The magic of the golden sun – 6th Sanicole Sunset Airshow
Since 2010 the Sanicole Sunset Airshow offers the breathtaking evening of both military and civilian aircrafts flying displays, performed with the accompaniment of the light and music.
The evening show starts at 6 p.m. and follows, as the sun goes down, to the early night hours with the usual fireworks show at the end of the programme. This kind of the airshow is even more depending on the weather than the usual daytime event and this year the perfectly clear sky over the Sanicole airfield allowed the spectators to watch the displays performed in the amazing, warm sunlight and the moon shining in the background.
One of the stars of the 6th Sanicole Sunset was the American B-1B Lancer strategic bomber. The B-1B performed two passes over the airfield, as the second display in the Sunset Airshow programme, but she arrived from RAF Fairford a much earlier and was circling over Sanicole for more than thirty minutes giving the spectators the possibility to take some unexpected photos and to enjoy the view of that mighty supersonic bomber.
The show started with Stolp Starduster Too biplane performing the aerobatics display, then followed by B-1B and another aerobatics show by British aerobatics champion Mark Jefferies in his Extra 330SC. A sharp contrast between two small aerobatic specials and the strategic nuclear bomber was really a strong point in the airshow programme.
There is no show without the aerobatics team and the Swiss PC-7 team followed shortly. They started with the joint pass with Swiss AS332 Super Puma that also performed a short solo display, and then the visitors could enjoy the group of Pilatus trainers at their group aerobatics programme.
The roar of the supersonic jet engine announced the next display and it was Czech Air Force JAS-39 Gripen solo display. Having seen the Czech Gripen at many events in the Czech Republic I can say just one comment – I wish such display could be performed during any of the Czech airshows! The rays of golden sun had turned the usual all-grey-look of Gripen into the amber point over the blue sky and all this with the moon in the background.
Two orange-painted Boeing Stearman biplanes meant there was the time for the Breitling Wingwalkers show. Emily Guilding and Florence Rolleston-Smith were the wingwalkers, performing, together with their pilots, the breathtaking aerobatics and wing walking display over the airfield.
The pair of Flying Bulls warbirds – P-38 Lightning and F4U Corsair – followed and particularly the silver P-38 mirrored the rays of the setting sun in no less than fabulous way.
Another warbird was coming to the Sanicole airfield, the Spitfire IX from the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight. This time, that classic warbird was flying in the pair with the Belgian Air Force F-16 fighter – a special and unique formation created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Belgian Air Force.
The F-16 was certainly the ´Blizzard´ demo aircraft, flown by Tom ´Gizmo´ de Moortel. After the special display with the Spitfire, ´Gizmo´ performed his solo programme. It seemed that the ´Blizzard’ was made especially for the sunset show – again the rays of the golden sun were creating the amazing warm look of the patterns the F-16 was painted with.
As the sun slowly disappeared and the sky was getting darker there was the time for the light and pyrotechnic show. The first of those special displays was performed by Skydance Glider Display Team, followed by Brendan O´Brien helicopter show and the pair of motorgliders from AeroSPARX team. GliderFX Display Team was the final flying display and soon the traditional firework display announced that the Sunset Airshow 2016 is over.
The 6th Sanicole Sunset Airshow was, again, the great aviation experience and this event is really worth visiting by every aviation fan. The variety of the aircrafts and the special light and pyrotechnic displays are the strong points of Sanicole Sunset. And the weather together with the evening light could create some magical moments that anyone would love.