FIDAE - the Santiago International Air Show

Santiago Travel Blog

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View of the plane display area, FIDAE

Didn´t do much on 3 and 4 April, so just a quick summary:

3 April:
We had a look around the Artisans Market at Santa Lucia, which is actually quite big.  It is mostly filled with the same old stuff, but prices seem quite good and there is a huge range of stalls, so takes you a while to wander around.  On the way home we walked down a street filled with shops selling sewing paraphernalia like sewing machines, material, buttons and so on.  Melissa´s mum would love it all!

4 April:
Another lazy day.  Did some housekeeping and dowloaded instructions for playing Uno from the internet - the set we bought in La Serena was sans instructions!  Now we can engage in stiff competition to while away the hours!  Also went to see a Robin Williams movie, ´The Big White´.

Kissing planes! Brazilian AF aerobatics team.
  Quite funny, but also quite sad in parts. 

5 April:
The Big One - went to FIDAE today, the big international airshow held in Santiago every two years.  It has been going since last weekend, but only open to the public this weekend.  The new Airbus A380 was in town for a few days during the week, but gone by the public days.  We did see it flying low over the city a few times, and Noel managed to snap its tail disappearing behind a building!  Have to say that the organisation of this event for the public was exemplary.  Tickets were bought very easily at Ticketmaster (you could buy them at the gate, but very long queues) and buses were laid on especially for the event at Los Pajaritos metro station - you got off the train, followed the signs, bought your bus tickets (a bargain at CP1500 each return) and got straight onto a waiting bus which dropped you off at the main entrance.

Display plane at FIDAE
  Couldn´t be easier!  Had to queue a bit to get in, because went through normal airport-type security, so lots of people had to forfeit their Swiss Army knives (luckily there was a stall inside where you could buy a new one).  The site was pretty big and had about 7 large hangars all filled with trade displays - bearing in mind the military involvement in many of the Latin American economies, it was not surprising that there was a large number of stalls selling very large guns and missiles!  Interesting to see, though.  Also had lots of planes to look at, including many from the US Air Force.  You could walk through a couple, but not much to see because they were essentially cargo planes, so just big empty holds.  Noel was very pleased to be able to watch lots of aerobatic displays by fighter jets and helicopters, and we also saw the Brasilian Air Force aerobatics team do their stuff.
Jet fighter about to take off and strut its stuff, at FIDAE
  Mind you, they took off and disappeared into the smog for about 20 minutes - we assume they were doing some tricks over the city.  The smog over Santiago is quite bad, and unfortunately when the planes flew low away from the airport, you could barely see them.  However, most did their stuff above our heads so got a pretty good view all in all.

In another feat of organisation, when it was time to go, we simply walked out the gate, followed the signs to the special buses, hopped on and returned to the Metro station - very impressed with the excellent running of this event.

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View of the plane display area, FI…
View of the plane display area, F…
Kissing planes!  Brazilian AF aero…
Kissing planes! Brazilian AF aer…
Display plane at FIDAE
Display plane at FIDAE
Jet fighter about to take off and …
Jet fighter about to take off and…
USAF bomber at FIDAE.
USAF bomber at FIDAE.
Noel inside a USAF plane, this one…
Noel inside a USAF plane, this on…
Aerial display by Brazilian AF aer…
Aerial display by Brazilian AF ae…
Royal Air Force AWACs plane, from …
Royal Air Force AWACs plane, from…
Melissa and the Bils Pap mascot (P…
Melissa and the Bils Pap mascot (…
Noel with some USAF crew.
Noel with some USAF crew.
Melissa wearing the captain´s hel…
Melissa wearing the captain´s he…
Noel and a volunteer bombero, at F…
Noel and a volunteer bombero, at …
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler