A dynamic, elegant and precise aerial ballet: the Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM

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#airshowscot Scotland’s National Airshow

Swiss Air Force PC-7 team in formation over The Alps © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS
Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM in formation over The Alps © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS

A warm welcome from Switzerland!

Ever wondered how large aircraft formations are able to perform a precise, uniquely choreographed display?

Well, to shorten a long story, besides the necessary training and skills it needs passion! Passion from every single member of the TEAM, be it a pilot, commentator or commanding officer. Apart from other display formations around the world, in Switzerland every military display pilot has his primary duty as a combat ready squadron pilot, either as an advanced fast jet pilot instructor on the F/A-18 Hornet, or as an instructor for future combat pilots on PC-7 or PC-21. The TEAM specially selects all of its members – no one can just apply for a position.

Swiss Air Force PC-7 team from the cockpit © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS
Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM in formation over The Alps  © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS

I think, dear reader you get the point: for all of us it’s a great honour to represent Switzerland, the Swiss Army and the Swiss Air Force abroad. There is a special glue between the members, we don’t have a large support division. Our Facebook page, website and printed flyer and many other things are produced and managed completely internally: passion! This is the main reason we write our brand in capital letters…

Swiss Air Force PC-7 team from the cockpit © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS
Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM from the cockpit © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS

In 1989 the TEAM was officially founded, the basic facts remained the same, nine aircraft PC-7, display with a duration of roughly 20 minutes demonstrating the ability of the Swiss Air Force to show a specified performance at a certain location at a precise time – Swiss-ness at its best.

Swiss Air Force PC-7 view of the team in formation © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS
Swiss Air Force PC-7 view of the TEAM in formation © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS

Some important innovations were implemented during the last few years. The most obvious one is our smoke system, which we have operated since 2014. Second, our commentator equipment which allows us to deliver the final mix of commentary, radio transmissions and music which has been specially composed for us, just to name three, others will speak for themselves, come and see.

We are therefore rather talking about a demonstration of our daily work instead of an airshow. All the manoeuvres in our display, are the prerequisites of any Swiss fighter pilot, no specialties there. The excellence lies in the fact that our Swiss made PC-7 is a comfortable basic military training aircraft. With a 550hp turbine engine and a max take-off weight of around 2100kg it is not exactly a racing machine – so energy management, especially from the lead aircraft becomes a vital issue during the large formation presentations. The outer elements are always on each side of the airspeed indicator, having the throttles either in idle or at maximum power.

 Swiss Air Force PC-7 team in diamond Genfersee © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS
Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM in diamond formation over the Genfersee © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS

To finalize: It’s going to be fantastic for us to visit Scotland for the first time – and for you dear guest and spectator, be assured that we will do our utmost to make your visit an unforgettable one!

We hope to see you all at Scotland’s National Airshow in bonnie Scotland!

Swiss Air Force PC-7 team in formation © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS
Swiss Air Force PC-7 TEAM in formation © Swiss Department of Defence, Public Defence and Sport DDPS

#NewHangars

The Second World War hangars at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield have undergone a £3.6 million restoration and refurbishment and were unveiled on Good Friday 25 March 2016. The hangars house an array of world-class military, leisure and commercial aircraft engagingly presented alongside interactives and film.  The stories of those who piloted, worked or flew in the aircraft are told through thought-provoking interviews and displays featuring uniforms, documents and photographs.

If you found this post interesting there’s a good chance that your friends and colleagues will also, so do share using #airshowscot #NewHangars

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