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.
This four day event, 27-30 January is the second of its type, only the final day is open to the public. Menara is the main airport, accessible to no-frills airlines and well connected to both France and Spain. There is a small flying club and a business jet ramp. The event is held on the northern, military side of the single runway and only a small portion is accessible to visitors. Photography is into the sun all day though the static display, although small and densely parked, is well lit, particularly in the morning.