It is now a well-established tradition that the annual 9th May military parade held in Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany includes an aviation component. The first such flypast was in 1995, but since 2005 it has become annual – weather permitting, of course. In recent years the number of participating aircraft equals the number of years that have passed since the war; this year, the 77th anniversary Victory Day flypast was to include 77 assorted aircraft – 15 helicopters and 62 fixed-wing aircraft.
Central Warsaw, Poland, 15 August 2018 Report by Peter and Kim Davison Every year on 15th August Poland celebrates with a mass military flypast and armoured parade. 2018 was special as the Polish Air Force; like the RAF and Finnish Air Force was marking its' centenary. The event commenced around 1300 hours and runs north to south. In past years it has followed a main thoroughfare but, in 2018, the route overflew the river, still running north south so the lighting is challenging for photographers but the elevated nature of the old town provides vantage points if you stake out your position. As the hour approaches vast crowds line the river bank. The parade of soldiers and armoured vehicles convene in a city park mid afternoon for families to engage.
Sunday 14 July 2013, Champs Elysee, Paris This was my first time at this annual festival and, with bright weather, it did not disappoint. The crowds are enormous and the flypast starts around 10 am with the Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France running east down the avenue. for photographers I found a good vantage point on the south bank of the Seine near Gare d'Orsay where a pedestrian bridge keeps you clear of traffic. The fixed wing elements are well spaced if a little high flying somewhat into the sun. There is about 40 minute gap before the helicopters come through so I walked west to Invalides as the sun moved around. Once the security teams had decided where the public exclusion zones would be amid general confusion as the hoards moved south from the main drag it was clear that shooting the selection of helicopters due to become static exhibits at Invalides would be difficult due to street furniture and buses blocking the view.
After a long break since 1995 when the 50th anniversary of VE-Day was celebrated, the Russian Air Force’s participation in the traditional Victory Day military parades in Moscow’s Red Square resumed in 2008. This year the Air Force was involved on a much larger scale than previously, putting up 69 assorted fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.