MILAVIA > Air Shows > AEROTORSHOW 2018 - Valence, France Last updated: 29 July 2018

Air Show Report : AEROTORSHOW 2018 - Valence, France


Fête aérienne de Valence-Chabeuil, France

Harrie Kraaijeveld contributes his photo report from the French Army Aviation Corps' air show at the Valence-Chabeuil airport held in June.

On Sunday, June 24th, La Fête aérienne de Valence-Chabeuil was held at the airport in the commune of Chabeuil, just east of Valence, Department of Drôme, France. Valence-Chabeuil airport is home to the GAMSTAT (Groupement AéroMobilité de la Section Technique de l'Armée de Terre). The mission of GAMSTAT is testing and development of new helicopter types and weapon systems for the introduction into operational service as well as the definition of future needs. Therefore, the unit has a variable, mixed fleet of the various helicopter types of the French Army. The first edition of this bi-annual air festival took place in 1999, making this year’s event the tenth edition.

The French spotters association Spot’Air provided aircraft spotters an opportunity to photograph the static show a few hours before the gates opened to the public. There was also a separate zone reserved for the registered spotters during the air show program.

The Aviation Légère de l'Armée de Terre (ALAT - French Army Light Aviation) presented itself by means of a dynamic OPEX-representation “MALI”. Based on the operations in Mali, the scenario of this tactical demonstration consisted of a light military reconnaissance vehicle having been struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while on patrol, that is subsequently being attacked by rebels with a Technical (improvised fighting vehicle).
Responding to the distress call, a Pilatus PC-6 Porter scouts the concerning area and having located the struck reconnaissance vehicle, calls in an EC-665 Tigre helicopter to provide Helicopter Fire Support.
Using a SA330 Puma, a special forces team is flown in to neutralize the rebel threat, fast-roping from the helicopter, and proceed to secure a so-called sling zone for an AS532 Cougar to deliver a special forces vehicle.
Then the injured personnel are evacuated by the PC-6 Porter, supported by armed escort provided by the EC-665 Tigre and a SA342 Gazelle helicopter. Finally, the deployed special forces are extracted by the SA330 Puma using the sling-load technique.

Besides participating in the OPEX demo, the EC-665 Tigre performed its own solo demonstration. Also, a pair of Tigre helicopters flew an aerobatic display as the Patrouille de Tigre.

The Armée de l'Air (AdlA - French Air Force) presented itself with the Rafale Solo Display and the Patrouille de France.

Additionally, the flying display program included warbirds, the Flying Bulls, the Belgian A109 Solo Demo Team, and the “Orlik” formation display team of the Polish air force.

The static display line-up of the local helicopters was expanded with a few foreign guests, consisting of a Belgian Alpha Jet E, German CH-53G and EC-135, a Czech Mi-171Sh, and a Danish SH-60R Seahawk, which was my personal favorite.

The Aerotorshow is a small event compared to most military air shows, but it has got interesting participants and the spectacular tactical demonstrations of the ALAT. The 2018 edition attracted over 20,000 visitors.

ALAT SA342L Gazelle 4225/GET
ALAT SA330B Puma 1256/DDR
ALAT SA342M Gazelle 4061/GBG
ALAT SA342L Gazelle 4223/GER
ALAT SA330B Puma 1438/DBG
ALAT SA330B Puma 1438/DBG
ALAT AS532UL Cougar 2331/CGU
ALAT NH90TTH Caïman 1338/EAY
ALAT SA330B Puma sling-load extraction
ALAT EC-665 Tigre HAD 6010/BJJ
AdlA SA365N Panther 6111
AdlA TBM-700 139/ABS
AdlA Rafale B 305/4-EC
AdlA Rafale Solo Display 130/4-GI
AdlA Rafale Solo Display 130/4-GI
AdlA Rafale Solo Display 130/4-GI
AdlA Rafale Solo Display 130/4-GI
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
Patrouille de France
T-6 Texan 117207
Flying Bulls Bo 105
Polish air force PZL-130 Orlik 037
Polish air force Team Orlik formation display
Polish air force PZL-130 Orlik 032
Luftwaffe CH-53 84+28
RDAF MH-60R N-977
CzAF Mi-171Sh 9813
BAF Alpha Jet E AT-33

Report and photos by Harrie Kraaijeveld ( view portfolio )

First Published: 28 July 2018
Last Modified: 29 July 2018

Update log: 29 Jul 2018 A few text adjustments/fixes