Alpnach is the primary helicopterbase of the swiss defenceforces with presently 4 different helicoptertypes flying from this base. Since the introduction of the EC635 this type is taking over the duties of the soon to retire Allouette III. This given fact was all the more reason to pay Alpnach a visit to see the last flying All III. Rumour has it that some All III will continue to fly because of their simplicity to maintain and the low flyingcosts per hour and their great versatality,lets hope so!
Our third day in Switserland brought us once again at Alpnach airfield and we positioned ourselves at the spottershill. At our arrival at around 0830 the airfield was already buzzing with activity and several helicopters were parked on the flightline. We were just in time to see 1 of the Superpuma's make its way towards the runway and lift-off just meters away from the hill and we had to hang on to our stuff otherwise it would have been blown away by the rotorwash from this big helo.
During our stay most of the airframes did several missions and we witnessed at least 2 testflights made by a EC635 and a Superpuma by the guys from RUAG which assemble the buildingkits of the EC635 build by Eurocopter in Donauwörth and do the overhauling of the flying inventory of the swiss armed forces but not the ones build by Pilatus.Their hangar is the one with the big red 1 on the wall on the outside of the building.
Sadly we didn't have all day to spend at "Swiss helicopter heaven" and had to move on to our next location.Keep in mind that during the morning the sun at Alpnach is in your back but you have to move to the otherside of the runway in the afternoon because it shifts to in front of you but that can not keep you from making lovely pictures at this spottersfriendly airbase! Have fun like we did visiting this wonderfull place.
Jan Eenling© 2006-2010