Al Fursan (the Knights) and Patrouille de France—the aerobatic teams of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and French air forces, respectively—flew over some of Dubai's landmarks today. The picture was taken from the ninth Alpha Jet by Katsuhiko Tokunaga and publicly released. It was only the third public appearance of Al Fursan.
Both teams have been flying every day and wowing the crowds at the Dubai air show. Experienced Western pilots have been very impressed by the Al Fursan team, which flies a seven-aircraft formation—one for each emirate in the UAE: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.
Al Fursan flies Aermacchi MB-339A jet trainers, whose main color scheme is black and gold representing the golden sands of the desert and the black treasure (oil) that lies beneath it. They have smoke generators producing red, green, white and black smoke, the colors of the UAE flag.
The team was formed in early 2010 and made its first public appearance on Jan. 20, 2010, with a fly-by at the graduation ceremony for pilots and air traffic control students at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College. Serious training began in July 2010 when eight UAE air force pilots began an aerobatic-formation training course under the supervision of Frece Tricolori pilots at Rivolto Air Base in Italy. They completed the course in early 2011 and made their first public demonstration just two days ago on the first day of the Dubai air show on Nov. 13.