Aerofestival. 2015 year.
On June 13-14, 2015, in the capital of Wielkopolska, Poznań, at Ławica EPPO Airport, an international air show called AEROFESTIVAL 2015 was held. The previous event of this type at Ławica Airport took place in 1991, i.e. 24 years ago. It was the first event of this type in the Republic of Poland after the socio-economic transformations. AEROFESTIVAL 2015 was organized in a professional manner and it should be classified as a very successful aviation event. The organizers managed to combine the shows with commercial air traffic, which takes place at this practically civil airport. Due to the prevailing storms at other airports, several commercial planes additionally landed and took off from Ławica Airport, which I personally treated as an additional attraction. Aviation enthusiasts did not have the opportunity to complain about the lack of aircraft in the sky taking part in the shows, which we could see about 90 pieces. The program includes over 500 minutes of sky-high attractions. The fact is that in addition, commercial planes arriving in Poznań slightly thwarted the show program, which had to be modified and a few points were dropped from the program. Among the part of the audience, drunk with cheap beer, there were voices of dissatisfaction, as if they wanted to see only these attractions and it is a pity that the program did not include a disaster.
Participation in the event of the Polish Air Force was extremely modest. A double flight of four F-16 Jastrząb, surprisingly, at a relatively high altitude is definitely not enough. There were no Biało-Czerwony Iskier, Orlików, MiG-29, Su-22 and helicopters (the SW-4 in the static display was a highlight). For several years, I have been observing the declining participation of the Polish Air Force in such events. Well. We have to wait for changes in the Ministry of National Defense and the PSP command. It is worth noting that the weather was good. On Saturday the sky was cloudless and on Sunday it was almost cloudless. On Sunday there were a few clouds, but there was no risk of precipitation or thunderstorms. There was a slight wind blowing. Sunday shows were less punctuated by additional commercial arrivals. On both days, the sky over Poznań was conducive to sky-high evolutions. The air show was opened by the drop of parachute jumpers.
Personally, I consider the Turkish stars of the festival as the star of the festival, which has been using Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter planes since its inception. These particular examples were built in Canada under the designation NF-5. It is not the only team in Europe that uses this type of machine. The second is the Swiss Air Force aerobatic team Patrouille Suisse, i.e. the Swiss Patrol, which we could already admire in Poland in Radom (2011, 2013). Coming back to the Turkish Air Force, it should be noted that they willingly perform in Poland. F-16 planes presented themselves in Radom. Turkish Stars, or actually Türk Yıldızları, and in Polish, Turkish Stars were created in 1992, and their base is Konyi airport. The team normally flies in a system of eight planes. For transport, it uses C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transall planes, which are also painted in the colors of the team. The band boasts an audience record for their show; a million people watched their performance in Baku. During the event in Poznań, the team operated from the Krzesiny Airport. During the shows, their planes reached speeds of 900 km / h. The show is commented on by a team member in English, which significantly increases the attractiveness of the show, because viewers know what awaits them on the sky stage. On June 13, 2015, the band performed at Ławica Airport twice. He presented himself for the third time in the Sunday performance on June 14, 2015. Each show lasted approximately 25 minutes.
The second star of the festival was the Latvian band Baltic Bees (Bałtycke Pszczoły), which was founded in 2008 by Valery Sobolev. The group flies Czechoslovak (now Czech) L-39 C Albatros aircraft, which have been properly prepared for the role of aerobatic aircraft. As the name suggests, the planes received an impressive navy blue and yellow paint. The team has already presented in Poland during the Air Show Radom 2013.
Another team was Pionieer Team, which presents its piston Pionieer 330 airplanes. These airplanes are characterized by high performance in their class. The group is Italian and was founded in 2005. Their shows are elegant and precise. It is unusual for the team to use flares and different colored smoke. The show is commented on by a team member in English, which significantly increases the attractiveness of the show, because viewers know what awaits them on the sky stage. Performing a show by propeller-driven planes is sometimes more attractive than a show for turbojet planes due to the fact that the show is performed in a smaller space, which means that viewers are less likely to lose sight of the machines.
The Polish band Fire Birds was also present in Poznań. The team is young. He officially made his debut in 2014, during the Aero Club Days show in Rybnik. The group consists of three pilots; Adam Labus (Zlin 50LS plane), Łukasz Świderski (Extra 330 SC plane), Sebastian Nowicki (Extra 330 LC plane).
The next team was Patrouille REVA. This is a French team created by the former French military pilot Real Weber, who gained his experience on supersonic Mirage combat aircraft. After completing the service, he decided to create his own plane, and the result of his work is L'Acroez, and more specifically the Rutan Arco EZ. All because the machines are built in a small number and each machine is unique. Generally the plane is powered by a propeller engine, but there is also a variant powered by a turbojet engine. The plane has a layout similar to a duck and using it as an aerobatic plane is extremely bold due to the specific properties of this system. The famous designer Burt Rutan participated in the design of the aircraft, the same one who designed and implemented the non-stop flight of the aircraft around the Earth without landing and refueling in the air. He is currently working on space planes. Airplanes are usually powered by a 140hp engine. They reach speeds of up to 320 km / h, and with the consumption of 25 liters of fuel per hour of flight, they have a range of up to 3,230 km. The band itself has existed since 1993, and has performed over 300 times in many countries, including Japan and China. This year (2015) the band will perform 16 times. The group uses three machines in the shows. In Poznań, the band performed only on Sunday (June 14, 2015). Paraffin oil is used to produce white smoke that traces the flight path.
De Havilland Vampire.
A huge attraction was the flight show of two Vampire planes, presented by de Havilland Vampire Display Team from Norway. One of the planes was a two-seater version (with seats next to each other), the other was a single-seater. The De Havilland Vampire are the first commercial combat aircraft to be equipped with a single turbojet engine. The presented examples were used in the 1950s by the Norwegian military aviation.
In addition to the bands in the sky, we watched solo performances. They presented their solo skills to the assembled aviation enthusiasts; Artur Kielak, a pilot known to most aviation enthusiasts, on the Xtreme Air XA-41. Jurgis Kairys, a master of aerial acrobatics from Lithuania, very popular in the Republic of Poland, presented himself at the controls of the Su-31 in Poznań. His previous plane crashed. There was also Łukasz Czepiela, who last year (2014) was the first Pole to make his debut in the Challenger Cup formula of the well-known Red Bull Air Race series. In Poznań, he performed a show with the Extra 330 plane and Marek Choim with the Extra 300 plane. Apart from them, the pilot of the Bo-105 helicopter presented his unique acrobatics show. A helicopter capable of making barrels and loops thanks to a rigid main shaft.
On Sunday, you could watch the pilots and planes that did not fly on Saturday. One of the first machines to be shown to viewers on Sunday was a helicopter from the Flying Bulls fleet - Bell TAH-1 Cobra in a characteristic navy blue painting with a large red bull with the Red Bull brand logo. In the air, we could admire the light American rockwell OV-10 Bronco attack aircraft, a copy of the German Air Force. Another, unseen on Saturday, was the North American P-51D Mustang, nicknamed Excalibur, and the Vought F4U Corsair with the image of a red bull on both sides of the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp double-star engine with 2,300 hp. On Sunday, two historic planes were not allowed to present themselves in the air show; Spitfire Mk. XVI and Yak-3 replicas. We could only see them departing to their home airports. In addition, I would like to add that the shows included an amusement park, music concerts, numerous gastronomic stands and stalls.
In conclusion, I would like to mention that in Poland, pilots from the West like to fly and want to fly. They are favored by the strict noise emission regulations that are so common in the West. It is enough that in one day the accepted decibel level is exceeded five times, and others can say goodbye to the show. But as practice in Berlin shows, they are equal and equal and some are allowed to show despite exceeding the assumed level. On the other hand, the viewer goes to the shows to hear this characteristic noise and bang that we will not hear anywhere else. And it is much quieter than at some concerts of music bands. The organizers of the Poznań event, already during the shows, invited for the next one for the year. I wish the organizers that they would succeed.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman