Bierset, Belgium

Belgian Heli Days

3 June 2005


Ever since itīs inception in 1998, the Belgian Heli Days, held almost annualy at Bierset, the former Belgian Air Force Mirage base near Liege, have attracted a large number of interesting and often unusual participants. In 1994, the Belgian Army took over the base and moved itīs Germany based Alouette II and newly aquired A.109 helicopters to Bierset. 



2004īs Heli Meet did not take place due to reorganisations within the Belgian military, so letīs follow the nice lady above in seeing what 2005īs edition brought to Bierset.Of note among the Belgian A.109īs on the flightline was this A.109BA, toting nothing less than an AIM-9 Sidewinder air to air missile. Whether this is a trial or just somebody's idea to fool the enemy is unknown to this writer. It would certainly make the little A.109 something to be reckoned with!

Among the small training and liaison helicopters to make their way to Bierset was this German Army Weapons School Eurocopter EC.135. It came along with a trio of German Army Bo.105 anti tank helicopters. Germany aquired this rather new Eurocopter product as a replacement for it's ageing Alouette II's, which apart from being technically obsolete also did not represent modern helicopters anymore.

Another of the light liaison types was this RAF Twin Squirrel HCC.2. Belonging to 32 (TR) sq at RAF Northolt, it is widely used in the UK to transport high ranking military officers. 

The Twin Squirrel brought some welcome colour among the otherwise grey and green camouflaged types and can be seen here arriving at the end of it's flight from the UK. 

An unexpected visitor was this Czech Air Force Mil Mi.24V. Resplendent in it's predomimnantly blue Tiger colour scheme, the Hind had participated in the NATO Tiger Meet at Balikesir, Turkey some weeks before the Heli Meet. No doubt, many photographers were grateful to see this specially painted-up example of the Russian combat helicopter.

Usually tucked away in a corner on previous occasions was this Mil Mi.26. The worldīs largest helicopter, this particalar Mi.26 has been a Bierset resident for some years and although Russian civil registered, it does retain the markings of the Congolese Air Force, albeit without any visible Congolese serial.


Having seen the Mi.26 makes the biggest helicopter in widespread Western service looks definately small. This RAF Chinook HC.2, ZA707, is seen here immediately after arriving.

Again, Bierset managed in putting together a nice variety of helicopters. Unfortunately for the organisers, the weather did not play kindly during the display days of Saturday and Sunday following the Friday 3 June arrival day during which these images were collected.

Compliments to the organisers however for a job well done, for Bierset is one of the few airshows truly dedicated to rotorcraft. 

All pictures (c) Hans Rolink