French Rafale Solo Display 2024-2025

French Rafale Solo Display 2024
French Air Force Rafale Solo Display performs a demo flight for the media.

On Tuesday February 20th, 2024, the new French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air and Espace) Rafale Solo Display (RSD) for 2024-2025 season was presented: Captain Jean-Brice Millet, with callsign “MIMOUSS”.

The presentation took place at Base Aérienne 113 Saint-Dizier-Robinson (ICAO: LFSI) in the north-east of France. After a presentation and a short interview in the morning, captain Millet flew his low-level demo in the afternoon. The low-level show was caused by the low clouds that day.


Captain Millet joined the French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air and Espace) in 2006, where he earned his wings in 2009. From 2010 onwards he flew the Mirage 2000N from BA Istres for four years. After two years at the headquarters of the French nuclear headquarters at Taverny AB, he went in 2016 as a Rafale pilot to St-Dizier AB. Captain Millet will be the Rafale Solo Display pilot for the 2024-2025 season.

He is a member of Escadron de Transformation Rafale 3/4 Aquitaine (Rafale Transition Squadron 3/4 Aquitaine) that trains French and foreign Rafale pilots. For four years he will be part of the Rafale Solo Display team.

In all countries around the world, fighter pilots have a callsign. This is for reasons of confidentiality on the one hand and to be easily recognized on the radio on the other hand. During the initiation of a new pilot in a squadron, the new pilot receives a callsign from the other pilots. And captain Millet received the callsign “MIMOUSS” from his colleagues.

French Rafale Solo Display 2024

Selection process

For recruitment, a survey is sent to all Rafale pilots of the French Air and Space Force (AAE), so it is a voluntary job.

The AAE human resources department makes an initial selection based on the careers of the pilots who apply. They must have more than 500 hours of flight time on Rafale, they must be a patrol leader and of course they need to have an appetite for relationships and communication. And they must commit to four years, two years as pilot followed by two years as coach.

Finally, the candidates must pass an interview with the coach, the current demonstrator pilot, the commander of Escadron de Transformation Rafale 3/4 and other air force personnel.

It is the current demonstrator who has the final say on the choice of the new RSD pilot, as the current demonstrator will be the coach for the next two years. They must have a match as they see each other more often than their spouses during the demo season


Being a Rafale Solo Display demonstrator pilot is a very demanding job. Both physically and mentally. “Performing a 10-minute demonstration in the air is the equivalent of doing a marathon while sprinting”. The body must be well prepared to handle all this while pulling many “G”-forces. The team has a sport-coach to train physical strength during the autumn and winter months before the training starts. “I do sporting activities on a daily basis and a healthy lifestyle is also super important” says captain Millet. The Rafale demonstration is strictly personal and will only be performed by the demopilot himself; in case of illness or absence there will be no show, the coach will and can not take over this demo.

The airshow period normally starts in May, lasting until October or November, with on average 30 airshows and events. So every weekend there is an airshow, resulting in about one hundred demonstrations per year.
In January, the flight training began for season 2024 with 30 training flights that increased each flight in complexity. Before take-off, captain Millet prepared for the flight by ‘walking’ the demonstration on the ground, using his hands to mark the actual flight in the air.

In order to prepare for demo flying, captain Millet flew with the Patrouille de France and the Équipe de Voltige to get acquainted with the concept of demo flying for a large crowd. This way he learned what the audience on the ground would see while watching his Rafale demonstration.

French Rafale Solo Display 2024

Annual shows

The Rafale Solo Display is one of the ambassadors of the French Air and Space Force, next to the Patrouille de France with the AlphaJets and the Équipe de Voltige with the Extra EA-300 aircraft. The Rafale Solo Display can be seen on many airshows and exhibitions in France and abroad; to show the full capacity of the Rafale while representing France.

There are three types of Rafale shows depending on the weather conditions. On a sunny day the “high show” is performed, with a ceiling of 3500 feet. On an overcast day, the “low show” is performed, with a ceiling of 1500 feet. And when it is a very cloudy day, the “flat show” is performed, with a ceiling of only 800 feet. Not only the spectators on the ground will experience these differences. Also the Rafale pilot experiences these different sensations. During their training sessions, a sunny training under the sun at Solenzara AB in April gives a ‘slower’ experience than a gray winter training at Saint-Dizier AB in freezing conditions according to captain Millet.

French Rafale Solo Display 2024


The previous RSD pilot Captain Butin with callsign “Bubu” was the RSD in the seasons 2022-2023. For the season 2024-2025 he will be the coach and manager of the team. His task is to help Captain Millet to concentrate fully on his primary mission: to fly the RSD Rafale during the shows. He takes care of everything in the team and he takes care that everything goes well for “Mimouss” so he can concentrate on flying only. He takes care of the external communication with the organizers of shows and with the French the general staff where requests for demonstrations arrive. Captain Butin also manages the technical issues in the team. Next to the previous and current pilots, there is a team of 45 Rafale technicians from St-Dizier AB ready to support the displays and for every event 8 or 9 technicians are selected to participate. As they travel mostly by truck to the various airbases, they spend hours on the road.

French Rafale Solo Display 2024

French Rafale Solo Display 2024

French Rafale Solo Display 2024

French Rafale Solo Display 2024

Report by Joris van Boven and Alex van Noye
Photos by Joris van Boven

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