|Despite the fact the show was only held for the 4th time in 2015, the Athens Flying Week has already achieved an impressive international reputation. Wheels-Up.be travelled to Greece to find out what the fuss is about.
With all the doom and gloom stories emanating from Greece the past few years, it would be easy to forget it is quite a pleasant tourist destination. For aviation enthusiasts, there was not much on offer as far as airshows was concerned recently. Apart from the Archangel airshow in 2005, the traditional November open houses at Greek airforce bases and the Kavala Air and Sea show, there was not much to lure spotters over. It looks like the Athens Flying Week can fill the gap quite nicely.
The show consists of two events, a seaside pre-show, including the Saudi Hawks, at Faliro and the main event over the weekend held at Tatoi-Dekeleia. Tatoi is an active airbase with the Cessna T-41 and PZL M-18, but is also home to the Hellenic air force museum, most of which is accessible in the morning on showdays and reachable by shuttlebus from the showground. The base at Tatoi is easily reached from downtown Athens by public transport, though most people travel by car.
The airshow is a mix of civilian and military aircraft. These displays can be local classic aircraft or internationally renowned aerobatics and gliding acts. These participants operate from the base at Tatoi itself as do some lighter military aircraft. The jets and foreign military participants on the other hand fly over from the nearby airbase at Tanagra.
The showground does not contain a lot of static aircraft, but otherwise it contains everything you would expect, including nice and affordable catering. The Hellenic air force was present with lots of promotion stands, as were the foreign military participants. The local Athenian Aviator Collection was also present in the static park, as were some sports aircraft and a German navy Do-228. The flying programme ran, with interruptions, from 10:45 until roughly 18:00, though on Saturday Johan Gustafsson performed a twilight show with his glider. For military fans, the main attractions were the various Hellenic military displays, including its three official solo display teams, the Polish Mig-29 and Team Orlik, and Belgian F-16.
Watch the complete report above (60 minutes)
Athens Flying Week brings a little something for everyone at a very reasonable price. The show has seen significant growth and will no doubt continue to expand in the future. Definitely one to give a try!
by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present