Reims Air ShowPhotographer: Frank Grealish
27th & 28th June 2009Location:
Reims - Champagne (RHE / LFSR), France
The Meeting du Centenaire was organised to commemorate the first air show to be held at Reims 100 years ago in August 1909. The location of this first air show just so happened to be at the same place where the modern day French Air Force air base is situated. Reims air base(BA112) is home to the Dassault Mirage F1 and is due to close in 2011. IrishAirPics went to this air show in the hope of seeing some of the locally based Mirage F1s being thrown around the sky.
Unfortunately that was not to be, the Mirage F1 did not appear anywhere on the flying program for either Saturday or Sunday so I decided to take a walk through the static when after a short while two F1s took off for their one and only pass, the only time over the entire weekend an F1 got airborne. Needless to say, seeing as I had a 22mm lens fitted to my camera at the time, I missed the departure.
Worse was to come though... I made it back to the crowd line for their return only for my camera to refuse to focus on them! Result = no Mirage F1 flying shots!
The at times cloudy weather combined with the hazy atmosphere conspired to make photography of the flying a bit tricky. As well as that the high fence between the crowd and the runway prevented the taking of landing and taxi shots.
Still, apart from all that, there was a good line up of aircraft, old and new, to both look at and photograph. Specially painted commemorative fighters added a splash of colour to the air show, as did the various display teams that were present.
As the Meeting du Centenaire was supposed to be more that an air show various aviation related exhibits were arranged throughout the city of Reims, the most impressive of which was a Mirage F1 sitting in the middle of a pedestrianised street. There was something quite unique about sitting down to dinner outdoors with nothing but a full sized fighter jet to look at!