Meiringen Air Base
|Meiringen air base|
Meiringen air base viewed from the Rothorn
|Occupants||Swiss Air Force|
Meiringen air base, also known as the Unterbach military airfield, is a Swiss military airbase located near the hamlet of Unterbach and the town of Meiringen, in the canton of Bern. It is one of three main airbases of the Swiss Air Force.
The airfield is situated in the steep-sided alpine valley of the Aar river, with its single runway parallel to the river. It is flanked to the north by the main road to Meiringen, the river, and the Brünig railway line. To the south, taxiways connect the airfield to aircraft caverns built within the valley side.
The Meiringen Air Base started operations on 1 December 1941. The base played an important role in the 1946 C-53 Skytrooper crash on the Gauli Glacier: the rescue operation was launched and coordinated by the Meiringen air base. The rescue of persons on a glacier with airplanes had never been done before. After World War 2, an aircraft cavern was built in Meiringen. In the 1970 years the construction of another cavern tunnel was started for the A-7G Corsair II, but because the A-7G was not bought, this construction was completed as an ammunition storage cavern. With the introduction of the F/A-18 the aircraft cavern was rebuilt again and received another tunnel so the aircraft can go straight in and out at the same time. In the inside maneuvering without crane is now possible.
In 2004, militia Squadron 8 "Destructors", equipped with the F-5E Tiger, moved to Meiringen from Buochs Airport. In 2007, professional Squadron 11 "Tiger", equipped with the F/A-18, moved from Dübendorf Air Base.
citation needed] It is the home base to two fighter squadrons, militia Squadron 8 "Destructors", equipped with the Northrop F-5E Tiger, and professional Squadron 11 "Tiger", equipped with the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.[
Meiringen is the only Swiss airbase that uses an aircraft cavern in daily operations. The runway is equipped with retractable arresting gear devices (used by the F/A-18 and in emergencies by the F-5) at both ends.
The operation of the aerodrome has for the region and the town of Meiringen, both positive and negative effects: noise emissions by the military jets is for the affected population as well as for tourism businesses. The airfield is, however, with some 190 labor and 25 training places an important economic factor for the region. The airfield has a small museum that is open on Wednesday afternoons from May to October; different pieces of equipment are exhibited as well as an Aérospatiale Alouette III and an F-5 Tiger.
- "Flugplatzkommando Meiringen" [Meiringen air base command] (in German). Swiss Air Force. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
- Maurer et. al. (2013), p.245
- "Fliegerstaffel 8" [Squadron 8] (in German). Swiss Air Force. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
- "Fliegerstaffel 11" [Squadron 11] (in German). Swiss Air Force. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2013-06-23. From page22 on
- "Flugplatzkommando Meiringen-Unterbach" (in German). Swiss Air Force. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- Media related to Meiringen air base at Wikimedia Commons
|graph of the cavern layout|
|graph of the cavern layout|