Where? Hahnweide, Southern Germany
The Hahnweide Oldtimer meeting is Germany's biggest warbird airshow. Held bi-annually on the first week-end of September it is by enthusiasts very often rated being on the same level as the other major European warbird shows Duxford in the UK and La Ferté-Alais in France. 2013 year was the 17th edition of the show that has its origins as a simple oldtimer fly-in 34 years ago.
Today it is still organized by a small group of volunteer forming part of the "Fliegergruppe Wolf Hirth". This club is very famous for its sailplane activities as is the airfield where they are based, the Hahnweide located in the South of Germany close to Stuttgart.
Each year for the show those sailplanes have to step back when the airfield nearly bursts at its seams. Place for aircraft gets rare when approximately 350 aircraft flying in from other airfields literally besiege this place during the airshow week-end. Though there is also always some parking place left on the opposite side of the flightline, the oldtimers and wabirds are densly packed between the crowdline and the grass runway.
Once in a while it happens that the Hahnweide show clashes with the September Airshow at Duxford, which was also the case this year. This usually leads to a slight reduction in the number of participating warbirds and especially with another airshow in Switzerland being held at the same time, not that many warbirds flew in comparison to the last years, which delivered outstanding shows and were akleady thought to be hard to outnumber. Thus this year was a slight drawback, however the regulars from France with a P-51, P-40 and Yak-11 were happy to come to Germany as well as Peter Teichman who brought the Hurricane of his "Hangar 11" collection. Other main warbrids attractions were the Avenger and Morane from Switzerland as well as a bomb-loaded Skyraider that made up for an excellent line-up nevertheless.
Talking about regulars of course Mikael Carlson from Sweden has to mentioned, whose Blériot monoplane became one of the Hahnweide trademarks and is amongst the highlights of the flying program on each of the two main days Saturday and Sunday. This year he also brought his re-build Fokker D.VII to the show that flew in formation with the Fokker Dr.I triplane of the "Flugmuseum Koch" as a perfect show and demonstration of the capabilities of WW I aircraft.
Of course the Hahnweide is not only all about warbirds and its origins as an "Oldtimer Fly-In" are not forgotten. Though the gliders are placed at the most Southern end of the area and overseen by some of the visitors, the packed area of biplanes and oldtimer classics is always a joy to see. Pilots not only from neighbouring countries as Austria or the Czech Republic attend, but also from as far as Sweden as Hungaria, to show their planes, fly them during the show, or just to meet fellow pilots and talk with them about their aircraft. Apart from all the airshow spectacle the spirit of the fly-in is still alive in this place!
After becoming more and more known to foreigners in the meantime the event attracts not only the local population and German enthusiasts, but also visitors from all over Europe, who enjoy the friendly German atmosphere and food. Due to the orientation of the runway and safety regulations the crowd unfortunately faces the sun nearly during the whole day, which makes photography especially challenging. Shooting with the forrest in the background neverthelss provides for some nice photos and gives a nice variation to the ones with a blue sky as a background. And you should not miss the arrivals on Friday, which usually give the chance to see some of the aircraft flying that might be hidden somewhere in the static display for the rest of the week-end.
If you are interested in a visit, http://www.oldtimer-hahnweide.de/ will usually give you many information about the show in the months prior to the event. Don't miss it next time!!
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- Category: 2013
- Published: 05 March 2014
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