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Where? Zeltweg, Austria
When? 02/07/2011

The numbers speak for itself: with 290.000 visitors the Airpower Airshow at Zeltweg, Austria is clearly the biggest and may also well be the best Airshow in Europe. The 9.5 hours long lasting flight display alone was more than one good reason to go there for a day.

Already half an hour after the doors opened at 7am on Saturday it was more than difficult to find a nice spot in the front row, and if you did so it was better to stay there during the rest of the day. Not only because of the likeliness of loosing the spot, but moving around was also difficult as the showground was completely filled up with people from around 10am on. And it was interesting to see that not only big camera lenses dominated the front rows, but also at least ten lines of lawn chairs or picnic blanket.

The flight program went flawless and within time and started with a wake-up call by an Austrian Eurofighter at 9am and three Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter dropping water in the Austrian National colours red-white-red. Another participant in the opening ceremony was the DC-6 of the second big sponsor of the event, Red Bull.
Overall it has to be said the Austrian Bundesheer (the overall structure of Austrian Army & Air Force) did perform an immaculate job and demonstrated its capabilities at its best - in the flying program and in organizing such a huge event at the same time.

AP11 Eroeffnung 0533 700 470 90
AP11 Eroeffnung 0533 100 67 85
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0591 100 67 85
PP11 Saab105 Formation 0070 100 67 85

The flying included a formation flight of Alouette helicopters, a formation display of four Saab 105 and a solo display of the PC-7.

0P11 Alouette Formation 9568 700 470 90
0P11 Alouette Formation 9568 100 67 85
AP11 Alouette Formation 0569 100 67 85
AP11 Alouette Formation 9578 100 67 85
AP11 Alouette Formation 9586 100 67 85
AP11 Alouette Formation 9588 100 67 85
AP11 Alouette Formation 9598 100 67 85
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0039 700 470 90
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0039 100 67 85
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0041 100 67 85
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0051 100 67 85
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0054 100 67 85
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0057 100 67 85
AP11 Saab105 Formation 0618 100 67 85
0P11 PC 7 9542 700 470 90
0P11 PC 7 9542 100 67 85
AP11 PC 7 0564 100 67 85
AP11 PC 7 9521 100 67 85
AP11 PC 7 9536 100 67 85

It cumulated in an air landing demonstration of the Army Aviation involving not less than 20 helicopters and 2 Hercules transport aircraft.

0P11 Bundesheer Demo 2875 700 470 90
0P11 Bundesheer Demo 2875 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 0579 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 0680 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2863 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2866 100 67 85
0P11 Bundesheer Demo 2882 700 470 90
0P11 Bundesheer Demo 2882 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 0526 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 0552 100 67 85
0P11 Bundesheer Demo 2904 700 470 90
0P11 Bundesheer Demo 2904 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 0687 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2908 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2912 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2938 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2837 700 470 90
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2837 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2849 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2857 100 67 85
AP11 Bundesheer Demo 2953 100 67 85

One of these Hercules was later on used for an interception demo with 2 Eurofighters, who themselves did fly a formation display. This formation display was a nice choreography and a first time to see two Eurofighters performing a display together in the air. And of course Austria's new fighter jet did also fly a solo display routine.

0P11 Eurofighter Intercept 2980 700 470 90
0P11 Eurofighter Intercept 2980 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Intercept 0615 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Intercept 0620 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Intercept 0632 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Intercept 0640 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Intercept 2978 100 67 85
0P11 Eurofighter Team 0673 700 470 90
0P11 Eurofighter Team 0673 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Team 0648 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Team 0650 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Team 0684 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Team 0703 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Team 2997 100 67 85
0P11 Eurofighter Display 0126 700 470 90
0P11 Eurofighter Display 0126 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Display 0107 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Display 0123 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Display 0132 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Display 0133 100 67 85
AP11 Eurofighter Display 2719 100 67 85

Austria's early military aviation was remembered with a Piper PA 18, Cessna L-19 Bird Dog and a Saab 91D Safir. 

The big highlight must have been the Saudi Hawks, the display team of the Royal Saudi Air Force, which performed for the first time in Europe. Though their flying is not on par with most of the European display teams and lacked some nice photo opportunities, it was a sensation to see them in front of the Austrian mountain scenery. In addition to their presence there was also a Saudi Eurofighter Typhoon parked in the static display.

0P11 Saudi Hawks 0238 700 470 90
0P11 Saudi Hawks 0238 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0229 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0253 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0265 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0268 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0277 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0306 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 2704 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 2742 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 2752 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 2754 100 67 85
0P11 Saudi Hawks 2703 700 470 90
0P11 Saudi Hawks 2703 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0197 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0204 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0219 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0627 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0629 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0637 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 0649 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 2702 100 67 85
AP11 Saudi Hawks 2736 100 67 85

The Saudi Hawks were completed by many other display teams from around Europe. These were the Breitling Jet Team, the Turkish Stars, the Croatian Krila Oluje (Wings of Storm), the Patrouille Suisse and as the big final the once again very emotional Italian Frecce Tricolori.

0P11 Frecce Tricolori 3095 700 470 90
0P11 Frecce Tricolori 3095 100 67 85
AP11 Frecce Tricolori 3077 100 67 85
AP11 Frecce Tricolori 3086 100 67 85
AP11 Frecce Tricolori 3091 100 67 85
0P11 Turkish Stars 0615 700 470 90
0P11 Turkish Stars 0615 100 67 85
AP11 Turkish Stars 0610 100 67 85
AP11 Turkish Stars 2673 100 67 85
0P11 Patrouille Suisse 3021 700 470 90
0P11 Patrouille Suisse 3021 100 67 85
AP11 Patrouille Suisse 0719 100 67 85
AP11 Patrouille Suisse 3026 100 67 85
AP11 Patrouille Suisse 3044 100 67 85
AP11 Breitling Jet Team 2630 700 470 90
AP11 Breitling Jet Team 2630 100 67 85
AP11 Breitling Jet Team 2637 100 67 85
AP11 Breitling Jet Team 2640 100 67 85
AP11 PC 9M 0769 700 470 90
AP11 PC 9M 0769 100 67 85
AP11 PC 9M 2847 100 67 85

The Red Bull's "Flying Bull" force was also in full swing during the week-end with individual presentations of their aircraft as well as a first – and maybe unique – fly-by of their whole fleet consisting of Douglas DC-6B, Chance Vought F4-4U Corsair, North American B-25J Mitchell, Lockheed P-38L Lightning, two Alpha Jets, Pilatus Porter PC-6, Boeing PT-17 Stearman, Bell Cobra TAH-1F, two BO-105 and an Extra 300. It is really amazing how many aircraft you can make airworthy by selling sweet tasting lemonade!

0P11 Flying Bulls 2775 700 470 90
0P11 Flying Bulls 2775 100 67 85
0P11 Flying Bulls 2781 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0321 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0655 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 2786 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 2791 100 67 85
0P11 Flying Bulls 0411 700 470 90
0P11 Flying Bulls 0411 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0336 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0398 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 2815 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 2826 100 67 85
0P11 Flying Bulls 0426 700 470 90
0P11 Flying Bulls 0426 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0325 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 2808 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 2818 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 2828 100 67 85
0P11 Flying Bulls 2745 700 470 90
0P11 Flying Bulls 2745 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0377 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0452 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0527 100 67 85
AP11 Flying Bulls 0653 100 67 85

The fleet of the Flying Bulls did already present some aviation history, and this was completed by more participants. Representing the warbirds from the Second World War were a Bf109 and a Me 262, the world's first jet fighter. Following this evolution a MiG-15 (actually a license-build Lim-2) from Poland was on the list, whereas one of its Western counterparts, the Swedish Saab J29 Tunnan unfortunately could not come to Zeltweg due to technical problems.

AP11 MiG 15 0020 700 470 90
AP11 MiG 15 0020 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 15 0026 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 15 0028 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 15 0586 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 15 9995 100 67 85
AP11 Me 109 9715 700 470 90
AP11 Me 109 9715 100 67 85
AP11 Me 109 9750 100 67 85
AP11 Me 262 2649 100 67 85
AP11 Me 262 9812 100 67 85
AP11 Me 262 9841 100 67 85
AP11 Me 262 9850 100 67 85
AP11 Hunter 2628 700 470 90
AP11 Hunter 2628 100 67 85
AP11 Hunter 9878 100 67 85
AP11 Hunter 9880 100 67 85
AP11 Hunter 9892 100 67 85

WW I aviation was presented by a very spirited display of Mikael Carlson in his newly re-build Fokker Dr. 1 triplane.

AP11 Fokker DrI 0347 700 470 90
AP11 Fokker DrI 0347 100 67 85
AP11 Fokker DrI 0353 100 67 85
AP11 Fokker DrI 0361 100 67 85
AP11 Fokker DrI 0364 100 67 85

Obviously "air power" was presented as well with many display of friendly Air Forces. This included presentation of three displays from the Czech Republic (JAS39 Gripen – the Tiger jet -, Mi-35 Hind and the L-159 ALCA), the Slovak MiG-29 and a A109 and F-16 from Belgium. As another airshow regular the orange Dutch F-16 was present as well just like the Swiss F/A-18 Hornet and the French Alpha Jet in special colours from the "Ecole de Chasse" at Tours. And once again amongst all these jets the Italian C-27J Spartan did not stand back with its amazing display.

0P11 MiG 29 0814 700 470 90
0P11 MiG 29 0814 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0732 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0805 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0853 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0864 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0879 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0888 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0892 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 0917 100 67 85
AP11 MiG 29 3067 100 67 85
0P11 Alpha Jet 0701 700 470 90
0P11 Alpha Jet 0701 100 67 85
AP11 Alpha Jet 0698 100 67 85
AP11 Alpha Jet 3015 100 67 85
AP11 C 27J Spartan 0644 700 470 90
AP11 C 27J Spartan 0644 100 67 85
AP11 C 27J Spartan 2989 100 67 85
AP11 C 27J Spartan 2993 100 67 85
0P11 Gripen 2729 700 470 90
0P11 Gripen 2729 100 67 85
AP11 Gripen 0157 100 67 85
AP11 Gripen 0167 100 67 85
AP11 Gripen 0180 100 67 85
AP11 Gripen 0187 100 67 85
AP11 F 18 Hornet 0720 700 470 90
AP11 F 18 Hornet 0720 100 67 85
AP11 F 18 Hornet 0730 100 67 85
AP11 F 18 Hornet 0748 100 67 85
AP11 F 18 Hornet 3030 100 67 85
0P11 F 16 NL 2810 700 470 90
0P11 F 16 NL 2810 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 NL 0497 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 NL 2830 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 NL 2835 100 67 85
0P11 F 16 B 9671 700 470 90
0P11 F 16 B 9671 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 B 9616 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 B 9641 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 B 9675 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 B 9690 100 67 85
AP11 F 16 B 9959 100 67 85
AP11 L 159B 9975 700 470 90
AP11 L 159B 9975 100 67 85
P11 L 159B 0584 100 67 85
0P11 Mi 24 9935 700 470 90
0P11 Mi 24 9935 100 67 85
AP11 Mi 24 9908 100 67 85
AP11 Mi 24 9909 100 67 85
AP11 Mi 24 9931 100 67 85
AP11 Mi 24 9933 100 67 85
AP11 PC 21 0762 700 470 90
AP11 PC 21 0762 100 67 85
AP11 PC 21 0781 100 67 85
AP11 PC 21 0792 100 67 85

Though the majority of aviation delights at this event might have been to normal for the airshow regular and enthusiast, this airshow at Zeltweg stood out with extraordinary organization and coordination and fascinated the masses. A new record in visitors proved that the area still had reserves in soaking up these numbers, and for sure it will be hard to outclass this again in 2013.

AP11 Static 0482 700 470 90
AP11 Static 0482 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0486 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0502 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0508 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0511 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0513 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0494 700 470 90
AP11 Static 0494 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0517 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0522 100 67 85
AP11 Static 0525 100 67 85
AP11 Static 3103 100 67 85
AP11 Static 3106 100 67 85
AP11 So 0657 700 470 90
AP11 So 0657 100 67 85
AP11 So 2916 100 67 85
AP11 So 3109 100 67 85
AP11 So 3110 100 67 85

And: Airpower is just and remains a class of its own…

Click on these photos to see them in full size:

911 Ap11 Saudi Hawks 0238 911 Ap11 Mig 29 0812

911 Ap11 Gripen 0180 911 Ap11 Eurofighter Intercept 0612 911 Ap11 Mig 15 0028

911 Ap11 Alpha Jet 3015 911 Ap11 Mi 24 9899 911 Ap11 Saab105 Formation 0054

911 Ap11 F 16 B 9959 911 Ap11 Eurofighter Display 0126 911 Ap11 Mig 15 0020

911 Ap11 Mig 29 0814 911 Ap11 C 27j Spartan 0644

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