Thousands of spectators gathered at Tanagra Air Base north of Athens on Saturday to watch spectacular displays by some of the world’s best aerobatics pilots on the first day of the annual Athens Flying Week (AFW) air show.
The air show, that has more than 410,000 fans worldwide, had a record attendance last year with 60,000 Greeks and 4,000 visitors from abroad attending.
Among the first-time participants were the legendary French Air Force team “Patrouille de France” that dates back 66 years and inspires awe with its eight “Alphajet” aircraft simulating a battle above Tanagra.
The program also includes appearances by the “Royal Jordanian Falcons” from Jordan, with the Extra 330LX monoplanes executing flawless formations, precision low-altitude solo flights by the Belgian Air Force F-16s, and a flying display by an Austrian Air Force Saab 105 aircraft.
There will also be a first appearance in Greece of legendary aircraft that will fill spectators with nostalgia, such as the 1958 Douglas DC-6B, the four-engine passenger plane that served as the presidential aircraft used by Marshal Tito, the historic and rare ‘Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair’ fighter and bomber used on U.S. aircraft carriers in World War II and a 1974 B0105 helicopter.
Johan Gustafsson from Sweden and Luca Bertossio from Italy will once again soar silently in the sky above Tanagra in their gliders, shortly after sunset, while Greek pilot Dimitris Ververelis will put on a solo display of his prowess in a helicopter, in the Wizard Helobatics show.
Spectators will also have an opportunity to see at close range the Italian Air Force’s Aeromachi MB-339 and M-346 aircraft, a United States C-130 J and the latest addition to the Hellenic Air Force fleet, the TECNAM P-2002JF training aircraft, the F-4E Phantom II and the Mirage 2000-5.