Patrulla Aguila ("Eagle Patrol") is the aerobatic display team of the Spanish Air Force. It is actually the second "Patrulla Acrobática Nacional", because the Patrulla Ascua represented Spain from 1956 to 1965 with four North American F-86F Sabre jet fighter aircraft. The Patrulla Aguila was subsequently formed in 1985, based at San Javier airbase near La Manga del Mar Menor.
Originally there were five, then six and, since April 1988, seven pilots, flying slightly modified versions of the CASA C-101 Aviojet: the aircraft were given a special livery and fitted with the smoke generators used during aerobatic manoeuvres, while also being equipped with larger tanks enabling them to fly for up to 7 hours. They also have a higher service ceiling of 14,000 m and a maximum speed of 845 km/h.
AIRPOWER16 will give fans a rare opportunity to witness one of the few foreign appearances of the Spanish Air Force aerobatic display team. Patrulla Aguila's display is performed in three parts, where all seven aircraft fly together in the first and last parts. In the especially dynamic middle section, the display team splits into three groups: el Solo (the solo pilot), el Par (two pilots) and el Rombo (four pilots). The Spanish team's trademark is the formation landing, which is performed by no other display team in the world.
The following clip (courtesy of Patrulla Aguila) offers a preview on their spectacular programme.