Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Best air show so far in 2011 AIRPOWER11 – ZELTWEG, AUSTRIA

The biannual Austrian air show was held in Zeltweg, in the beautiful province of Styria, the green heart of Austria, on July 1 and 2. The Friday and Saturday air show draws large crowds every 2 years, but this year a record 290,000 visitors were in attendance. For hardcore enthusiasts the show really starts a few days earlier. One could get a five-day package for 180 Euros and be at the airbase from the arrivals day on Wednesday through Sunday, departure day. There were also other spotter packages: Friday and Saturday for 90 Euros or 1-day package for either airshow day for 60 Euros. For enthusiasts, it is strongly recommended getting one the spotter packages since it has many benefits that only this air show provides. It has no less than 13 spotter zones throughout the air show grounds, affording excellent opportunities to view and photograph the aircraft in action. Transportation to these zones are provided from the Spotter/Media Center, since some of them are not very close to the Spotter center, and at least one is not reachable by foot because it is located on the other side of the runway. There is also excellent food and beverages being served all day at the Spotter’s center, the only problem was that it was very difficult to leave the spotter’s zone to go eat since no one wants to miss any of the flying action.

Being in or around an airbase before an airshow, gives the opportunity to see many aircraft in the air that will not be flying at the airshow. On Wednesday two Saudi Arabian Typhoons came in, still with their British numbers on the fuselage since they were on their way to be delivered to Saudi Arabia and were being piloted by British pilots. The Saudi Hawks had arrived before Wednesday, but unfortunately the 2 supporting Saudi C-130s did not come to Zeltweg until Sunday. They stayed at the base in Hoersching. Other aircraft that arrived on Wednesday and Thursday, but did not fly at the show were: Dornier Do 27, Red Bull Cessna CE 208 Amphibian Caravan, Swiss Air Force Beechcraft 1900, Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) DC-2, Croatian Mil MI-117 , Turkish Air Force Transall C-160 in support of the Turkish Stars Demonstration Team, two Casa C-295M, one from the Polish Air Force and the other from the Czech Republic, Serbian Soko G2 Galeb owed by the Serbian Galeb Flying Club, Belgian SF 260D, French Air Force Mirage 2000, Irish Air Force Pilatus PC-9M, German Air Force 2-seat Eurofighter, USAF C-21 Learjet, USAF C-130, Embraer ERJ-145 from the Belgian Air Force, Antonov An-2, Hungarian Air force 2-seat Saab JAS 39 Gripen fully loaded with Sidewinder and Maverick missiles and LANTIRN pod, Soko G4 Super Galeb from Serbia, German Air Force F-4F Phantom II, Serbian Air Force Antonov An-26, German Luftwaffe Tornado ECR, 2 Royal Air Force Tornado GR.4.

In total there were 222 aircraft representing 22 nations at the show and 8 flying display teams. The organizers did a terrific job in keeping the action moving in the air and on the ground there plenty of aircraft to see. Food vendors were distributed around the grounds and there were plenty of bathroom facilities.

The base is also home of the Fliegermuseum, which is located in Hangar 8, housing two specially marked Drakens, a Saab Tunnan and a Shorts Skyvan among other historically important Austrian aircraft.

The event cost about 3 million Euros and it was sponsored by the energy drink producer Red Bull. This has been the best airshows so far in 2011 seen by the AirshowsReview staff that was present in Zeltweg. It truly deserves a 10/10 rating.

AirShowsReview would like to thank Vzlt. Gross in getting the spotters and media accreditation for the AirshowsReview staff members that were able to attend the airshow. Also a special thank you for the organizers who put together this memorable air show.

Report & photography by Ricardo von Puttkammer for AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC. For a complete review of the event, please visit

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