Niergnies Tiger Meet Airshow 2011 Report
Sunday 15th May 2011
To mark both the 50th Anniversary of the first Tiger Meet and the closure of Cambrai, a special airshow was held on May 15th - the mid-point of the two week exercise - at nearby Niergnies airfield. Cold weather and poor light combined to spoil the spectacle but at least it stayed dry. What was originally advertised as a Tiger Meet airshow expanded into a nearly seven hour display of a variety of aircraft from a Morane Saulnier 317 to the Rafale, though it was the unique formations of a Mirage 2000 with the Patrouille de France and a formation of nine Tiger marked aircraft which were the highlights for many.
reports on the airshow to mark the 50th Anniversary of the NATO Tigers, with additional photos from .
Divided into three segments, it was mainly French historic aircraft were predominant in the first part of the air display, while various miscellaneous airshow acts and display teams resumed after a short break to form the second chunk with final segment comprising contemporary military displays - mainly aircraft operating from nearby Epinoy.
A Piper J3 in tiger markings appropriately kicked off the show followed by a selection of aircraft including Potez 60, Tiger Moth, a team of four Druine Turbulents and the six Yak 50s of the Aerostars.The Breitling wing walking pair of Boeing Stearmans appeared unbothered by the gusty on-crowd crosswind conditions, performing a very tight display. Solo helicopter displays were flown by a Eurocopter Tiger and a Czech Hind with an EC145 of the Securite Civile performing a rescue demonstration, and a pair of Italian AB212s based at Grazzanise also displayed.
There was a steady stream of solo fast jet displays. A silver Vampire in French navy markings was followed the Golden Apple F-86A, resplendent in recently applied Tiger stripes in honour of pilot and guest of honour Cliff Spink, invited over by the NATO Tiger Association to join the anniversary celebrations as a former OC of the RAF's now disbanded Tiger unit, 74 Squadron. These were followed by a French Alpha Jet, Austrian Saab 105, Swiss Hornet, Slovak MiG 29 and a French Rafale.
The flying programme was brought to a close by the Patrouille de France performing to their usual standard.