From Scramble - The Aviation Magazine
|Established||22 August 1964|
|Current role||Air Force Demonstration team|
|Current Type(s)||F-5E Tiger II|
|Scramble show calender||Scramble's Show dates page|
|Scramble website||Scramble's OrBat page|
|Scramble individual a/c||Scramble database|
The team was founded 22 August 1964 to perform at the EXPO 64 in Lausanne, coinciding with the 50th Birthday of the Swiss Air Force. However, the idea of a demonstration team was not new. In 1959 the first team was founded, flying four Hawker Hunter Mk58s. It was formed with pilots from the Überwachungsgeschwader (UeG). With the EXPO 64 demonstration nearing, it was decided to intensify the training. Displays around the country followed, to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Swiss Air Force, and during these displays the team received its name, Patrouille Suisse. The PR function of a demonstration team was acknowledged by the Eidgenössischen Militärdepartement (EMD) (Ministry of Defense)
In 1965 the team had its first full season, with four displays. In 1970 a fifth aircraft was added to the team, to make way for a more attractive program. Then, the team was not allowed to perform at foreign airshows because of the strict Swiss neutrality. This changed in 1978, when Patrouille Suisse was invited to perform at Salon de Provence at the 25 anniversary of the Patrouille de France. For the first time the Patrouille Suisse was allowed to perform outside Switzerland, and so they did, performing a show with six aircraft.
In 1991 the Hunters of the team received a new color scheme. Having performed their shows in the camouflaged Hunters for years, a special scheme was developed for the 700th birthyear of Switzerland. The lower wing surfaces were painted in the swiss red and white colors, and on the fuselage sides the 700 year logo was carried.
The last Hunter performance was made in 1994, and the team changed to a new aircraft: the faster and more manoeuvrable Northrop F-5E Tiger II. 1995 was the first year with the F-5E, and with the now completely red and white aircraft the transition was completed at the Axalp Schiessdemonstration. There, the team proved, it does not take an airfield to perform an airshow demonstration.
Smoke generators were installed on the teams F-5Es in 1996. Adding visuals to the display was one effect, it also proved a safety measure for the pilots, being able to see each other earlier when split up into separate groups or solos.
In 2004 the Patrouille Suisse celebrated its 40th anniversary at a special airshow at Payerne, with teams from all over Europe participating.
Chronology of types
|1964 / 1994||Hunter Mk.58|
|1994 / now||F-5E Tiger II|
Chronology of home bases
|1964 / ?||Dübendorf? (Switzerland)|
|? / now||Emmen (Switzerland)|
A Patrouille Suisse Hunter during one of their displays
Patrouille Suisse F-5E Tigers in a formation flyby