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  WEF 2016    A week to remember!
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Text:

Andy Herzog

Pictures:

Andy Herzog

   

Clearly was this year's WEF from the perspective of the plane spotters for years the best edition. Not only the mostly sunny weather, but also the rare highlights ensured a great pleasure among the aviation-enthusiasts. All special tours on the apron were again sold out and some of the "hardcore" spotters found their way from Finland, Sweden, Holland, Benelux, UK, Austria, Germany the USA - even from Australia to Switzerland. Every year a "come together" of the international aviation scene at Zurich Airport, during the World Economic Forum in Davos / Zurich. Star of this year's show was the US Air Force Boeing E-4B on which we will keep a closer look at it in the article.

Security comes first

After the devastating terror-attacks in recent weeks and months in Paris, Ankara and Istanbul was to assume that the security arrangements at Zurich Airport were adjusted accordingly during the WEF week. However, we Plane spotter and visitors to the terrace didn’t notice that during our visits. Only the security checks at the entrance to the visitor deck lasted a little longer; this because the entire camera equipment had to be taken out of the backpacks. Otherwise there were only increased police patrols in the various terminals. 

   

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

TU-204-300A, RA-64057 von Rossiya nach der Landung auf Piste 14  (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Airbus A319-115X, 4K-8888, Aserbaijan Government, (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

   

Die Regierung von Ghana kam mit dieser Falcon 900EX, 9G-EXE nach Zürich (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Gulfstream G-450, # J-756, Pakistan Air Force,(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Other interesting visitors:

  • Qatar Executive, Bombardier BD-700 Global Express, A7-CEF

  • Ak Bars Aero, Falcon 7X, RA-09616

  • Nigerian Air Force, Gulfstream G-550, 5N-FGW

  • Canadian Government, A310-304, #1500 with prime minister Justin Trudeau

  • Bundesrepublik Deutschland, A319-133X, 15+01 with Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck

  • Belgian Air Force, Embraer ERJ-145LR, # CE-04

  • Aserbaijan Government, A319-115X, 4K-8888

  • Repubblica Italiana, A319-115X, # MM62209

  • Pakistan Air Force, Gulfstream G-450, # J-756

  • Rossiya, Tu-204-300A, RA-64057

  • Georgian Government, Canadair CRJ-200, 4L-GAA

  • Royal Air Force, Bae 146-CC.2, # ZE700 mit Sonderbemalung “100 Jahre 32th Squadron”

  • lsamic Republic of Iran, A321-231, EP-AGB

  • Turkish Government, A330-243, TC-TUR

  • Mid-East Jet (ex Kalair), B767-24Q(ER), N767KS from Saudi Arabia

  • and many more…

Finally beautiful photo weather!

We have to wait a long time for this - a few days of sunshine and mild temperatures! But the variety of different business jets and government aircrafts ensured all round for best moods by the aviation friends and photographers. Also this year, the Zurich Airport recorded again more than a thousand additional aircraft movements in the WEF week. Besides the well-known business jet models of Boeing and Airbus was the number of the latest versions of Gulfstream; the G650 and G650ER and the Falcon 7X from Dassault with its presence considerably higher than last year. However, probably the days of the Tupolev and Ilyuschin are soon over. Only Rossiya showed up with the TU-204-300A on a short visit to Zurich.

 

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

 

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Gulfstream G-V (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

   

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

   

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Airbus A321-231, EP-AGB, Isamic Republic of Iran, (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Airbus A330-243, TC-TUR,Turkish Government,  (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Gulfstream G-650ER, N100A xxon Mobile Corp.(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

The Americans dominated the scene

Just one week before the WEF the US Army in Wiesbaden, Germany sent five Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to Dübendorf in support of the Super Puma's of the Swiss Air Force. This let guess that a rater larger US delegation was expected in Davos. Our suspicions were then confirmed by the landing of two Lockheed C-5M Galaxy (Dover AFB), five Boeing C-17 Globemaster III (Charleston AFB), 3 of them at the Euro Airport Basel, responsible of the complex logistics like armored limousines, material, personnel etc.

A few days later appears a high-profile delegation from Washington, led by Vice-President Joe Biden (Boeing VC-32A), Secretary of State John Kerry (Boeing VC-32A), Justice Minister Loretta Lynch (Boeing C-40B), and governors, senators and congressmen from different states. Occasionally we got the feeling to bee at the Andrews Air Force Base near Washington and not at Zurich Airport. Anyway; the US team for Davos was complete - well, not quite; someone was still missing: The star of the week!

 

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Bombardier BD-700-1A10, VH-VDX dAV West Services (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Boeing 767-24Q(ER), N767KS Mid East Jet  (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

 

Airbus A310-304, #1500 (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Bombardier BD-700 Global Express, A7-CEF. Qatar Executive,  (Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

       

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

The Boeing E-4B "Night Watch"

"THE" highlight of the week!

 

No question - was the unexpected arrival of the USAF Boeing E-4B inbounds from Le Bourget with the American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his delegation, the highlight of the WEF week! After all the large contingent of the Americans in Zurich and Davos, most plane spotter expected the arrival of the "AIR FORCE ONE" with President Barak Obama. Not even close; but with spectacular appearance!
The Boeing E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post, also called Doomsday Plane = Plane of final Judgment, operated by the Air Force of the United States serves as a flying command post for emergencies. Based on an early Boeing 747-200B the E-4B is the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) to ensure the command and authority of the US government and his forces when the land-based communications infrastructure has been destroyed by war or natural disasters. Four examples of this aircraft have been ordered and accepted by the US Air Force in the 1970s.

 

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

 

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

(Picture courtesy Andreas Herzog)

Development history

   
 

during the Cold War the United States was always in the danger of a nuclear attack on their country. So it was decided to relocate the military leadership in case of an emergency on board an aircraft to maintain the authority as long and as independently as possible. In 1973 the Air Force ordered three Boeing E-4A. The first aircraft was delivered in December 1974 and the third one during the year 1975. Four years later, the US Air Force has received a fourth plane that has already been equipped with the latest electronics. A few years later in 1985 the other A-models were also reequipped with the latest technology and contributed henceforth the designation E-4B.
The outer shell of the E-4B provides protection against electromagnetic pulses (EMP occurring in nuclear explosions. Further there are various communication devices, covering all frequency ranges, including for satellite communications and for the broadcasting of radio programs to the population. The E-4B is also equipped with several lounges, conference rooms etc. for the up to 63-strong military personnel on board.

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