Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen, Hahnweide 2013 - Part 1 of 2

Earlier this month, I was able to tick off one more item from my Aviation bucket list... After having been to "The Flying Legends" airshow in Duxford, last Summer, there was one more similar event to attend in Southern Germany; The Oldtimer Fliegertreffen near Stuttgart.

Facing East at Hahnweide 2013

Held every two years at the small Hahnweide airfield, this vintage aircraft event has been going for 34 years and this year attracted over 50.000 visitors over the three days. 

After the Flying Legends show at Duxford (UK) and the La Ferté-Alais airshow near Paris, it is possibly Europe's third largest one! I do prefer it to the first two in quite a few ways...

The joy of flying:Brugger MB-2 Colibri taxiing out at Hahnweide 2013

While the grounds open at 7am and stay open until well after mid-night, it is a much more social event than the first two. Irrespective how one comes to Hahnweide, be it in an old glider, beaten up Cessna, a WWII P-51 Mustang or by car; people seem to be just interested in each-others aviation story. While there is no place for large ego's it is a real aviation feast!

Photography
I must admit that I was given press credentials and that a few photos could probably not have been taken without it... However, there are plenty of good photo opportunities at Hahnweide with or without the white press jacket.


For the first one, one has to get up early. The gates open at 7am and allow all visitors to freely walk around the whole airport, including crossing the grass runway. At 7am there were literary hundreds of people waiting to get in. The unrestricted access to the public ends at 9am when the days flying starts. During these two hours there are plenty of interesting shots to be made like catching some of the pilots who were still sleeping under the wing of their aircraft. Seeing how the small airfield wakes up while the morning fog burns off, is kind of magic. 

Antonov AN_2 camping at Hahnweide 2013 

Unfortunately the airshow display line is East/West, which means one is facing the sun for most of the day. Therefore before lunchtime, most photographers tend to position themselves on a small hill on the East side. This is a great spot to shoot the arrivals, which especially on Friday (day 1) are pretty much non-stop. 

Dragon Rapide Dh 89 waiting for take-off at Hahnweide 2013


Participants

This year, 370 oldtimer aircraft came to Hahnweide. Although the definitions are often mixed, there are three different types of civil aircraft:
  • Antique, constructed before Sep 1945
  • Classic, constructed between Sep 1945 and Dec 1955
  • Contemporary, constructed Jan 1956 and Dec 1970
All ex-military aircraft are classified as "Warbirds".

DH 84 Dargon at Hahnweide 2013

Even though there were a few more large aviation events in parallel with Hahnweide this year, there still were quite a few warbirds present. Red Bull send three from their flying collection at Salzburg; a T-6 Harvard, an F4U Corsair and the shinny P-38 Lightning.

F4U Corsair taxiing in at Hahnweide 2013

Red Bull P-38 Lightning taxying in at Hahnweide 2013

A P-51 Mustang, P-40 Kittihawk, Sea Fury, Yak-11 and a heavily with bombs loaded Skyraider, came from the La Ferté-Alais collection near Paris.

Nooky Booky IV, P-51 Mustang at Hanhnweide 2013

Hawker Sea Fury arriving at Hahnweide 2013

Skyraider taxying in, while AN-2 is taking off, Hahnweide 2013

With the late Summer Duxford airshow being held the same weekend, there were not that many UK Warbird participants present. One that did make it, was this fine World War II Hawker Hurricane. 

Hurricane IIB at Hahnweide 2013


In part 2 of the series which should be out by the end of the week, we will have a look at some of the other participants.

Red Bull P-38 Lightning cockpit (backside)




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