General Dynamics (SABCA) F-16AM Fighting Falcon (FA-123) from the Belgian Air Component "F-16 Solo Display Team"
at the RIAT 2016, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The Belgian Air Force (BAF) F-16 Solo Display Team for 2015-2017 is based at Kleine Brogel Air Base. Commandant Tom "Gizmo" de Moortel is flying his first season as the display pilot for the BAF F-16 Solo Display Team. The demo might seem spectacular to the general public, but in fact contains standard F-16 manoeuvres which are flown during practise sessions as operational missions. The only difference between real life operations and this demo is that these manoeuvres are flown in a smooth pattern and at very low altitude. This does mean the demo puts a lot of G forces on the pilot which limits the demo to a maximum of around 15 minutes, giving the audience an overview of the F-16s manoeuvrability and the skills of all F-16 pilots in the Belgian Air Force. The aircraft chosen for this season is the F-16AM FA-123. It recently received the so-called MLU M6.1 update making it the most modern of all operational F-16s within the Belgian Air Force. The aircraft received an impressing three-tone grey/black/white colour scheme. The aircraft is called "Blizzard" and the stunning colour scheme is designed so it complements the vortices and smoke winders during the display routine. The idea was – once again - realized by Johan Wolfs and Peter Verheyen together with the Kleine-Brogel Paintshop.
In 2002, the Belgian government decided to emulate Canada and impose a "single structure" on its armed forces
in which the independent Belgian Air Force ceased to exist, giving way to the new structure consisting of Components
and therefore the new name was the Belgium Air Component (COMOPSAIR being the HQ).
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.