“Baby Blue” is the official aerobatic team of the Royal Danish Air Force. The team consists of four aircraft of the Swedish built Saab T17 Supporter. The team flies at airshows and does fly-bys locally in Denmark and also flies at some airshows in other countries. The aircraft in the team belong to the RDAF Flying School situated at Karup airbase in the Western part of Denmark. The pilots in the team are all instructors at the Flying school, and flying on the team is a side job to their other main duties at the Flying school. The team members have different backgrounds ranging from operational experience on transport aircraft, helicopters and fighters.
The T17 is powered by a Lycoming 200Hp boxer engine and the aircraft is rated to +6g and -3g. The aircraft is very sensitive to turbulence, and the combination of this fact and its small engine size makes it a very demanding aircraft to fly precisely in formation. The aircraft’s shoulder mounted wings have a slight forward sweep and a slight dihedral that give it a very distinct look.
The team started off by doing flyby’s over cemeteries, where fallen allied aviators from WWII are buried, every year on the 4th of May; the date being the day where Denmark got liberated from the enemy occupation during the war. At first the team only flew “finger four” and “missing wingman” formations but the team members, around the mid 80’s, got the idea of developing these simple formations into some more complex ones and making a display programme – and they did! The team has since won several awards for “best display team” at some airshows in Europe.
Thanks to Stephen Galea