The Fliegerstaffel 8 (Fightersquadron 8) «Vandalos» of the Swiss Air Force is a militia squadron equipped with Northrop F-5E and is together with the Fliegerstaffel 11 part of the Fliegergeschwader 13. The home base of the Fliegerstaffel 8 is Meiringen Air Base. As coat of arms, the Fliegerstaffel 8 carries as a coat of arms a red sawtooth fish , which floats through the lower circle of a black number 8 on a white ground. The saw-tooth fish has the name Vandalo .
1925 was the Fliegerkompanie 8 founded. Their first aircraft were Häfeli DH-3 until 1933 and Häfeli DH-5 from 1926 to 1934. From 1934 to 1940, the Fliegerkompanie 8 used Fokker CV and theEKW C-35 for reconnaissance and for air to ground missions. From 1940 to 1949 the Messerschmitt Me-109 E was used. In 1945 the Fliegerkompanie 8 was renamed Fliegerstaffel 8. The squadron was equipped with De Havilland DH-100 Vampire from 1950 to 1959. In the fall of 1956, the Fl St 8 completed a double training course at Meiringen, where the first missions were flown from the Aircraft cavern. During the retraining phase on the Hawker Hunter in Emmen and the following services, Oblt Paul Habegger was shot a 8-mm film with the name "Bambini Vandalo". The film documents the work of the pilots of a Hunter squadron from the sixties. From 1959 to 1975 the flight operation with Hawker Hunter took place from the Meiringen Air Base, from 1976 until 1980 with Hawker Hunter from the Alpnach Air Base. Since 1980, the squadron has his home base at the Meiringen Air Base, what is since 2005 also the home base for the F/A-18 Fliegerstaffel 11. During the planned dismantling of the Hunter fleet, two Tiger squadrons should be re-trained for ground combat in a second role. In addition to the professional pilot Fliegerstaffel 1 ,the militia Fliegerstaffel 8 was selected for this task too. The air to ground task was a little later canceled. Traditionally, the Fliegerstaffel 8 flies at Axalpschiessen a formation that symbolizes an 8. In 1993, the first tiger with the tailnumber J-3088 (now wearing the colors of the Patrouille Suisse) received the Fliegerstaffel 8 badge. Like all Swiss squadrons, however, the Fliegerstaffel 8 does not have any aircraft specifically assigned to it; The F-5 are used not only by the Fl St 8 but also by the other squadrons. However, it’s is a F-5E Squadron / militia squadron of the Swiss Air Force, who has, with the F-5E J-3073, its own squadron aircraft with a permanent squadron painting (similar to the J-3033, J-3038, J-5011, J-5017 and J-5018 of the Fliegerstaffel 6, 11, 17 18 and 19).
The air policeing and the identification of foreign aircraft is nowadays a major task of the Fliegerstaffel 8. The future of the Fliegerstaffel 8 is, like for the other two F-5 squadrons, the Fliegerstaffel 19 and Fliegerstaffel 6 uncertain. This is because the F-5 is expected to be phased out in 2018. It is planned to introduce a successor model for the F-5 and F /A-18 for the Swiss Air Force by 2025. It is not yet clear which squadrons will continues to exist with the new aircraft. With the procurement of modern, complex combat aircraft, it is foreseeable that they can’t be used effectively by militia pilots and only by professional military pilots.
- Häfeli DH-3
- Häfeli DH-5
- Fokker C.V
- EKW C-35
- Messerschmitt Bf 109
- De Havilland D.H. 100
- Hawker Hunter
- Northrop F-5
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Category:Fliegerstaffel 8.|
- Staffel 8 – Vandalen! Cockpit 12/2010
- Official VBS page of the FlSt 8
- Report on the history of the FlSt8 in the cockpit magazine December 2000
- Farbgebung und Kennzeichen der Schweizer Militäraviatik 1914-1950 (Georg Hoch) ISBN 9783905404531
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