Highlights of Hunterfest Airshow 2017 in Switzerland


By Dario Leone
Sep 4 2017
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The star of the airshow was the famous “Papyrus Hunter,” a special painted Hawker Hunter F.MK.58 which served in the Swiss Air Force as J-4040

Taken on Aug. 26, 2017 the interesting photos in this post show some of the aircraft that participated in Hunterfest 2017 airshow at St. Stephan Airport.

Papyrus Hunter
Hunter Flightline

Hosted by Fan Club Amici dell’Hunter (Hunter Friends Fan Club) and by Hunterverein Obersimmental (Obersimmental Hunter Club) nonprofit organizations, this annual airshow gives the chance to admire some rare flight demonstrations performed by several former Schweizer Luftwaffe (Swiss Air Force) warbirds.

Papyrus Hunters
Pilatus P3

As featured by the images of this post among the aircraft that took part in Hunterfest there were several samples of Hawker Hunter and de Havilland Vampire Cold War Era fighters, and of Pilatus P3s and PC-7 trainers.

Vampire trainer
Classic Formation

The Beech 18s and the DC-3 of the Classic Formation and the F-5 Tigers of the Patrouille Suisse (that returned to perform in the skies over St. Stephan after several years of absence) were also among the participants of Hunterfest 2017.

Hunter trainer taxi

However the star of the airshow was the famous “Papyrus Hunter,” a special painted, Hawker Hunter F.MK.58 which served in the Swiss Air Force as J-4040.

Papyrus and Patrouille Suisse
Patrouille Suisse

In the autumn of 1994 this aircraft received a special painting to celebrate the Hunter retirement from Swiss Air Force operational service.

Hunter Trainer take off

J-4040 received a white basic color and the names of the pilots as well as the text Fliegerstaffel 15 in black letters in newspaper style, in reference to the symbol of the paper flyer (which was the coat of arms of Fliegerstaffel 15, a squadron that operated the Hunter out at St. Stephan air base and the last unit to fly the Hawker Hunter in the Swiss Air Force).

Hawker Hunters
Hunter trainer touch and go

The registration was changed from J-4040 to J-4015 (because of Fliegerstaffel “15”), although the service was already operating another Hunter with J-4015 registration (this other Hunter was decorated in September 94 as Graffity Hunter for the Fliegerstaffel 20). The aircraft was named Papyrus-Hunter.

Papyrus Hunter Landing

Originally, the Papyrus Hunter had to become a gate guardian placed on a pedestal at the entrance of St. Stephan airfield, but luckily the Hunterverein Obersimmenthal managed to keep the aircraft airworthy until today with the civilian registration HB-RVS.

                                                                                         Written with Gabriele Barison

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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