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Feast your eyes on The Patrouille de France

Base camp: Salon-de-Provence

The famous Patrouille de France is now made up of 8 Alpha Jets at the 701 airbase in Salon-de-Provence since 1964. The Patrouille de France is the French Army’s acrobatics team and trains in Salon-de-Provence. You can see the Patrouille fly over the town once or twice a day at lunchtime between October and April. To find out more, you can buy a book by the Air School and Council at Tourist Information.

The 2021 team
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A potted history


The Patrouille de France set up camp in 1937 at the 701 airbase as the “Patrouille de l’École de l’Air.” The École d’Étampes school shut down and training moved to Salon-de-Provence in 1937 as the “Patrouille de l’École de l’Air.” It wasn’t named “Patrouille Acrobatique de France” until 1953.

Origin of the name

During the Algiers meeting on May 17th 1953, Jacques Noetinger got carried away and called the 3rd Fighter Wing made up four F84G jets based in Reims and run by Captain Delachennal the “Patrouille de France”.

The first French planes

All the Patrouille needed by the end of 53 was French fighter planes. The Dassault M.D.450 Ouragan made it happen in 1954. The aircraft’s design completely changed in 1971. 1980 marked the end of an era. The Fouga had its final season.

Current formation

1981 saw the launch of the Alpha Jet.The formation was 8-strong in 1982 and still is.The Patrouille Acrobatique de France celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2013.

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