Breitling Jet Team History
The history of Breitling Jet Team leads back to 1982, when the team leader Jacques Bothelin found its first aerobatic team in France - Team Apache. Jacques Bothelin definitely can be named the "father" of Breitling Jet Team. He gained his pilot's license at the age of 16 and by the late 1970's was an Aerospatiale demonstration pilot as well as a regular participant in aerobatic competitions. By 1982 he and two friends had formed Team Apache (Apache being the name of his dog) flying CAP-10.
In 1984 Team Apache gained sponsorship from Martini becoming Patrouille Martini. Then they start flying three SIAI Marchetti SF-260 planes and in 1987 transited to Pilatus PC-7. Both aircraft types were painted in overall white color with Martini logos on the each side and wings. In 1990 the France banning the advertising of alcohol, meaning Martini had to stop sponsoring Patrouille Martini.
Later the employment agency ECCO brought funding for sponsoring Jacques Bothelin and he established new team, which received in 1991 official name Patrouille ECCO. The team flew four green and white painted PC-7 aircrafts.
In 1997 ECCO merged with a Swiss firm Adia, forming Adecco. The new company continues sponsoring the team, but this tome with new name Patrouille Adecco and with new color scheme - red and white. In June one of the planes was lost in an incident in France without causing life of the pilot. At the next year the Adecco stops the sponsorship and the team was reduced to two planes.
Apache Aviation Team
In 1999 Jacques Bothelin established the new two-ship team - Apache Aviation Team sponsored by his own company Apache Aviation and flying PC-7 aircrafts.
Khalifa Jet Team
In 2001 the Apache Aviation received a sponsorship from Algerian group of companies Khalifa (includes the El Khalifa Bank - the first privately-owned bank in Algeria, Khalifa Airways, Khalifa Rent-A-Car and Antinea Airlines). All PC-7 were sold and replaced by two L-39. The aircrafts were painted in blue and yellow. The new Khalifa Jet Team was assembled in March 2002, while the first demonstration was on May. At the end of the summer of 2002 the team received two more L-39s. In 2003 Khalifa pulled out of the sponsorship and again Jacques Bothelin needs to seek for a sponsor.
Breitling Jet Team
In 2004 the new team sponsor became the famous Switzerland Company Breitling and renamed to Breitling Jet Team. They start to fly with four L-39s painted in blue and yellow with Breitling signatures and. Later the planes increase to four, six and today this unique team flies with seven jet aircrafts.
In 2010 the team's L-39C Albatross planes were repainted in monochrome black and gray and new logo was also created.
Today this is the only one civilian aerobatic team flying with seven jet aircrafts.