The Hunter was withdrawn from the Swiss Air Force in 1994. At the same time the national program Armée 95 led to the end of the flight squadron 5. The members of this flight unit, wishing to further extend their friendship, decided to create an association.
1994 Early in the morning on 19th november 1994 Robert Briner, Raymond Clerc, Jean-Paul Cruchon, Claude Nicollier and Jean-Luc Schorer founded the association The Fifth Flight Squadron. This association unites military pilots formerly affiliated to the flight squadron 5.
Very soon they wish to save a Hunter from demolition. In 1995 the Hunter J-4078 is allocated to the Association, thanks to the support of the Swiss Air Force and the Military Department of Canton de Vaud. The plane is in perfect flying condition. This plane will be exhibited during seven years in a former sawmill in Arnex-sur-Orbe together with equipment: engines, ejection seats, ground troop material and souvenir articles from the flight squadrons.
A little museum, albeit very small, was born and was only waiting for expansion.
Later the DH-100 Vampire registered J-1055 that had spent more than 20 years in the Military Museum in Morges was given to the association.
1998 After several years in Arnex-sur-Orbe, the association decided to move the Museum to bigger premises. The military airbase in Payerne, main base of the Swiss Air Force, was the ideal location for a brand new building. Very quickly the management of the airbase as well as the head of the Air Force were motivated and very interested by this project.
With this precious support the committee of the Fifth Squadron developed the project of the Payerne Museum and founded a new supportive association: Espace Passion
, association in support of the Military Aviation Museum. This association now counts more than 650 members.
That year the Vampire J-1157, that had been exhibited for many years in the industrial area in Aigle, was donated to the Fifth Squadron. The restoration work was finished in 2000 thanks to the fantastic commitment of the Espace Passion association's members.
1999 The Foundation
On demand of the Ministry of Defence, and in order to carry out the planed construction of the new Museum, the Fifth Squadron founded the
Foundation of the Payerne Military Aviation Museum
The Museum construction was assigned to the Foundation Council, presided by Claude Nicollier, and composed by high officers of the Swiss Air Force as well as by members of the Fifth Squadron.
Fund raising had started at the end of 1998. On 12th December 2001 the first building block was laid and the project was physically starting.
The name "Clin d'Ailes" is the winner of a children and teenagers competition organised by the magazine L'Illustré. Bastien Bornand, 12, from Arnex-sur-Orbe suggested this name that was immediately selected by the Jury, presided by Claude Nicollier. The logo was created by Robert Rausis, graphic designer.
The construction of the building and the interiors was carried through, and the restoration work of the planes continued.
On 25th April the Clin d'Ailes Museum is inaugurated during a wonderful day that ends with a live airborne presentation of historical planes, amongst other the Breguet 14 from Clermont-Ferrand, France, and the AMPA Hunter Trainer, as well as the Swiss aerial patrol and the PC-7 team.
Within eight years the crazy dream of a few pilots committed to save a Hunter from its dismantling has become true: Clin d'Ailes
, Payerne Military Aviation Museum was born. A fantastic adventure!
Six planes are exhibited in the exhibition hall: a Vampire DH-100, a Vampire Trainer DH-115, a Venom DH-112, a Hunter Mk.58, a Hunter Trainer TMk.68 and a Mirage IIIS.
In October the Museum receives a helicopter Alouette 2 from the Swiss Air Force.
On 1st November the Air Force Memorial is inaugurated. Created by Aridio Pellanda, former Mirage pilot, the monument is made of granite from Ticino and of a marble stele with a quote by St-Exupéry. This memorial is dedicated to the memory of all men and women who died during their incorporation within the Air Force.
One year after the Museum opening the restoration of the Mirage simulator (Simir) is finished and the first demonstrations take place.
The Hunter Trainer J-4203 receives its civil registration HB-RVW and flies for the first time civilly on 18th May.
Clin d'Ailes is partner to Imag'in Air, first International Air Film Festival that takes place in Payerne as opening act to the air show AIR 04.
From 3rd to 5th September 275'000 spectators attend this wonderful air show AIR 04. The Museum planes are exhibited on the « Static display » and the Hunter Trainer participates in the aerial show.
The Foundation receives a Mirage III-RS, registered R-2117, as well as a two-seater Mirage III-DS, registered J-2012, from the Swiss Air Force.
Outside the Museum, the antenna Florida, received last year, is installed on its base and the forward section of the Vampire is modified back to its original shape.
The Hunter Trainer completes 55 flights and takes part in the air show Yvair 05.
The Foundation Council decides to examine the possibility of extending the Museum. The Major General Pierre-André Winter egg who has been in charge of the relations between the Swiss Air Force and the Foundation since 1999 becomes member of the Council.
On 30th June more than 400 people, including the Chief of the Armed Forces, attend the official handing over ceremony of the two Mirage III-RS and III-DS.
Within the program ARISS a radio liaison is established on 22nd September from the Museum between the German astronaut Thomas Reiter on board the International Space Station ISS and students from the Broye high school.
On 4th November an official ceremony inaugurates the twinning cooperation between Clin d'Ailes and the Musée Européen de l'Aviation de Chasse de Montélimar (Fighter Aviation European Museum in Montélimar, France).
The Hunter Trainer completes 52 flights and takes part in the air show Mollis 06.
On 8th February Jean-Rodolphe Willi is appointed new Director of the Museum and replaces Alfred Ramseyer, named Honorary Director.
Alfred Bohnenblust replaces Jean-Pierre Kallenbach at the head of Espace Passion.
The Hunter Trainer completes 45 flights.
On 23rd June Alfred Bohnenblust is appointed Director of the Museum and replaces Jean-Rodolphe Willi, who sadly passed away. To this day more than 60'000 visitors have visited the Museum since its foundation.
On 2nd August the first Swiss Aviation Exchange Event successfully attracts around 3'000 people at the Museum.
On 16th September the first civil flight with our two-seater Mirage III HB-RDF takes place – a world premiere!
The Hunter Trainer completes 44 flights and the Mirage III 8 flights. To this day more than 200 passengers have fulfilled their dreams and have flown in a military jet on board our legendary planes.
On 3rd April Christophe Keckeis is elected President of Espace Passion, replacing Alfred Bohnenblust.
In June the Mirage III participates in the Bourget air show.
In September the Hunter and the Mirage III participate in “Geneva Classics”. The adventure goes on....
For the 100th anniversary of civil aviation our Hunter and our two-seater Mirage participated in the Emmen air show on 24th July.
Very successful CentenAir days at the Payerne air base on 24th and 25th September with 5500 visitors at the Museum.
The Museum was the honorary guest at the Payerne fair from 5th to 14th November.
A Solar Impulse stand is now part of the Museum and enables visitors to understand Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg's fantastic adventure.
The Foundation begin à project to expand the museum.
Start of research funding
Development of a final project for the expansion of the Museum. The building permit application is filed, the budget is verified and tenders are obtained.
The museum welcomed its 100'000 visitor in May.
On April 26, the Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary with the participation of the PC-7 TEAM that launches his new book and a triangular flight of the Aero Club of Switzerland.
Jürg Studer is appointed Director of the Museum, replacing Alfred "Boblu" Bohnenblust who died
On 15 October, the Museum finally gets the building permit, the expansion work began.
With Foxel SA, the Museum can be looked at in 360° on the website. <
The 30/31 August and 06/07 September the Swiss Air Force celebrates its 100th anniversary. Clin d'Ailes Museum participates in the exhibition for the 100 years with his Hunter and Mirage IIIS. The Hunter Trainer and Mirage IIIDS do each day their part of the AIR14 flight program. For a whole week, the Museum is the host site of the show "The Dicodeurs" by the RTS.
The official opening of the Museum enlargement takes place on 1 May.
On 18 May, Espace Passion begins flight service from its new maintenance facility which is part of the Museum expansion.