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Where? Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
When? 04-05/09/2010

After the move from Brno to Hradec Kralove in 2003 it was time to see how (and 'to what') the CIAF (Czech International Air Fest) has developed, back at the airport where it originally started in the 1990s. In the meantime quite a lot has changed at Hradec Kralove, with the most important change being for sure the transformation from a military airfield to a small civil airport.

 

But despite its civil orientation the event still receives a lot of support from the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic.
This was impressively shown at the beginning of the show when the formation fly-by of the Czech Air Force took place: L-39, L-159, JAS-39 Gripen, L-39 of the CLV (Centrum Leteckého Vycviku / Centre of Air training for the Czech Air Force) and An-26. Unfortunately the recently acquired CASA C-295 was missing in this package on both das of the show.

0Fly In 1432 700 470 90
0Fly In 1432 100 67 85
Fly By 2095 100 67 85
Fly By 2100 100 67 85
Fly By 2106 100 67 85
Fly By 1376 100 67 85
Fly In 1402 100 67 85
Fly In 1420 100 67 85
Fly In 1426 100 67 85
Fly In 1433 100 67 85
Fly In 4859 100 67 85

The aircraft were followed by a pair of Mi-24 helicopters who directly started their demo that was 'enhanced' by the employment of pyrotechnics.

0Mi 24 2669 700 470 90
0Mi 24 2669 100 67 85
Mi 24 1701 100 67 85
Mi 24 1733 100 67 85
Mi 24 1736 100 67 85
Mi 24 2115 100 67 85
Mi 24 2662 100 67 85
Mi 24 2675 100 67 85
Mi 24 4868 100 67 85
Mi 24 5105 100 67 85
Mi 24 5110 100 67 85

The next act was even better: an interception demo of a civil airliner was shown. Whereas it was difficult for a foreigner to follow it - due to Czech-only commentary - it was quite clear that something happened when everyone was turning their heads as in the distance a formation of a CSA B737 and two JAS39C Gripen Fighters could be spotted. They crossed the airfield in order to initiate a formation change for another fly-by along the runway and finally the airliner even came in to land. As a big surprise the 737 was even wearing a new special colour scheme.

0737 1718 700 470 90
0737 1718 100 67 85
737 1713 100 67 85
737 2144 100 67 85
737 2150 100 67 85
737 4968 100 67 85

Then it got really noisy with the display of the Danish F-16, flown by Eskesen Chanton. He used his afterburner a lot as well as some flares, but however this F-16 cannot be set in par with the other European Solo Displays of the "Fighting Falcon" as it had many moments when nothing was happening and the aircraft was out-of-sight, which prolonged the display unnecessarily.

0F 16 2191 700 470 90
0F 16 2191 100 67 85
F 16 1865 100 67 85
F 16 2162 100 67 85
F 16 2183 100 67 85
F 16 2198 100 67 85
F 16 2206 100 67 85
F 16 2219 100 67 85
F 16 4916 100 67 85
F 16 4923 100 67 85

In comparison also unspectacular, but a nice opportunity for photography, was the Belgian Agusta A109 helicopter, even more set into nice light during its rehearsal on late Friday afternoon.

0A 109 1989 700 470 90
0A 109 1989 100 67 85
A 109 1656 100 67 85
A 109 2001 100 67 85
A 109 2013 100 67 85
A 109 2049 100 67 85

A step back in time was the dogfight of the scale replicas of the "Red Baron" Fokker Dr.1 triplane and a Sopwith F1 Camel, turning around in steep curves. A formation of Aero L-29 Delfin and a Yak-52 was another civil act, as the times are long gone when both of these types were still in service within the Czechoslovakian Air Force. Due to this the type well known among the public and this interest was clearly recognizable when the Delfin was flying.

0WWI 1408 700 470 90
0WWI 1408 100 67 85
WWI 1407 100 67 85
WWI 2221 100 67 85
WWI 2243 100 67 85
ZStearman 1978 100 67 85
L 29 Yak 52 1716 700 470 90
L 29 Yak 52 1716 100 67 85
L 29 Yak 52 2255 100 67 85
L 29 Yak 52 2270 100 67 85
L 29 Yak 52 4882 100 67 85
L 29 Yak 52 4980 100 67 85

A noisy surprise followed after a silent display of 2 Fascination ultralight aircraft with the Saab JAS39 Gripen Czech solo display, which flew in directly from its nearby home base Caslav. The approach wasn't noticed by anybody, so everybody winced when it whizzed by for the start. Unfortunately the weather during this display was not very good during my visit, so I decided not to take too many photos of it. Some photos of the Gripen fly-in on Friday are added here for your viewing pleasure:

Fly In 4838 700 470 90
Fly In 4838 100 67 85
Fly In 4841 100 67 85
Gripen 1470 100 67 85
Gripen 1478 100 67 85
Gripen 1485 100 67 85
Gripen 1488 100 67 85
Static 4952 100 67 85

The W-3A Sokol was another nice Czech AF display, as it presented a SAR as well as a fire-fighting demonstration, which were highlighted by some sunny spells.

W 3A 1495 700 470 90
W 3A 1495 100 67 85
W 3A 1507 100 67 85
W 3A 1665 100 67 85
W 3A 4777 100 67 85
W 3A 4788 100 67 85
W 3A 4848 100 67 85
W 3A 4853 100 67 85
W 3A 5103 100 67 85

The following presentations after midday followed the plot of the morning with a good mix of civil and military aircraft taking to the skies. Especially the rescue demo of a civil EC135 and the formation presentation of the Antonov An-2 of the "Heritage of the Flying Legends" need to be mentioned here.

0An 2 5038 700 470 90
0An 2 5038 100 67 85
An 2 2445 100 67 85
An 2 2452 100 67 85
An 2 5050 100 67 85
An 2 5055 100 67 85
EC135 2371 700 470 90
EC135 2371 100 67 85
EC135 2387 100 67 85
EC135 2395 100 67 85
EC135 2419 100 67 85

To present the remaining types of its inventory the Czech Armed Forces still presented the L-159 and L-39 solo demos as well as another routine of the Mi-24 team and flew all types of the CLV training centre from Pardubice, consisting of a EV-97 Ultralight, Let L-410, Zlin Z-142 and the sole remaining Mi-2 helicopter.

L 39 1468 700 470 90
L 39 1468 100 67 85
L 39 1771 100 67 85
L 39 1785 100 67 85
L 39 1796 100 67 85
L 39 1806 100 67 85
L 39 1832 100 67 85
L 39 4765 100 67 85
Fly In 1743 700 470 90
Fly In 1743 100 67 85
Fly In 1755 100 67 85
L 159 1576 100 67 85
L 159 1934 100 67 85
L 159 1937 100 67 85
L 159 1959 100 67 85
L 159 1965 100 67 85
L 159 2369 100 67 85
0CLV 5000 700 470 90
0CLV 5000 100 67 85
CLV 1746 100 67 85
CLV 2277 100 67 85
CLV 2308 100 67 85
CLV 4987 100 67 85
CLV 4996 100 67 85
CLV 5006 100 67 85

For the military enthusiasts the Slovak MiG-29 stole the show: the single-seater in 'digital' camouflage was foreseen for the flight display, whereas the Tiger twin-seater MiG-29UBS was prepared for the static display. During the arrival on Friday and the departure on Sunday however, both jets were showing off nice formation flying, tracing the characteristic black smoke plumes behind.

0MiG 29 1614 700 470 90
0MiG 29 1614 100 67 85
MiG 29 1559 100 67 85
MiG 29 1567 100 67 85
MiG 29 1585 100 67 85
MiG 29 1597 100 67 85
MiG 29 1610 100 67 85
MiG 29 1612 100 67 85
MiG 29 1629 100 67 85
MiG 29 4820 100 67 85
MiG 29 4829 100 67 85
0MiG 29 1887 700 470 90
0MiG 29 1887 100 67 85
MiG 29 1883 100 67 85
MiG 29 1909 100 67 85
MiG 29 1926 100 67 85
MiG 29 2506 100 67 85
MiG 29 2565 100 67 85
MiG 29 2584 100 67 85
MiG 29 2613 100 67 85
MiG 29 2631 100 67 85
MiG 29 2633 100 67 85

The main highlight of the show for most of the visitors followed in the afternoon with the 7 special coloured L-39 Albatrosses of the Breitling Jet Team. Its display with seven jets obviously surpassed the presentation of the Royal Jordanian Falcons flying four Extra 300L aircraft, however the latter team was awarded the best display performance during the event.

Breitling 1677 700 470 90
Breitling 1677 100 67 85
Breitling 1681 100 67 85
Breitling 2063 100 67 85
Breitling 2077 100 67 85
RJF 2496 700 470 90
RJF 2496 100 67 85
RJF 2497 100 67 85
RJF 2500 100 67 85
RJF 5066 100 67 85
RJF 5070 100 67 85

After the Breitling Team most of the visitors made their way home and it was up to a Zlin Z-37 and the departures of some of the visiting aircraft to close the event at around 5pm.

Before the show started I took the chance on Friday to have a look at the fly-in which proved to be a good idea as most of the jets that disappereard in the static display for the week-end could be photographed quite well:

Fly In 1527 700 470 90
Fly In 1527 100 67 85
Fly In 1539 100 67 85
Fly In 1580 100 67 85
Fly In 1586 100 67 85
Fly In 1625 100 67 85
Fly In 1629 100 67 85
Fly In 1652 2 100 67 85
Fly In 2018 100 67 85
Fly In 2038 100 67 85
Fly In 4758 100 67 85

And to conclude here are some photos of the static display that was very difficult to photograph:

0Static 1765 700 470 90
0Static 1765 100 67 85
Fly In 4943 100 67 85
Static 1767 100 67 85
Static 4949 100 67 85

But after all CIAF 2010 was once again a nice event, though the announced Tiger meet did not bring the expected masses of special coloured aircraft to Hradec Kralove. Surely the fact of the civil airport helps the easiness of the event, but on the other side it became quite obvious by the sparse participation of foreign nations in the static display that the 'NATO day' event in Ostrava only two weeks later made many decision makers think of where to send its aircraft to. It is somehow surely a missed chance that two such events somehow stand in concurrence of each other and it remains to see what will happen to all of them.

What is sure however is the fact that the friendly (beer&food...) atmosphere of airshows in the Czech Republic can hardly be beaten!

 

911 Mig 29 1562 911 Fly In 4832

911 Fly In 2029 911 Fly In 1609

911 Fly In 1395 911 L 39 1812

1791192 1790996 1790995

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