The Payerne air show between Yverdon and Bern is a definite must-see. Both noisy and awesome, it literally makes the ground tremble as fast-manoeuvring jets show off the world’s latest technology. Operated by exceptionally courageous and spatially aware pilots, these planes are doing the real thing. Nothing like those imitation video games where you can re-start if things go wrong. Here, mistakes are not an option.
For kids, this incredible spectacle may help them grasp that maths and science are essential to a mind-blowing career where “real” beats “virtual” hands down.
The Swiss Air Force runs the event, this year celebrating its 100th anniversary with the biggest air show in the country’s history. But it’s not all about plummeting and spiralling jets. It’s also about vintage aeroplanes, aerobatic teams, legendary aircraft and aviation personalities.
Given that no air show can operate without noise or fuel consumption, the Air Force is planning it with typical Swiss consideration: the fuel used is equivalent to a normal flight service. The biggest environmental impact, its organizers point out, is that caused by spectators using cars. Visitors, they urge, should travel by public transport, or at least car-share.
The show operates on two weekends, 30–31 August and 6–7 September. Tickets can be purchased online (though there have been problems), but you can also pay in cash, including Euros, at the show itself.