Its western tip located some 700 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean, Switzerland, known all over the world for its breathtaking mountains and high-tech craftsman-based industry, hardly has any traditional maritime heritage or ambition, embedded in the mind and soul of its population.
Nevertheless the 25 meter-long Swiss 'Alinghi' racing yacht, although crewed by highly experienced Kiwi-sailors, won in March 2003 in Auckland (NZ) as the first European team since time immortal (i.e. 1851), the divine "America's Cup". This famous sailing victory and the successfull defence of this maritime crown-jevel in 2007 triggered huge interest within Switzerland.
Far less mediatised but within Switzerland's aviation community still a remarkable and welcome event was the purchase of Europe's last and sole remaining airworthly aircraft carrier-capable World War II-era TBM-3 Avenger torpedo-bomber by the Swiss businessman and TBM-fanatic Charles Trachsel.
Nowadays more 'smashingly' looking than ever while wearing its new French Aeronavale-markings, TBM-3E HB-RDG became and still is one of the undisputed stars within Switzerland's and Europe's 'warbirds'-community.
• TrueBlueAviaPress.be (c) was created a decade ago by Stefan DEGRAEF and Edwin BORREMANS, Belgium's leading (military) aviation photographers and reporters.
Countless reports on various air force's fighter squadrons and units were published in a large number of (inter)national aviation magazines, hugely boosting the exposure of these units around the globe.
The same publication-success, unmatched in today's world of aviation journalism, has been achieved with similar high-quality articles on individual classic aircraft, based in Europe.