Patrouille de France and Breitling Jet Team to present one-off combined display

DIJON | France’s two main jet aerobatic teams will present a one-off synchronised 15-ship aerobatic display at the Meeting de France airshow in Dijon this weekend.

Photo: Alex Ohde

40,000 people are expected to attend the 7th July airshow, which will feature the first ever public combined aerobatic display of the two teams.

The Patrouille de France, the French Air Force Team flying eight Alpha Jets, and the Breitling Jet Team, a civilian unit flying seven L-39C Albatross jets, will join for several combined figures. This will include a 15-ship tricolour pass with coloured smoke as well as synchronised aerobatic manoeuvres, with both teams performing formation loops and rolls over the airport at the same time.

Photo: Alex Prins

Leader of the Breitling Jet Team Jacques Bothelin told France Bleu that the two teams have never combined in this way before, and that it will be the “only time” the joint performance will be staged.

Several members of the Dijon-based Breitling Jet Team previously served as Patrouille de France pilots. The two teams have joined forces before for flypasts and film shoots, including Patrouille de France: Le Film, but this will be the first time they have flown aerobatics together in public.

Photo: Nathan Thompson

The announcement comes as the Breitling Jet Team face an uncertain future. After several seasons flying most displays with just six aircraft, the team expended back to a seven-ship in June this year. However, at the start of July, it was announced that Breitling will end their sponsorship of the team at the end of the 2019 season.

Operators of the Breitling Jet Team, Apache Aviation, will also be staging a formation display with the TB30 Epsilon at the show, which will feature dozens of military and civilian aircraft.