Where? Zeltweg, Austria
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.
The flying included a formation flight of Alouette helicopters, a formation display of four Saab 105 and a solo display of the PC-7.
It cumulated in an air landing demonstration of the Army Aviation involving not less than 20 helicopters and 2 Hercules transport aircraft.
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.
Austria's early military aviation was remembered with a Piper PA 18, Cessna L-19 Bird Dog and a Saab 91D Safir.
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- Category: 2011
- Published: 04 July 2011
- Hits: 71713