceptional spotter points: especially the one at the head allowed truly exceptional photographs of the landing planes. Pity.
I look at the position of the mobile chariot and see it at the head 23 and then I head to this location using the dirt road that runs along the irrigation canal that runs along the low border network of the track. The road is used by large Army dump trucks that reach a nearby construction site that raise enormous amounts of dust. I position myself on the right side of the roadway and thanks to the light breeze that blows from the south I manage to avoid ending up dusty at each passage.
Finally the gates of the gods open 2 shelters at the edge of the track that reveal, inside them, 2 Hornet ready for the afternoon mission. The unmistakable noise of 4 General Electric F404 is starting to make itself felt but I hear others 6 that light up from the square in front of the cave shelter: I'll see 5 take offs.
After the usual checks i 2 F 18 they leave the shelters and head towards the runway head. I also see the arrival of the others 3 which are placed in the square behind the embankment which is next to the runway head. In the meantime we are flown over by an F 18 which is preparing for landing. I hear the sound of the road level crossing closing and I see that i 2 Hornets that were taking off stop at the holding point.
The 5012 put the wheels right in front of me and immediately afterwards the take-offs begin.
Prima i 2 planes released from shelters, then a two-seater and then two single-seaters with armament configurations (inert) very special: one 2 double AMRAAM launchers at the internal sub-wing pylons and the other with single AMRAAMs at the external sub-wing pylons. Both also carried the AIM 9X to the tips in addition to the usual ventral reservoir. I had only seen the missiles at the subordinate positions in the static display in the 2016 on the occasion of the celebrations for the 75 years the airport (you can find the article which).
The movements are very fast and in little more than 4 minutes the sound of the afterburners still gives way to the chirping of birds.
There is still room for the hum of a couple of PCs 7 engaged in take-offs and landings but then the chariot moves and the net at the head is raised 23. Landings will take place for 05.
I therefore move to the level crossing, also because the wind has turned and the dust now hits me every time the trucks pass, landing on camera lenses and slipping everywhere.
Before the Hornets there is also a now rare F 5F Tiger II two-seater that performs a touch 'n go. It’ already high when it comes to my part and the photos are all shot against the sun. Let's hope the footage is a little better
Like take-offs, landings also occur in perfect sequence. Unfortunately all very far: I can just resume taxiing with the airbrake extended. I still wait a few minutes and a lonely PC 6 Porter lands, luckily a little’ closer, to avoid a long taxi.
Now the day can be said to be truly over. All I have to do is photograph the Tiger impaled on my way back to the car.
Enjoy the photographs