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Belgian Helidays 2003 at Lüttich-Bierset

AirVenture-reporter on the spot : Hartmut Seidel   -   Translation by Brigitte Reinert

After the visit of the very impressing Belgian Helidays 2002 all helicopter-fans had to wait for a year looking forward to the next Belgian Helidays. It really was worth waiting ! On May 31 and June 1, 2003, the Belgian Helidays 2003 took place at the Belgian Army Light Aviation Airbase situated at the military part of the airport Lüttich-Bierset ( Liège-Bierset ). A huge Static Display, a very good flight program and excellent weather conditions made of this event a real Highlight for every helicopter-fan !

Teil 1 : Helicopter in Flight-Program
Teil 2 : Static Display ( A )
Teil 3 : Static Display ( B ) and other Highlights !
Agusta A109 At  Belgian Army Light Aviation Airbase Liège-Bierset are stationed the  17th  und 18th helicopter-battalion of Belgian Army for anti-tank-defence (17ème und 18ème Bataillon d' Helicoptères Antichars). They are equipped with the Italian helicopter type Agusta A 109. The weapons consist of pivoted anti-tank missiles type "TOW". The sight-aiming is situated on the cockpit-roof.
Mi 24 The Slovakian Air Force took part in the Belgian Helidays 2003 with two Mil Mi-24 fighters. One of them was presented during the flight-program, the other one was shown at the Static Display. Everybody could have a look at it from close to. This photo shows both Slovakian Mi-24 together !


Interested visitors had the chance to have a look from close to at TOW-firing-barrels  in a hangar.
Mi 24 The fighter Mil Mi-24 ( Nato-Codename "Hind" ) can transport a high capacity of weapons on his stump-wings. Moreover, additional tanks can be fastened at the outer load-carriers. Eight fully equipped soldiers can be carried in its fuselage. 
Mi 24 Also the Czech Air Force presented a  Mil Mi-24 in the flight-program and another Mi-24 at the Static Display.
A109 The Augusta A 109 can be used an equipped also for other purposes besides anti-tank defence. The A 109, for example, can be armed with a high number of non-pivoted missiles.
Mi 24  

The Mil Mi-24 has beyond the fuselage a tower with a swivelling 12,7 mm machine gun with four barrels. In the front of the cockpit on-board gunners can be positioned. The pilot’s cockpit is situated behind it – in a raised position 

Apache The fighter AH-64 D Apache can be armed to the teeth. It is equipped with a swivelling 30 mm cannon in the front part of the fuselage. In addition, it can be equipped with up to 16 "Hellfire" pivoted anti-tank missiles – or – with up to  76 non-pivoted missiles caliber 70 mm. The Apache shown on the photo belongs to Squadron 301 of the Dutch Royal Air Force stationed at Gilze-Rijen and is equipped with both types of missiles.
Mi 8 The famous Russian transport helicopter Mil Mi-8 was built in a very high number of pieces. The Mi-8 shown on the photo belongs to the Hungarian Air Force.
Kiowa Famous North American Indians are the Kiowas. It fits really well to see this Bell OH-58 Kiowa of Austrian Federal Armed Forces with its special Indian painting – put down next to a Apache-fighter – another „Indian“ 
Mi 17 Slovakian Air Force showed two helicopters type Mil Mi-17 at the Belgian Helidays 2003. The helicopter type Mi-17 is a revised and improved version of helicopter type Mi-8. The distinguishing feature of  both types Mi-17 and Mi-8 is the tail rotor. The Mi-8 has a tail rotor on the right side (in direction of flight) , the Mi-17 on the left side (in direction of flight).
Kiowa This  Bell OH-58 Kiowa – belonging to the 3rd Squadron of the Aviation Regiment 1 of Austrian Federal Armed Forces -  is equipped with a six-barrel Gatling MG 134 Minigun caliber 7,62 mm.
Mi 17 The Mil Mi-17 as well as the Mi-8 mainly has been built as transport-helicopter. For use as fighter, the MI-17 can be equipped with lateral outer load carriers to fix an enourmous number of weapons.  
Bo 105 German Army showed two MBB Bo 105 (version PAH 1 A 1, which is an anti-tank fighter). These helicopters are equipped with 6 pivoted  anti-tank missiles type „HOT“. With one of these Bo 105 (in VBH-version, that means „Connecting helicopter“) fighters of German Armed Forces took part in the Flight program
Mi 14

Mi 14


The Mil Mi-14 is a naval helicopter for submarine hunting derived from the Mil Mi-8.

Clearly visible are the opened flaps of the internal shaft for weapons. The Mi-14 can be equipped with torpedos for submarine-hunting and depth charges. The Mil Mi-14 shown on the photo belongs to Polish Navy.

EC 135 The Education centre of German Army and Air Force at Bückeburg recently introduced a helicopter type Eurocopter EC 135. 15 of these helicopters are used for basic training of pilots.
Lynx The German Naval Pilots showed a helicopter type Westland Sea Lynx MK 88 A in the Static Display at Liège-Bierset.
Mi 26

Mi 26

Besides the high number of very interesting helicopters of the Russian manufacturer „Mil“ a huge Mil Mi-26 was presented at the Belgian Helidays 2003. The Mi-26 is a heavy-lift helicopter for transport purposes. It is the biggest and most powerful helicopter of the world built in series. The eight-bladed main rotor of the Mi-26 has a diameter of 32 meters ! Its cargo compartment is huge enough for up to 100 persons or up to 20 tons of cargo.
Bell 412 720th Squadron of Norwegian Air Force sent two helicopters type Bell 412 to the Belgian Helidays at Liège-Bierset.
NH 500 The Breda-Nardi NH-500 E shown is an Italian version of the well-known helicopter type Hughes 500 E. The Breda-Nardi NH-500 E is manufactured under license in Italy. Italian Air Force presented two helicopters of this type at the Belgian Helidays 2003. 
Mi 26 Of course, the Mil Mi-26 can also be used for transporting vehicles. The photo shows the charging of a Mil Mi-26 with an „Unimog“ –truck of Belgian Army.

Continuation   >>>Part 3




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