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WARNING: superbig report!!

Once a year we fly the Skyvan photoship in Belgium, the country of origin of the Aviation PhotoCrew. Normally that is for the famous Sanicole International Airshow, but this year it was time again for the bi-annual airshow of the Belgian Air Force, the Belgian Air Force Days 2023.

They always have a great line-up with plenty of foreign military participation. As it was the first airshow after the covid-era, the expectations of the photographers were skyhigh… and we managed to blow everyone away. It is a good tradition now that when we fly for a big European airshow, we invite the ‘local stars’ to come and join us for some aerial photofun. We definitely ‘overdid’ it this time, as the parade of aircraft joining the Skyvan that had nothing to do with the airshow was already… 17!!

Our friends from Kiewit airfield brought us the Yak 52, Harvard and two Cap Tens, from St-Truiden we got the Pilatus P3 and T-28 Trojan, both in super sunset light. Our German friends from NE Aviation participated with the Yak 18, Beech 18, KingAir, L-39 and ultra rare FanJet… twice! From Malle airfield we could enjoy another gem, the Romanian built IAR-823 in the sweet sunset. Lots of sunset flights this time, as the entire week was blessed with a steel blue sky and plenty of sunshine, so yes we were very greedy.

Over the 4 days we flew, we just missed the ridiculous milestone of having… 50 aerial join-ups, for a single project. It was fun to spoil all the photographers, and we literally flew morning till sunset on all 4 days. You have to take the chances when they arise, best example is the Belgian F-16 demo, we did not know at the time, that it would be our final join-up.

Name it, and we got it! So many great helicopters with the German H145, CH-53 – oh yesssss – and NH90, the Belgian NH90TTH, A-109 demo and NH90NFH, always fun with our Czech friends flying the Sokol, and the very rare Slovakian Mi-171 was the true crowd-pleaser.

Cargo aircraft came in the shape of the German A-400M, still with the colorful ‘Air Defender 2023’ sticker and the Spanish Casa 295 complete with the flag in the cockpit. A first for us and impressive view was the multinational A-330MRTT, in a combination with 4-ship F-16s from the Thunder Tigers.
Another sunset highlight was the Belgian Air Force demo team the Red Devils, in the sunset light. Another unique photo opportunity not to be seen again… the Spitfire in a 2-ship with the ‘Dream Viper’. Stijn and his smoking T-6 is always ready for the party! Other regulars at the airshow scene, the two special paint PC-7 of the Austrian Air Force.

The main target for many photographers are of course still the jets. Well, it was pretty much an overdose this time, something for everyone, even the most demanding die-hard fanatics were having a big smile on their face… every day!

Great opportunities from every photo angle the Skyvan photoship can provide were presented by the Belgian F-16s, Dutch F-16s, Portuguese F-16s, Danish F-16 and Hellenic F-16s. Those guys definitely got the first prize for most unusual ‘paint’, epic for photographers! Switzerland brought us the F-18 Hornet, while Spain showed up with the Typhoon.

From the USAF we welcomed the two F-35s from RAF Lakenheath, and also Germany sent us two jets… two different Tornado’s with a premiere for the tiger livery. For the lovers of classic jets the icing on the cake was the Swedish Draken and the iconic bare metal Viggen.

Now that should be 49 join-ups total!! It was our most successful project ever, as ALL of the aircraft managed to make it to the Skyvan for their photo moment, apart from the new Dutch F-35s.

Next year it is time again for the Sanicole airshow, and you are invited to fly with us. If you bring the good weather, we will have a stunning line-up for you. For more information and bookings please send a short email to .


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