Axalp 2006 has been another Axalp without snow. I do not know if this is only due to bad luck or to the changing climate, but one thing is sure: it makes walking easier, but photography even more difficult, and therefore this years results from this unique airpower demonstration might not be as stunning as the ones from 2003, when the Mirages were flying in front of a snowy scenery.
Eurocopter celebrated its 60th anniversary of the Donauwörth site with a family's day on September 16th, 2006. Whereas wagons and aircraft have been built in earlier times at Donauwörth, the site is today the centre of the German helicopter industry. The main attraction were the construction line of the NH 90 and Tiger helicopters, as well as the interesting sights of the maintenance of other military types currently in service within the German Army and Navy: Sea King, Sea Lynx and CH-53.
The Czech International Air Fest (CIAF) usually marks each year the end of my personal airshow season, the CIAF 2006 being no exception for that. After a personal calm and not always photographically successful 2006 a warm and sunny week-end in Brno forgiving provided a forgiving completion of this year.
Don't blame it on the weatherman…
The forecast for the week-end of August, 26th/27th for the region around Bremen was not very favourable, but as I have already booked my flight to visit the MFG3 (Marinefliegergeschwader 3) Airday 2006 in Nordholz near Cuxhaven quite in advance it was then already too late to step back from this wet adventure.
The homepage for the event has already been put online in January and announced a big show.
Watching out for something special and exotic this year the Romanian International Air Show (RoIAS) caught my attention. The two day event was celebrated at the Mihail Kogalniceanu AB near Constanta not far from the Black Sea in honour of the 100th anniversary of "mechanical flying" in Romania. MiGs, sunshine and the prospect of taking a bath in the sea after the show were very promising for a successful trip.
Family days at the EADS site in Manching are always something special - a fact that proved once again to be true this year. According to official sources around 100.000 were attracted by this event that coincided with the 45th anniversary of the site. It is hard to imagine that many people as the access was only permitted to employees and their families and friends, but a massive traffic jam on the motorway clearly demonstrated that people were keen on discovering what is usually hidden behind the factory's wall.
In combination with the 65th anniversary of the "Group de Chasse" GC 01/030 "Alsace" a Open Doors Day (Journée Portes Ouvertes or JPO) was organized at the Base Aérienne BA 132 Colmar Meyenheim on Sunday, June 18th 2006. The date coincided with Charles de Gaulles "Appeal of June 18" to fellow countrymen in London when France fell to Nazi Germany.
Even though spectacular contract signings had been missed at this year's ILA and announcements were nearly drowned out by the discussion where the next ILAs will take place due the extension of Schönefeld to the new Berlin-Brandenburg International (BBI) airport it was once again a very impressive event. Fortunately it was decided already at the beginning that ILA will stay in Berlin, but also that the fairground will move to the North of the runway what will make good photography even more difficult than it is today with the huge distance of the display line.
Within the scope of the festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the German Luftwaffe (German Air Force / GAF) the airfield Erding held an Open Doors day on Sunday, May 21st 2006. On my trip back from the ILA in Berlin I made a short stop there on Sunday late afternoon and had the luck to take nice photos during two of the rare sunny hours that day.