2011 Air Shows
AIRPOWER11 – ZELTWEG,
AFB, Styria, Austria
Austrian air show was held in Zeltweg, in the beautiful province
of Styria, the green heart of Austria, on July 1 and 2. The Friday
and Saturday air show draws large crowds every 2 years, but this
year a record 290,000 visitors were in attendance. For hardcore
enthusiasts the show really starts a few days earlier. One could
get a five-day package for 180 Euros and be at the airbase from the
arrivals day on Wednesday through Sunday, departure day. There were
also other spotter packages: Friday and Saturday for 90 Euros or
1-day package for either airshow day for 60 Euros. For enthusiasts,
it is strongly recommended getting one of the spotter packages since
it has many benefits that only this air show provides. It has no
less than 13 spotter zones throughout the air show grounds, affording
excellent opportunities to view and photograph the aircraft in action.
Transportation to these zones are provided from the Spotter/Media
Center, since some of them are not very close to the Spotter center,
and at least one is not reachable by foot because it is located on
the other side of the runway. There is also excellent food and beverages
being served all day at the Spotter’s center, the only problem was that
it was very difficult to leave the spotter’s zone to go eat
since no one wants to miss any of the flying action.
By the time Austria declared neutrality in 1955, it had just formed
an air arm to defend its airspace. One of the tasks of the Luftstreikraeft
today is air sovereignty of the country which is the responsibility
of the Ueberwachungsgeschwader (surveillance wing) with bases in
Zeltweg, operating the Eurofighter Typhoons and in Hoersching,
flying Saab 105s. The Hinterstoisser Airbase in Zeltweg was completely
renovated with a new control tower, hangars and facilities to receive
its complement of 16 Eurofighter Typhoons which replaced the venerable
Saab J35OE Drakens for the defense role in 2007. The airbase became
a sanctuary for 17 storks, which had nested at the base and would
not leave the area for the air show. Some animal activists had
protested against having the air show in Zeltweg because of these
weather forecast called for possible rain on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday, leaving Wednesday the best day to see and photograph aircraft
that were arriving and rehearsing for the show without having to
worry about inclement weather. Fortunately the threat of rain never
fully materialized, but at times there were high winds.
in or around an airbase before an airshow, gives the opportunity
to see many aircraft in the air that will not be flying at the airshow.
On Wednesday two Saudi Arabian Typhoons came in, still with their
British numbers on the fuselage since they were on their way to be
delivered to Saudi Arabia and were being piloted by British pilots.
The Saudi Hawks had arrived before Wednesday, but unfortunately the
2 supporting Saudi C-130s did not come to Zeltweg until Sunday. They
stayed at the base in Hoersching. Other aircraft that arrived on
Wednesday and Thursday, but did not fly at the show were: Dornier
Do 27, Red Bull Cessna CE 208 Amphibian Caravan, Swiss Air Force
Beechcraft 1900, Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) DC-2, Croatian Mil MI-117
, Turkish Air Force Transall C-160 in support of the Turkish Stars
Demonstration Team, two Casa C-295M, one from the Polish Air Force
and the other from the Czech Republic, Serbian Soko G2 Galeb owned
by the Serbian Galeb Flying Club, Belgian SF 260D, French Air Force
Mirage 2000, Irish Air Force Pilatus PC-9M, German Air Force 2-seat
Eurofighter, USAF C-21 Learjet, USAF C-130, Embraer ERJ-145 from
the Belgian Air Force, Antonov An-2, Hungarian Air force 2-seat Saab
JAS 39 Gripen fully loaded with Sidewinder and Maverick missiles
and LANTIRN pod, Soko G4 Super Galeb from Serbia, German Air Force
F-4F Phantom II, Serbian Air Force Antonov An-26, German Luftwaffe
Tornado ECR, 2 Royal Air Force Tornado GR.4.
Friday and Saturday flying displays started at 9 AM with flybys
from an Austrian Air Force Typhoon, 3 Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porters
and a parachute flag jump. The Flying Bulls Douglas DC-6B also
did a solo display. It once belonged to President Tito from the
former Yugoslavia. There was a formation of 4 aircraft representing
the history of military aviation which included 2 Piper PA 18 Super
Cubs, a Saab 91D Safir and a Cessna L-19 Bird Dog, they were followed
by a T-6 Texan and a Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer. A rare Bede BD-5J
Microjet from the Flying Bulls also flew (seen in the James Bond
movie: Octopussy). It is one of only three airworthy examples in
the world. It was followed by a solo display of a Slovenian Air
At 10 AM there was a training demonstration from the Austrian
Aviation and Air Defense School with a formation of 5 Alouette
III helicopters. The Agusta A109 and F-16 from Belgium flew next.
The Breitling Jet Team from France flew their L 39 Albatross on
Saturday only and the Flying Bulls Aerobatic team from the Czech
Republic flew their four Zlin-50 LX aircraft on both days.
At 11 AM there were solo displays from the Flying Bulls BO-105
helicopter and Boeing PT-17. Two Messerschmitt aircraft flew both
days. A Bf-109 G-4 “Rote Sieben” did a nice display.
It belongs to aerospace giant EADS. It is a former Spanish HA-1112M
built in 1956. Then the Me-262B-A1 took to the skies over Zeltweg.
It is a replica built in Texas and it belongs to the German Messerschmitt
Foundation. It was a rare sight. The Hawker Hunter T.MK. 68 from
the Fliegermuseum Altenrhein, Switzerland flew with its magnificent
tiger scheme. The Czech Air Force flew its Mil Mi-24 Hind and its
Aero L-159 Alca. On Friday there was the arrival of the Nord Noratlas
2501, a rare bird, making a rare appearance. As soon as it landed
it taxied to the static display area. Four Austrian Air Force Saab
105OEs flew a formation display followed by the Turkish Stars team
flying nine NF-5As and one NF-5B giving their always impressive
At 12:30 the Red Bull Skydive team did their demonstration and
Hannes Arch did aerobatic performance flying his Edge 540 followed
by an elegant flying performance of the Blanix team flying 2 LET
L13 Blanik gliders.
Starting at 1PM there were solo displays by an Austrian Saab
105OE in a smart tiger scheme and by an Austrian Eurofighter
Typhoon. The next demonstration team to take to the air was the
Royal Saudi Hawks flying their green and white BAE Hawks MK 65
and MK 65As for the first time in European skies. On Friday their
program was cut short due to a bird strike, but on Saturday they
were able to do their entire display program without a hitch.
2PM a Fokker Dr.1 replica was flown by Mikael Carlson from Sweden
showing how maneuverable this aircraft was in the First World War.
Then there was a unique flying formation by the Flying Bulls: DC-6B,
F-4U-4 Corsair, B-25J Mitchell, P-38L Lightning, two Alpha Jets,
Pilatus PC-6, PT-17, Stearman, Bell TAH- 1F Cobra, two BO 105s and
an Extra 300. A Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16AM flew next, followed
by the Croatian demonstration team, Wings of Storm, flying their
6 Pilatus PC-9s.
Around 3:15 PM the Austrian Armed Forces had a combat demonstration
by the air support brigade which included ground troops, Sikorsky
S-70 Black Hawks along with Bell OH-58 Kiowas and August/Bell 212s
and pyrotechnics on the ground. There was also an air interception
demonstration by 2 Austrian Typhoons forcing down an Austrian C-130.
The Alenia C27J Spartan from the Italian Air Force flew an incredible
display for an airplane of its size. That was followed by a solo
display from an F/A-18C from the Swiss Air Force. A French Alpha
Jet with special scheme also flew before the Patrouille Suisse
performed their very precise routine which on Saturday had a short
gap on their performance due to one of the base storks was in the
5PM there were displays by the Bell TAH-1F Cobra from the Flying
Bulls and Pilatus PC-21 demonstrator from the Swiss manufacturer.
There was a good flying performance from a Polish Mig-15 UTI owned
by the Polish Eagles Foundation. It is actually a 1956 Polish licensed
built SB Lim-2. The final solo display of the day was a great one
by a MIG-29A from the Slovak Air Force. The final demonstration team
act of the day was the Frecce Tricolori from Italy with a superb
In total there
were 222 aircraft representing 22 nations at the show and 8 flying
display teams. The organizers did a terrific job in keeping the action
moving in the air and on the ground there plenty of aircraft to see.
Food vendors were distributed around the grounds and there were plenty
of bathroom facilities.
The base is
also home of the Fliegermuseum, which is located in Hangar 8, housing
two specially marked Drakens, a Saab Tunnan and a Shorts Skyvan among
other historically important Austrian aircraft.
cost about 3 million Euros and it was sponsored by the energy drink
producer Red Bull. This has been one of the best airshows seen by
the AirshowsReview staff that was present in Zeltweg. It truly deserves
a 10/10 rating.
I would like to thank Vzlt. Gross in getting the spotters and
media accreditation for the AirshowsReview staff members that were
able to attend the airshow. Also a special thank you for the organizers
who put together this memorable air show.
- Breitling Jet Team
- Turkish Stars
- Krila Oluje (Wings
of Storm) from Croatia
- Patrouille Suisse
- Italian Frecce Tricolori
- Saudi Hawks
Saudi Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons
- Red Bull's: 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
- Fokker Dr. 1 triplane (replica)
- Me 262
- and many others.
10 out of 10
Report & photgraphy
by RVP for AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC
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