70 years of the Patrouille de France : A French heritage that endures.
Can we just imagine the number of airmen and women in the ranks of this unit? The number of flight hours, the number of performances, the number of maintenance hours?
So let's go back in time... to 1956.
The Chief of Staff of the French Air Force at the time wrote: "designated to form the Patrouille de France in 1956, [these pilots] have acquired, through intensive training, an undisputed mastery of the art of flying and aerobatics in patrols. By the boldness and precision of their acrobatic evolutions, they have demonstrated to the general public, during 15 national and international meetings, the value of the Air Force flying personnel.
If we have such a strong knowledge of our heritage, it is thanks to some of our "old-timers" who have well documented their time with the Grande Dame. The result is moving: through the pages they have filled in, we discover that, in the end, little has changed over the last 70 years...
Indeed, this heritage is transmitted in particular thanks to our photographers. In 70 years, the military photographer had to evolve: internet did not exist in 1953... So silently, as discreetly as possible, they captured stolen moments and ensured air safety by filming each flight.
For seven decades, these aviators have guaranteed the continuity of the mission by passing on their knowledge... While making us dream.
So, to make you dream a little more, here are the words of an old hand:
"How quickly time flies! Thirty years ago, I was at the head of this prestigious formation.
In her forties, she was already turning the heads of all those who crossed her path. It is now 70 years old, and nothing has changed. Our Beautiful Patrol still inspires admiration, brings dreams, and awakens vocations, served by talented mechanics and pilots. Every day, with passion, they keep the heart of this aeronautical jewel beating.
LEADER 1993-1994 - AN ALUMNUS' WORD