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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 ! Helidays
Part 1 : Helicopters in flight-program
Part 2 : Static Display ( A )
Part 3 : Static Display ( B ) and other Highlights !


A very important purpose of helicopters are rescue-operations. Millions of people throughout the world owe their lifes to these helicopters.  The variety of uses is very huge. In cases of illness, car accidents, ship accidents, accidents in the mountains  - but also for use in case of desaster and evacuations - the helicopters with their well-trained crews have always proved themselves with the fast rescue of people in highly dangerous situations - even under really difficult circumstances ! At the Belgian Helidays 2003 there have been shown helicopters equpped for all kind of rescue-purposes. This photo shows a helicopter type McDonnell Douglas MD 900 of Belgian Air Ambulance equipped with medical appliances.
Alouette II The 16ème Bataillon d'Helicoptères de Liaison of Belgian Army stationed at Liège-Bierset uses helicopters tye Aérospatiale Alouette II for abservation and connecting tasks.  
Alouette II In addition to the huge number of helicopters type Alouette II of Belgian Army this civilianly licensed helicopter type Alouette II has been shown at the Belgian Helidays 2003.
Sokol This Polish helicopter type  PZL-Swidnik Sokol is equipped especially for sea-rescue-services. You can see its searchlight (white light / infrared) and the rescue-winch with a carrying power of 272 kg and ropes with a length of 70 m. Moreover, it can carry a high  number of additional applications for rescue-purposes.


Besides helicopters type Alouette II verfügt the 16ème Bataillon d'Helicoptères de Liaison of Belgian Army also has multi-purpose helicopters type Britten-Norman Islander. One of those Britten-Norman Islanders has been shown during flight-program.
AB 412 The Agusta-Bell AB 412 is a production under license of Italy derived from the American helicopter type  Bell 412. The Royal Dutch Air Force uses this type of helicopters in version AB 412 SP for search and rescue purposes (= SAR, search and rescue).
Griffin The Search and Rescue Training Unit ( SARTU ) of British Defence Helicopter Flying School uses the Bell 412 EP (named Griffin HT 1) for training of crew-members of rescue-helicopters. 
B 747

B 747

Opposite the Belgian Army Light Aviation Airbase- on the other side of the airport Liège-Bierset - there is the civil part of this Airport. Concerning civil air traffic, a high n umber of air-freighter companies   operate a service to  Liège-Bierset. In air-cargo business, there are mainly night flights from or to Liège-Bierset. But also during day-time there is a lot to do for those cargo planes. The visitors of the Airshow could see several huge Boeing 747 freight-planes landing.
Sea King British Royal Navy uses the well-tried  Westland Sea King helicopters for a huge variety of purposes - for example for submarine-hunting, transportinig, early-warning actions and - like the Sea King shown on this photo - for rescue-flights.  
Fennec The Escadron d' Helicopteres "Valmy" of French Air Force  (Armee de l' Air) uses helicopters type  Eurocopter AS 555 Fennec for multiple purposes, like for example rescue-flights. This AS 555 is equipped with a winch. The Fennec is the military variant of the widely distributed and very popular civil helicopter type  "Ecureuil".
Formation In addition to the numerous excellent flight-shows with helicopters some "surface"planes have been shown in the flight-program of Belgian Heldiays 2003. Besides the mentioned Britten-Norman Islander of Beldgian Army two Piper Cub and a  De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver of Dutch Royal Air Force Historic Flight have been presented in formation flying.
S 76 This Sikorsky S-76 belongs to the German Wiking Helicopter Service GmbH. This helicopter is fully equipped for transport of seriously ill or injured persons and can carry 1 - 2 patients and 3 doctors. 
Jet Ranger

Long Ranger

The Belgian Helidays again have been a paradise for each helicopter-fan. Besides the huge number of helicopters in Static Display and lots of interesting helicopters of different types in the flight-program each visitor had the possibility to take part in a helicopter-flight - for only € 30. Due to the great demand for sightseeing-flights Crown Helicopters Enterprises used up to four helicopters at the same time during this weekend. Among these helicopters a  Bell Jet Ranger (Registration number OO-DOU) and a Bell Long Ranger registration number OO-KBT).
A 109 The multi-purpose Agusta A 109 of Belgian Army can be used as fighter, for observation and connecting tasks - but also with equipment for rescue-flights. 
CH 47 This transport-helicopter  Boeing-Vertol CH-47 D Chinook can carry freights up to 12 tons. The cargo can either be taken inside the helicopter or be fixed at up to 3 external cargo-hooks. The Chinook can transport 44 fully equipped soldiers. For use in rescue-flights, there is space enough to carrry 24 infured persons on stretchers and 2 doctors. This Chinook shown on the photo  belongs to the 298 Squadron of Dutch Royal Air Force. 
EC 120 This is the third helicopter of  Crown Helicopters used for sightseeing-flights: an  ultra-modern  Eurocopter EC 120 Colibri with a  covered "Fenestron" tailrotor.
Puma No 230 Squadron of British Royal Air Force took part in the  Belgian Helidays 2003 with this transport-helicopter type Westland Puma HC 1.
MD 520 Also this  McDonnell Douglas MD 520 N has been used by  Crown Helicopters for sightseeing-flights. The MD 520 N is a so-calles "NOTAR"-helicopter (= NO TAil Rotor, without tail rotor). The torque of the main rotor is compensated by compressed-air ejected at the final point of the tail bracket.
EC 135 This brand new Eurocopter EC 135 of German Federal Border Guard is equipped with the latest technology on the police sector. It has got a  SX 16 Iinfrared and white-light search-light, a daylight-camera and also a heat-indicating camera which allows to search for fugitive criminals or missing persons even at night. Moreover, the  EC 135 is equipped with the obstacle-warning-system  "HELLAS" (Please also read our photo-report about the helicopter fleet of the Federal Border Guard at St. Augustin-Hangelar !) 
Schweizer 330 Also this helicopter type Schweizer 330 shown at the Static Display belongs to the fleet of Crown Helicopters Enterprises. You can rarely watch this kind of helicopter as it is produced in small numbers of pieces only. 
MD 520 Begium is a bilingual country. Therefore this police-helicopter type  McDonnell Douglas MD 520 N is labeled in both languages: On the left side in flight direction "Gendarmerie" (French) and on the right side in flight direction "Rijkswacht" (Dutch).
AIFV At the occasion of Belgian Helidays 2003 Belgian Army also showed some very interesting fighter vehicles. This photo shows an armoured personnel carrier type "AIFV".
Ecureuil French toll (Douanes Francaises) showed a helicopter type  Eurocopter (former Aérospatiale) AS 355 F 2 Ecureuil in the Static Display at Belgian Helidays 2003.


The Belgian Helidays 2003 have been really very successful ! Almost 30.000 visitors came to the show and proved the big interest in aviation and great Air-Shows. 
Alouette III Since 1971 Belgian Navy has got three helicopters type Aérospatiale SA 316 B Alouette III. These helicopters are all "members" of  Belgian Navy Heli Flight.
Concluding remark: The Belgian Helidays 2003 being a real Highlight for every helicopter-fan ! A huge static display of helicopters and a high number of famous Russian "Mil" helicopters (among them the biggest helicopter of the world - the Mil Mi-26) - as well as a flight - program full of action and rare helicopters like the French Super Frelon, moreover the possibility to fly in one of the civil helicopters - wherever in Europe, wherever in the world, you can have all of these things in one single place at the same time ? This is a reason for every helicopter-fan to look forward to the next Belgian helidays taking  place in 2005. It won't be easy waiting for such a long time but we will take it. Let's start to count the days. As soon as we know the exact date for this event -  the Belgian Helidays 2005 -  we will immediately inform you about it here at AirVenture ! Please also visit the homepage of Belgian Helidays: !

The date for the Belgian Helidays 2005 is June 4 and 5, 2005 . The location is again Liège-Bierset !




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