(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Bahrain International Airshow 2012
Where? Sakhir Airbase, Bahrain
When? 19-21/01/2012

The Meteorology Department at the Civil Aviation Affairs expected a rather cold weather today with some clouds at times. The forecast was for maximum temperature of 20°C and minimums around 15°C.

While being quite cold for the sunny Middle East, from the European point-of-view this was actually not too bad for an average week-end in the middle of January – and thus an easy decision to pack the stuff and head out for the first airshow of the year, the Bahrain International Airshow 2012.
In the end it was quite different and the weather had to offer a little bit of everything: from the hot dessert sun to drizzling rain and even a sandstorm. I did not get boring during this relatively small three day event!

The same goes to say for the participating aircraft. Whereas the majority of aircraft - and the money - were to be found within the civil aircraft market, and here especially business aviation, the military jets were of course also worth having a look. Quality, not quantity, was the word of the day in this sector.

The big surprise for sure was the participation of the Russian Knights. Announced to be 'withdrawn from service' after last year's MAKS airshow, the team seems to the re-born and in strength. It arrived at Bahrain with for of their Suchoi Su-27 jets in the team's colours and an Il-76 as support aircraft. Though the start of their 25 minutes long display was a bit slow, the formation flying of the 4 big jets was perfectly executed. Once the split was done and the two solos continued the performance, it got a lot faster.

Much more action was in the air and many crossings as well as effective use of the afterburner are memorable. After one crossing for example both jets pulled up vertically, did the famous Cobra manoeuvre synchronously, descended and the next crossing followed directly afterwards!

The only drawback however was the fact, that the team did do their spectacular massive release of flares only during the rehearsal on the day before the actual show started. The reasons for lack of doing so also during the event remain unknown...

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O-1E Bird Dog

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Cessna O-1 Bird Dog air-air photography
Where? Hahnweide, Germany
When? September 2016

Flying low over the jungle on tree top level the exploits of the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog in South East Asia are legendary. However, this venerable warbird is maybe one of the lesser known and unglamorous aircraft types flown during the Vietnam War, being manned by USAF and South Vietnamese pilots. Nevertheless some of the Bird Dog’s relive a renaissance today, as they are a cheap and affordable warbird, and a joy to fly!

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SIAF 2011

(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

SIAF 2011 at Sliac

Where? Sliac Airport, Slovakia
When? 27-28/08/2011

After the SIAD and the NLD it was this year that Slovakia's big international airshow came to light as the SIAF. Whereas in recent years the big yearly Slovak Airshow NLD has been held in Slovakia's Western part as Bratislava or Piestany, SIAF chose the Slovak MiG-29 home base Sliac in the Tatra region as the new location – and this was more than one good reason to come back.
Situated in a valley of the Tatra mountain region, Sliac is about a 2h drive from the capital Bratislava, with several picturesque cities nearby that make it easy to spent some nice evenings after the long and exhausting show days.

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Yak-3U in the snow

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Yak-3U D-FLAK

Yak-3U D-FLAK

Besides the Yak-3 D-FJAK of Achim and Elmar Meier the D-FLAK of Maxi Gainza is the second Russian warbrid that has been based at Freiburg, right in the middle between the Black Forrest and the river Rhein. The D-FLAK, as the Yak-3U (c/n 0470202) is registered in Germany, is also a equipped with a powerfull Allsion V-1710 V-12 engine, but offers in contrast to the one with the red cowling a second seat behind the pilot, who also has complete flight controls available.

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