Fighter Squadron 17 "FALCONS" - yesterday

Fighter Squadron 17 has its roots in the "Jagd Flieger Kompanie 17" which was found 1925. At that time, 8 aircrafts belong to the squadron, aircrafts of the type Haefeli DH 5 and a Dewoitine D-27. The last of the two was used by the "Jagd Flieger Kompanie 17" in the years 1925 to 1939. The "Dewoitine" was revealed by the C-35  1939. The air bases at that time were Alpnach, Spreitenbach, Weinfelden and Kloten Rümlang.


In october 1942 the transition course to C-3603 started in Stans. The "Jagd Flieger Kompanie 17" had 3 aircrafts of this type. From 1945 the C-35 was revealed and the crews flew mainly C-3603, which was opereated from airbase "Raron VS". During Second World War the "Jagd Flieger Kompanie 17" was integrated into the "UeG" (Air Surveillance Wing) Squadron 3 and flew those types during active service.


1952 the now known "Figher Squadron 17" was founded. The first years they were still flying on the propeller aircrafts C-3604 and D-3802. Finally in 1955 the first jet engine aircraft, the "Venom" DH-112 was on the flight deck. It was flown from "Buochs" and "Emmen".


A badge was missing for the time - finally on 12. january 1963 the "FALCON" was declared as Squadron insignia in a big ceremony. On that same evening, the "Falknerei/Fauconnerie" was founded. The "Fauconnerie" is the exclusive Club, where all active and all former pilots belong to. The goal of the "Fauconnerie" is, to strengthen the spirit of the pilots and their families outside of duty, to meet for weekend trips and social events, as well as the important squadorn conference at the end of each year.


1967 the contested aircraft Mirage III S was procured, and the Squadron 17 had the honour, to quickly retrain to the modern, elegant and fast Fighter.

During the following years the knowledge and the "art of flying the Mirage III S" was developped and consolidated. New crews came into the squadron to be educated as virtuous air combat pilots. And still the friendship and team spirit among the crew was more and more strenghtened.


In september 1995, the first "17-boy" travelled to the US to become F/A-18 pilot. As an exchange pilot he was integrated an a RAG squadron of the US Navy. After his transition course, he spent some time as instructor on this type in Florida, and he has as well the chance to graduate for the carrier qualification. With the Hornet, it was obvious, that only professional pilots could manage a complexe system like this.


1997 the new fighter F/A-18 C/D finally became part of our air defense, and again the Sqn 17 was the first to be trained on that modern aircraft of the fourth generation. We are proud, to fly one of the most enhanced and modern fighter of the world.


1997 wurde das neue Kampfflugzeug F/A-18 C/D schliesslich in der Schweiz eingeführt und die Fliegerstaffel 17 hatte die Ehre, als erste Einheit auf diesem Jet der 4. Generation ausgebildet und eingesetzt zu werden. Sie darf sich heute stolz fühlen, auf einem der modernsten Militärflugzeuge der Welt ihre Aufgabe wahrzunehmen.

Falcons today

Since 1997 Squadron 17 is flying on one of the most modern fighter on the world. The Hornet is a multirole fighter, and since today's air defense is very complexe, only professional pilots are flying on the aircraft. Steady training is a need, to employ such an aircraft for good success.


Today we train in a very modern theatre. To have a good air defense, you have to train all possible scenarios like by day, night and with bad weather. This is as well a reason, why it takes several years to become fighter pilot.


Swiss airspace is small and it it crossed by two main airways north-south and east-west, and therefore it is difficult to train an intense scenario with BVR weapons (=beyond visual range). As well Switzerland has a dense population and people are noise sensitive. Thats why we also train abroad in places like Norway where we can fly over the ocean in huge areas and to low altitudes.


So we participate on exercices in Great Britain, France, Germany and other countries. In Norway for example we can fly over the Nordic Sea, do air combat training at very low altitudes and supersonic, which is not possible in Switzerland. Because of the long nights in winter time, we can practise an intense night flying training.


Such campaigns give us the chance, to keep our knowledge and raise our level, always beeing able to do our duty.

Page updated:  22.07.2007 / 21:31
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