Flightgear Online had the privilege to join the Patrouille de Suisse on their preparations for the Netherlands Air Force show at Twenthe airbase.
All of the very experienced pilots fly the F/A-18 Hornet, being the standard Swiss Air Force fighter aircraft. But the Patrouille
Suisse flies the F-5E Tiger, the Swiss AF's other fighter plane. So the pilots are current on both, of which the Tiger is the easiest one. They fly about 20 shows a year, most of them in Switzerland. Five times a year, foreign shows are visited.
We were shown around by Robert Kat, a Swiss Tiger pilot from Dutch origin. He flew the spare F-5 to the show, not being a display pilot himself.
The pilots wear the BA-22 bailout kit, a complete automatic configuration of a back-style, high speed parachute that incorporates bail out oxygen and emergency devices. The assembly consists of a standard 28 ft. C-9 canopy, and a harness and pack assembly which incorporates a ripcord and two PCU-4/P canopy releases. A Scot automatic ripcord release is installed in the pack and attached to the seat with a "golden key". The emergency oxygen is attached to a CRU-60/P connector.
One of the pilots, teamleader Capt Daniel Stämpfli, Tiger 1 "Stampa", was wearing a life preserver. He probably heard that the Netherlands were mostly below sea level.
The preserver worn is the Beaufort Mk30W (not confirmed). Standard equipment of this vest includes battery/lamp assembly, safety whistle, buddy line, heliograph and PSP lanyard. The average weight is approximately 1.8Kg. Blastproof to 600 KCAS, the Mk30W is also manufactured from state-of-the-art, high performance, flame retardant fabrics. The tailored waistcoat is fitted with a mesh back panel to minimise heat stress and the waistbelt assembly is fully adjustable. The front is closed with a zip fastener, which is shrouded both internally and externally. A lifting becket assembly is fitted as standard. The stole is inflated by means of a single 45g disposable CO2 cylinder and provides buoyancy in excess of 225 Newtons. The inflation assembly is housed outside the stole pouch, in a zipped pocket.
G-suit and coverall
The anti-g suit is the Anti-g-Anzug BFA Typ AGH 01 (BFA =BallonfabrikAugsburg D). These are skeletal Anti-g Trousers based on the MIL-SPEC A-83406B (CSU-13B/P). Available in six different sizes and can be produced either from flame resistant Nomex 3® with carbon fibres to provide anti-static properties or standard Nomex 3®. The respective bladders in the trousers can be integrated by touch and close or press fasteners for easy bladder removal. This allows also easy acces for cleaning or servicing purposes but they can be sewn in permanently aswell.
The flightsuit seems to be of US origin as it has the same looks as the CWU-27/P (not confirmed).
Helmet and mask
The mask is the HA/LP version of the Gentex MBU-20/P, but with a Swiss modification. Below in the middle, an extra pressure-relief valve is added. This modification is only seen on these Swiss masks.
The helmet is now the HGU-55/P, but until recently some pilots flew with the DH-151. This Gentex helmet looked like a custom fit HGU-26/P or HGU-2/P but it was in fact a PRK-37 helmet shell. Some DH-151 were even upgraded to light weight examples with the same appearance as the HGU-55/P.
The HGU-55/P helmet is fitted with lightweight recievers, black visor stops and a bungee style visor. Sprayed in blue with the callsign of the pilot and his teamnumber. The helmet in close up belongs to Capt Daniel Siegenthaler, Tiger 5 "Sigi". As seen in the image, the helmets also have a bracket below the bayonet reciever. This is a Swiss made modification for a boom microphone attachement. It allows the attachment and connection of a boom microphone without taking the helmet apart. The leather visorcover is made of black leather with the Teams patch in the center.
We like to thank Robert Kat and Ulricht Liechti for their assistance.