Meiringen Air Base 7th / 11th of October Switzerland

Meiringen Air Base 7th / 11th of October Switzerland

The Meiringen Air Base started operations on 1 December 1941. The base played an important role in the 1946 C-53 Skytrooper crash on the Gauli Glacier: the rescue operation was launched and coordinated by the Meiringen air base. The rescue of persons on a glacier with airplanes had never been done before. After World War 2, an aircraft cavern was built in Meiringen. In the 1970 years the construction of another cavern tunnel was started for the A-7G Corsair II, but because the A-7G was not bought, this construction was completed as an ammunition storage cavern. With the introduction of the F/A-18 the aircraft cavern was rebuilt again and received another tunnel so the aircraft can go straight in and out at the same time. In the inside maneuvering without crane is now possible. In 2004, militia Squadron 8 "Destructors", equipped with the F-5E Tiger, moved to Meiringen from Buochs Airport. In 2007, professional Squadron 11 "Tiger", equipped with the F/A-18, moved from Dübendorf Air Base.

The airfield of Meiringen is still important for the Air Force. With the closure of Sion Air Base in 2016, it will be one of only three fighter bases, along with Payerne Air Base and Emmen Air Base. It is the home base to two fighter squadrons, militia Squadron 8 "Destructors", equipped with the Northrop F-5E Tiger, and professional Squadron 11 "Tiger", equipped with the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. Meiringen is the only Swiss airbase that uses an aircraft cavern in daily operations. The runway is equipped with retractable arresting gear devices (used by the F/A-18 and in emergencies by the F-5) at both ends. The operation of the aerodrome has for the region and the town of Meiringen, both positive and negative effects: noise emissions by the military jets is for the affected population as well as for tourism businesses. The airfield is, however, with some 190 labor and 25 training places an important economic factor for the region. The airfield has a small museum that is open on Wednesday afternoons from May to October; different pieces of equipment are exhibited as well as an Aérospatiale Alouette III and an F-5 Tiger (Source: Wikipedia).


Airshow Photography by Henk Tito
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