Göteborg Aero Show
Just as many other nations Sweden did also celebrate the centenary of Aviation. It was in 1910 that a certain Carl Cederstrom was the first Swedish to be issued a pilot license. This anniversary was the reason for a series of festivities all around Sweden, one of them being the Airshow at Göteborg, hosted by the Aeroseum aviation museum, located at Säve, the same airfield as the Göteborg City Airport.
Where? Säve - Göteborg City Airport, Sweden
The show promised to be an excellent venue spanning over all eras of aviation, starting with the re-build of a 1909 Blériot monoplane up to Sweden's most recent jet fighter, the Saab Gripen. Unfortunately fate struck hard the week-end before the show as one of Sweden's most iconic Warbird pilots, Bertil Gerhardt, was killed in an accident with his Spitfire at a Norwegian Airshow. In honour of his achievements for Swedish aviation the flags were therefore lowered at he start of the event.
The crash was also the reason that the other Biltema owned warbird, a P-51 Mustang, did not attend the show. And as the Saab B17 was grounded due to engine problems, the show did concentrate mainly on the historic jet aircraft owned and operated by the "Swedish Air Force Historic Flight" (SwAFHF).
Such 'dinosaurs' as the Saab Tunnan, Lansen or Draken were therefore the order of the day. To complete this list only the Viggen was missing, because as though technically ready some important signatures were missing on the necessary papers for the aircraft to be given the permit to fly. But though the Viggen was not present to complete the impressive line-up of Saab-produced jet aircraft, the show was outstanding with its focus on these icons of early jet aviation.
Before they climbed the stage the morning hours were filled with several other presentations, such as the Danish "Baby Blue" team or a demo by a S-70 SAR helicopter.
Around midday an "Armed Forces Demo" was announced. With the hope being high for maybe some kind of airfield attack the disappointment was quite big when only a dog demo and a flight display of a Agusta A109 (Swedish designation Hpk 15) was shown. At least the C-130 Hercules did an additional fly-by on Sunday and surprised by a nice low fly-by.
Within this frame also the Hpk5 and Hpk6 helicopter presentation can be counted, though these two types are no longer in military service but privately owned. The appearance of both remembers however their military origin.
A further military highlight was the fly-in of the Hpk4 'Vertol' helicopter on Saturday midday for its final flight as it joined the Aeroseum collection after its landing. The type is in Swedish service for a very long time and is waiting for its successor NH90 to fully enter service before the last examples will finally be withdrawn.
The 'oldtimer' jet presentations were spread throughout the day with the main part being in the late afternoon. Earlier during the day the J28 Vampire took to the skies as well as the J29 Tunnan. But nothing did beat the venerable J32 Lansen as well as the J34 Hunter and J35 Draken solo displays. Especially the Draken was the highlight for many of the locals as it was not seen back in the sky for around three to four years. And what a splendid view it was to see the remarkably shaped, glossy finished, jet climbing high into the sky with its afterburner!
The same goes for the Lansen that was presented nicely with aerobatics but also two 'photo passes'. Unfortunately the sounds and smells when starting up these aircraft cannot be transported by the images...
The announced formation of the SwAFHF during the afternoon was unfortunately not presented on both days during the afternoon, but only as a formation fly-by of the Saab produced Jets (Saab 105, Tunnan, Lansen, Draken, and Gripen) when the aircraft left on Sunday after the show.
Amongst the publics favourites was also 'homeplayer' Mikael Carlson, climbing to the air in his re-built Thulin Blériot and the Tummelisa, Sweden's first produced fighter aircraft. His re-built according to original documentation is so convincing that the aircraft his been given the production number 29 following the around 20 aircraft first build in the 1920s.
A highlight for sure was the achievement of the organizers to bring the Italian Frecce Tricolori team to Sweden, and this also greatly appreciated by the public with a great round of applause following the display. Not standing back was the Swiss PC-7 team with an excellent choreography and a most sympathetic commentary.
Besides everything that was going on the air the show will also surely be remembered for its weather conditions. Heavy rain during the night and in the morning made the parking places a real battlefield and the organization did prove wisely to provide tractors already before everyone wanted to leave - and they were badly needed...
Another really good decision was to close a good part of the taxiway for the aircraft and make it useable by the public. Though some nice photo opportunities were surely missed by doing so and operations could not be handled as planed, the crowded did not get stuck in a totally socked up and muddy smelling meadow.
Fortunately the sun came also out during the day and thus added sun-burned faces to the wet shoes :)
Being for a first time in Sweden the Göteborg Air Show was thus a excellent, an all-around familiar event and a great chance to catch up with Sweden's jet oldtimer scene.
Great thanks and congratulations must be given to the organization team for setting up this event, and if you are in the area - even when there is no Airshow - the visit and experience of the Aeroseum, located in an old underground aircraft tunnel/hanger, can highly be recommend.