New kid on the block

I had an enjoyable day today. Quite last minute I got the opportunity to go to the Airbase of Koksijde to attend the presentation of the first NH90 which will replace the Seaking for SAR missions. Recently I really try to make photographs that are good in a photographic sense, and less from an aviation enthousiasts point of view. But going to a presentation like this with the national press, makes it pretty much impossible to do so. Safety first, so nobody is allowed to get close to the helicopters when they took off. So I went with the hope to photograph old and new together in the air. And that’s exactly what I got! Some journalists got lucky and flew in one of the two heli’s, but seeing them fly over the beach was really great! And it certainly made up to missing the airshow at Lens this Sunday. More pictures will follow in future blogposts.

Many thanks to those who made this possible!

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Old and new flying together above the beach. Mission accomplished!
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The minister of defence being interviewed by the local television station.
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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Are they just NH 90s in Belgian service, or do the use the name Caiman, like the French versions? Great pics, you lucky sod. Brit/Irish ex pat nearly next door to you in Valenciennes, northern France. Wish I had the opportunities you have for flying & taking great photos. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. apron6 says:

      Thanks for the reply!
      They don’t really have name yet. I don’t think Caiman is very matching to be honest. ‘poseidon’ or ‘neptune’ would be cool.
      Valenciennes is indeed pretty close! I think less than an hour drive from where I live. 🙂
      Getting the opportunities is mostly hard work, but also a bit of luck and a lot of goodwill by the right people. Without them I wouldn’t be going nowhere. 🙂

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  2. I find the French naming of some aircraft a bit random at times. Why they call the NH 90 after an Indian crocodile is beyond me. As i subscribe to more & more blogs, i get more & more confused with local naming of aircraft differently. I speak a terrible patois of Franglais & Ch’ti. Talking about aircraft in my limited ungrammatical French is difficult. Even envy the fact you’ve flown in the ancient Short Skyvan, built in my natal Northern Ireland. It must be held together by string, chewing gum & Scotch by now! Keep the great photos coming. Bonne chance pour le prochaine.

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    1. apron6 says:

      Haha, it sure is getting an old plane. But a great photoship and fantastic plane. It used to fly at Valenciennes sometimes. Not sure if they still do though.
      Thanks for passing by 😉

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      1. Cracks me up a bit as Valenciennes so many variations on airfield name. Prouvy, Prouvy-Denain, Prouvy-Valenciennes, Denain-Prouvy, Valenciennes Aeroport, etc, etc. Now of course everyone will remember it’s been renamed Nungesser Valenciennes Aeroport. Keep missing the airshow between no transport at time, or been down in the Morbihan, where did see few low level Rafale Ms, Mirage 2000s & assorted helos, trying to take the chimney off the belle soeur’s house. Hope to actually get to the meeting aérienne this year, but if not, could do worse than previous year, & watch from distance, from balcony with a few cold beers! Maybe the local parachute clubs will update with the second hand Short Sherpas that the US retired recently, & keep up the Shorts’ tradition!

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