Saturday, October 1, 2016

OLDTIMER FLIEGERTREFFEN 2016, Hahnweide, Germany

As an Aviation photographer, I can often be found at one of the many airshows around the world. Although I have attended some of them multiple times, a few remain special! Airventure (The Worlds Largest Airshow in Oshkosh, WI), Shuttleworth (Old Warden, UK), Sun 'n Fun (FL), La Ferté Alais near Paris and last but not least, The Oldtimer Fliegertreffen at the Hahnweide grass airstrip near Stuttgart, Germany; all of them have a special place in my Aviator heart. 

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

After I attended The Oldtimer Fliegertreffen (OTT) for the first time in 2013, I knew I would be back!  The two yearly event was unfortunately not held last year, but did take place from the 9th till 11th of September this year! Unlike a lot of other "Oldtimer Fly-ins", this one bans aircraft younger than 40 years from landing at Hahnweide (with a few exceptions). More than 300 historic airplanes found their way to the OTT this year, with the furthest one coming all the way from Madrid, (Spain), father and son Jose Luis Olias, flew 25 hour total to attend OTT.


Rather than driving in, this year we flew our 62 year old Piper Super Cub (L-21B) from Belgium to the small airstrip in southern Germany and decided to camp with the aircraft. Something that is probably on the bucket list of a lot of fellow aviators!

The 4 hour flight took us across the southern part of Belgium (The Ardennes), Luxemburg, the Rhine Valley and eventually just North of Stuttgart. 


Beside bringing camping gear for two, I obviously also carried my latest photo-gear; the brand-new Fujifilm X-T2, XF10-24, XF18-135, 1.4 TC, and last but not least the amazing XF100-400 super telephoto lens. Given, there would be no real place to charge my batteries, I ended up bringing 6 batteries, which turned out to be just right for the three day stay. Since we didn't have the space to bring a laptop, I also brought plenty of memory cards.

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

Hahnweide trademark - Mikael Carlson 
Swedish pilot Mikael Carlson and owner of the Flying Machines collection, has been bringing some of his collection aircraft to the show since 1991, making him one of the icons of the show. Just like previous years, he transported one of his two Blériot XI's all the way from Sweden for the show; a 3000 km road trip for three short 10 min hops! Hats off Mikael!

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

The Blériot flown by Louis Blériot was the first aircraft to cross the English channel in 1909 and Mikael flew one of his own across to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the crossing; quite an achievement! Like previous years, Mikael flew the Blériot XI just before sunset on Friday night; once again a very memorable moment.

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

Like previous years he brought a second plane to the show. This year however, he allowed the public to vote online for their preferred plane and it became the WWI Fokker Dr I "Dreidecker". This triplane was the type flown by famous German WWI ace Manfred Von Richthofen; nicknamed the Red Barron.

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

Pic(k) of the week 39, was devoted to this airplane. 

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

More than Warbirds
The Oldtimer Fliegertreffen, is much more than a collection of famous warbirds.... 

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

Yes, there was a Spitfire, Hurricane, P-51 Mustang, P-40, Skyraider and even some Russian Yak's on the grounds, but what makes the show unique are the rare birds of which sometimes less than a handful in the world are in still flying condition. 

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016
Just three examples are, this Kenner Sportster B-1 (1932),

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

Curtiss Robin J-1 (1929),

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

Klemm L-25a (1927).

Day and Night
Staying on the show grounds allowed me to photograph pretty much non-stop from sunrise till well after sunset. On Saturdays and Sundays, the OTT has an interesting evening/night airshow; not with military jets screaming through the evening skies, but rather one with acts such as a pair of gliders performing aerobatics synchronised to the music. 

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

Shooting night airshows is not easy, as one obviously can't use a tripod in these dim lighting conditions; a camera that shoots at ISO 6400 and higher without noise is a must! Thanks Fujifilm.

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

As part of a light and sound show avery night, the flight-line is lit by artificial light; making for some interesting images. 

Photographers
Overall the Oldtimer Fliegertreffen, is pretty good for aviation photography; especially if one can obtain a flight-line access pass; either through the media credential channel or through flying in yourself. Unfortunately the runway is orientated NW/SE, so that one is facing into the sun for a large part of the day. The great background of the surrounding forest however compensates for that. 

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016

A nearby castle can often be seen in the background of some of the images; given them that typical iconic Hahnweide look.

Early in the morning (0630-0900), the public (even non-flightline badge holders) is invited to go onto the runway and walk between the parked airplanes; perfect to capture the beautiful early morning light and dew. Not always great for those pilots that want to sleep in... ;-)

Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide 2016


With once again over 35.000 visitors spread over the three days in perfect blue skies, the 2016 OTT was a huge success. I hereby would like to thank the +500 volunteers who every two years make this event possible! Vielen Dank! 

See you hopefully in 2018 Hahnweide,

All images are shot with the Fujifilm X-T2. The complete collection of the 2016 OTT can be found here.

BJORN

500px 










No comments: