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Albacete - Base Aérea de Los Llanos

Most people may know the area Los Llanos because of the infamous character Don Quichote fighting windmills. In the aviation community, Albacete's base aerea de Los Llanos is better known for the regular Tactical Leadership Programme and of course as home base for No.14 Wing of the Ejercito del Aire, and as one of the members of the Tiger Meet association.


Although Albacete started of as a civil airfield back in 1928, it was soon incorporated by the military in 1936.

The current main unit, Ala 14, was actually created as host unit to operate the Mirage F1 from here in June 1974. Spanish pilots went to Mont de Marsan to train in the new aircraft and returned with the first Mirage F1s on 18 June 1975.

In 1996 an update programme was started, and the first rejuvenated aircraft rotated through this programme from 1999 to 2001.

Operational highlights from the Mirage F1-era are the participation in Cope Thunder 2002, hosting Tiger Meets in 1992 and 2006, and conducting aerial policing tasks in Lithuania in 2006.

From 2011, No.14 Wing was starting the trasition to the C.16 Typhoon. After their formal withdrawal on 23 June 2013, the Mirages were stored at the co-located Maestranza maintenance unit. Some attempts to sell them off, for example to Argentina, did not succeed. So many can still be found stored at the base awaiting their fate.

Ala 14 consists of two squadrons:

141 Escuadron was the first to receive the Mirage F1. Their motto is "Pero yo prefiero serlo" meaning 'I'd rather be (part of Esc141 than Esc142)'.

Their mascot is based on the cartoon dog Muttley (or 'Patán' in Spanish). In the beginning each pilot had this dog painted on their helmets in all kinds of different outfits, but they all wore the distinctive red scarf with white polka dots. It took some mild bickering to get Patán approved as the official squadron badge because only Wing badges were allowed back then.


142 Escuadron was formed later, in 1980.

Their mascot is a fierce looking Sabre tooth Tiger and with that in hand, the unit applied to - and was accepted as - member of the Tiger association. In fact the emblem was designed specifically with the objective of becoming part of that association!

Contrary to the intorduction of the Mirage, Esc142 was now first up to convert to the Eurofighter 2000. These aircraft are pooled between both squadrons, so you can not tell which squadron flies them exactly.

The type conversion for the C.16 is done by Ala 11 at Moron, but Ala 14 has some dual seat aircraft of their own. Seen here is two-seater CE.16-11/'14-70'.

Duo take off at a busy air base is a matter of course. Here C.16-41/ '14-07' and C.16-42/'14-08' depart together for a sortie.

The two powerful EJ200 turbojets enable the EF2000 to take off using only military power, its large tail, fully actuated canards and wing shape make it a very agile aircraft too.

Apart from aerodynamic landing, the Eurofighter can also deploy a brake-chute in order to shorten its touch-down run.

Base Aérea de Los Llanos has a decent quantity of hardened aircraft shelters. As you may know, some Typhoon units use 'garage'-type drive-through hangars. Those provide a cleaner and lighter environment but obviously less protection against ordnance.

Currently, the Maestranza overhaul facility at Albacete takes care of EdlA's CASA 101EB Aviojet fleet. Usually, a handful of these from a variety of Escuadrones can be found awaiting overhaul or a ferry flight back to their home base.

Being a busy air base with an overhaul unit, TLP exercises and an Airbus Military facility, means that a variety of visiting aircraft can drop in at any time like this Beech C90 Kingair E.22-01/'409-30' operated by 409 Escuadron...

...or this Morón-based EF2000 C.16-37/'11-07'.