Zigermeet 2019 – “Die einzigartige Airshow” is the name of one of the three-year events that Switzerland offers for all aviation enthusiasts.
The Zigermeet is an airshow organized by Hunterverein Mollis (Mollis Hawker Hunter Association) since 2006, at the time still called AirMollis 2006, which takes place every three years in the former Mollis military airport in the Swiss canton of Glarus. The splendid scenery that surrounds the former air base, made up of alpine mountains up to over 2600 meters high, has always given great emotions to the public who came during the years.
Hunterverein Mollis, with the passion of its members, has since the first event worked to make Zigermeet one of the most awaited European airshows, this year it has also enjoyed important sponsorships of the major aeronautical production companies.
Airbus, Saab, Dassault Aviation, Boeing and Lockheed Martin did not want to miss the show together with the famous Swiss aircraft manufacturing company Pilatus Aircraft and the local new helicopter production company: Kopter, which has its own hangars at the airport of Mollis. These important sponsorships together with many not less important local sponsors have guaranteed the right support for the realization of this event. Furthermore, the coincidence with the search by the Swiss air forces for the new war plane has ensured the presence of several of the aircrafts in the race to win the place in the future of Swiss air defense.
The Zigermeet has historically had the words: “Die grösste Flugshow der Schweiz” (the largest airshow in Switzerland) and this year has again confirmed this fact, as well as from the words of the president of the organizing committee Mr. Franz Alberti, they were expecting many aircraft and a wide audience and so it was. The two-day program, training on Fridays and airshows on Saturdays, was very dense and did not leave a respite for more than 30,000 spectators. But as early as Thursday, August 15, although misled by inclement weather, many photographers were able to watch the arrivals of the many aircraft and guest vehicles of the renowned Swiss airshow.
On Friday morning the beautiful valley in the Glaronese mountains was awakened by the magical sound of the F/A-18 Hornet engines of the Fliegerstaffel 11 (Squadron 11) of the Swiss air force with the Tiger livery on the tail (symbol of the squadron), flanked by a splendid North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco from the “Musée Européen de l’Aviation de Chasse” in Montélimar (F). This was the prelude to a splendid weekend of aeronautics and flying in all its versions.
On the ground, between the static display and the aircraft of the airplane display parked near the sectors reserved for the public, the choice was wide both for the numerous photographers coming from all over Europe and from other countries of the world and for the fans also coming from many foreign nations and from Switzerland itself. Considerable interest for the public was given to the Airbus A400 of the German Air Force, to the two mockups: the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Lockheed Martin F35A, which the public practically stormed to satisfy their curiosity.
During the two-day event Swiss spectators also had many opportunities to meet all the pilots and crews involved, who did not want to miss contact with an interested and flight-loving public. Also present were many stands of the various and important Sponsors, of the various patrols and only displays present, of the Swiss Armed Forces and of many other participants and companies interested in the aeronautical world.
The imposing mountains surrounding the aerodrome have enhanced the capabilities of the pilots and aircraft involved, we have been able to admire the evolutions worthy of the best “Top Gun” and the best air acrobats. Impressive the passages near the mountains that have also been increased to the optical effect of the proximity of the massifs, however the safety in flight and on the ground by the organization has been carefully treated in detail, also considering the conformation of the territory and the high audience both inside and outside the airport. The presence of public even outside and around the area involved in the show and the many fans left on the airport ground for a long time after the end of flight operations in the two days give the idea of the success of an event that is now fixed as three-year appointment for all fans.
There are also many presences of military personnel from various European countries who are guests of the organization and the main sponsors, as well as the inevitable presence of the local High Offices of the Military Forces. In fact, we had a very quick meeting with the Swiss Air Force Commander, Division General Bernhard «Beni» Müller, who highlighted the importance of these events also to present the capabilities and the need for efficient air and land defense with vehicles modern and functional. The General also appreciated the large presence of an interested and active audience during the show, a sign of the organizers’ excellent work.
In the Glaronese skies also some guests who have rewarded the three years of waiting for the public: the Saab SK 37 Viggen, training two-seater of the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight, which with all its power presented a very welcome show to the public. “Voler avec les Oiseaux” by Christian Moullec, who with his ULM flew with his geese in perfect coordination. Croatian acrobatic team Krila Oluje, who performed some splendid Evolutions with his Pilatus PC9, and the Baltic Bees Jet Team who with his Aero L-39 Albatros amazed with impressive maneuvers both on Fridays (only with 5 aircraft for a problem technical) than on Saturdays. Another of the most eagerly awaited appearances at the Swiss airshow was the Mil Mi-24 Hind of the Czech air force that presented an eventful show with lots of orange fumes to enhance its maneuvers.
The Zigermeet 2019 has undoubtedly satisfied all the expectations, it took place in complete safety and with a complete and well-organized program that ran seamlessly throughout the entire two days. The wait now is for 2022 most likely again in August for Zigermeet 2022 which we hope will reserve the same emotions.
From Militärflugplatz Mollis (CH): Daniele Maiolo.
Zigermeet 2019 – Photos: Daniele Maiolo (BSA)