Axalp 2015 – the FirePower Demo that wasn’t!

After many years reviewing the awesome images from the Axalp Ebenfluh range in Switzerland at the annual Fliegerschiessen firepower demo, 2015 was set ot be the year we attended to see how good it really was. Rumours have been circulating that public access to the event may be curtailed in the near future, and therefore for a bucket list event it needed to be done sooner rather than later.

Suffice to say whilst the event is unique and should not be missed, 2015 did not turn out to be the ideal year to go. Sadly both show days were called off due to inclement weather but there was still much activity.

While sunny skies are always pleasant, photographic opportunities in more inclement weather surely yielded somewhat more drama and atmosphere.

In particular we have never had the opportunity to shoot helicopters shedding bucketloads of rotor tip vortices, nor FA-18 Hornets dripping vapour as they took off and landed.

In terms of photography, it was a superb trip. The images do not tell the full story though - the 4am starts, the mountain climbs in the dark, the way your body vibrates when a Hornet puts on full afterburner less than 10m from you, and the sublime beauty of a sunrise in the Alps.

Yes, we'd go back.

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