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Meeting du Centenaire  BA112 Reims28 June 2009

At first I planned to make a combined trip to the Meeting du Centenaire at Reims and the Airpower 2009 at Zeltweg. Some of my friends decided to visit Zeltweg only. In the end I decided to only visit Reims-Champagne.


On Saturday afternoon Mike, Niels and I left for Verdun where we planned to spent the night at a F1 Hotel. On our way to the hotel we drove by Etain-Rouvres. We couldn't resist having a quick look at this former USAFE airbase and were happy to take some shots of the gateguards here. (see first two shots below)


After we checked in at the F1 Hotel in Verdun we had a nice dinner at the local Buffalo Grill. During the evening some heavy fog clouds came in so we kept our breaths for the day to come. When we woke up the next morning the visibility was only a 100 meters. Luckily when we came closer to BA112 Reims-Champagne the visibility got better and better. We arrived at the parking around eight o'clock in the morning, the gates opened an hour later, and the sky was clear.


The main theme of the Meeting was the 100th anniversary of the first Meeting AĆ©rien held in the Champagne area in 1909. Therefore some pretty old aircraft and replica's were present at Reims, both flying and on static display. After we entered the base we decided to first take some shots of the static display and the flightlines. Unfortunately the position of the aircraft parked at the static display was very disappointing. Many of them were parked in between fences which made it a hell to take good shots of them. Compared to the last Meeting I visited at Reims this was really a disaster.


The interesting part of the flying display started with a fly-by of a C-135FR tanker with two Mirage 2000Ns of Luxeuil. Both Mirages made some very impressive fly-by's afterwards. Lots of aerobatic teams participated in the flying display. The Swiss PC-7 team was my favorite this time, as we had some nice photo opportunities. We decided to wait for the display of the Rafale, which was really impressive. After the Rafale landed we quickly packed our stuff and walked back to the parking. The big crowd was still on base witnessing the display of the Patrouille de France, so we hardly had any traffic jams.


In the end the Meeting du Centenaire at BA112 Reims-Champagne was very disappointing. As said before it was very hard to take good shots of the static display. And the flying display was very disappointing as well. The gaps in between the displays was very disturbing and we didn't see any Mirage F.1s flying, which was also one of our main goals.  (Click here for a full log)





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