From the misty fog hanging around the airfield in the early morning to the roaring noise of warbirds under a splendid blue sky and breathtaking performances of WWI planes and glider aerobatics around sunset, the Oldtimertreffen Hahnweide 2016 had it all. And, most importantly, this tradition-rich event was back after an extended break!
Where? Hahnweide airfield, Southern Germany
The three-year break of the traditional Hahnweide oldtimer meeting (Oldtimertreffen Hahnweide – OTT) must have caused for a powerful vacuum. Otherwise the considerable queue of visitors at the entrance gate on Friday morning cannot be explained. On the following days a similar picture could be seen: already before sunrise a large number of photographers with their camera backpacks, stands and folding chairs started their pilgrimage to the otherwise rather quiet glider airfield close to Kirchheim/Teck. At this time in the morning most pilots were still lying close to their aircraft in their warm sleeping bags, also covered by a fog layer billowing over the airfield.
More than 300 airplanes, amongst them a considerable number of more than 100 biplanes, were parked on the Hahnweide that week-end.
It was also very visible, that the reputation of the OTT Hahnweide reaches far beyond the German border as a large number of international visitors were seen on the parking lots. The motor homes parked for the week-end had license plates ranging from Holland to Italy. For the flying participants the majority still came from Germany and it’s the neighboring countries, but this year the aircraft having the longest journey arrived from Spain. 1400km and a 13 hours flying adventure for Pilot José Luis Olías and his son were well worth the trip to attend a show that convinced them by a smooth organization, great parties and thousands of nice and interested visitors.
In former year the OTT Hahnweide was a bi-annual event. After 2013 and an overturn of the previous organization committee an additional year was required as a compulsory break. It was time for everyone to take a deep breath and re-consider the concept of an event that was about to fall victim to its own success. Everything was a bit more quiet this year, breaks during the flying display were a bit longer, and the area on the ground offered more space for the visitors to move around. Obviously safety regulations also increase year after year and respecting them puts a strong burden on any major event, but this was only merely noted and did not spoil the Hahnweide experience from past years.
The flow of the flying program was less densely packed than in the previous years, but included the highlights that everybody was waiting for. Using their very good contacts to France the Fliegergruppe Wolf Hirth once again attracted a number of warbirds from the Paris region, including a Yak-11, a P-40 and a P-51.
In addition to that, the German Warbird scene was also well represented with the P-51 Mustang of Wilhelm Heinz and the Hawker Hurricane of Karl Grimminger. Toni and Walter Eichhorn arrived with a T-28 Trojan in addition of the well-known T-6 Texan, and the duo of a Yak-3 with Radim Vojta and the Supermarine Spitfire of Stephen Stead enriched the impressive lineup of warbirds. Due to the grass runway there was the Fouga Magister of the Quax fliers was unfortunately only in air, as it was also the case for the Messerschmitt Me 262 that flew its display directly from Manching.
The origins of the Hahnweide airfield were fortunately not forgotten. Wolf Hirth and the area around the Teck (castle) are closely related to gliders, and their demonstrations and calm moments provided an excellent contrast to the flying demonstrations of the powerful warbirds also for calm moments.
Relaxed was also the atmosphere also on the ground as the spectator area with food stalls and seat areas was expanded clearly. A cool picnic atmosphere prevailed, instead of everybody being tightly pushed against the fence line.
„It is great to be at the Hahnweide again!“ was something to be heard quite often these days of participating flight crews and visitors alike. And also the rush of visitors showed that a large interest in this event still exists. It was maybe not the most opulent OTT Hahnweide Fliegertreffen in its 34-year old history, but one that could be particularly recommended.
Oldtimertreffen Hahnweide 2016 – Photo Gallery
The next Fliegertreffen Hahnweide is announced for 13.-15. September 2019. Stay updated using http://www.oldtimer-hahnweide.de/ and don’t miss it!