|Western Europe has some outstanding warbird shows, with famous events like the shows at Duxford, La Ferté Alais and Hahnweide. The Czech Republic, and Czechoslovakia before it, has a rich aviation history , so it shouldn’t come as a surprise this is where another show has been making a name for itself for years now, looking to position itself among this prestigious list of major European vintage aircraft events.
The former military airfield at Pardubice, home to CLV, the company that takes care of the initial training of new Czech air force pilots, plays host to Aviaticka Pout, which means “Aviation Pilgrimage”. The show makes good use of the growing number of classic aircraft in the Czech Republic, many of which have played a role in Czechoslovak aviation history.
Getting to the show is very easy. Pardubice is about 90 kilometers east of Prague and has excellent transportation links. By public transport, visitors have a choice of using the bus from the city center or a dedicated train service to the airfield. The showground is enormous and contains the usual combination of vintage car shows, trade stalls, sponsors, fun fair and lots of catering running parallel to the runway. In addition, there’s also an extensive reenactment area, a static display, and the chance to see the aircraft of the flying programme from closeby.
The orientation of the airfield means the audience looks into the sun during the flying display, but this shouldn’t detract too much as the sun is high in the sky due to the time in the calendar.
The flying programme is centered around a number of setpieces during which there is action on the ground, around what is called the “3D stage” on the showground map. Reenactors engage in a ground battle while overhead, aircraft appropriate for the theater buzz over the battlefield, with plenty of pyrotechnics. This makes the whole spectacle action-packed. Apart from these setpieces with warbirds, the show presents plenty of vintage aircraft that have a more civilian or aerobatic background, and some modern military aircraft from the Czech air force. The latter was more limited in 2015 than in previous years as the Czech Gripen and ALCA solo displays had to be cancelled due to operational requirements, like the unexpected Iceland air policing deployment in case of the Gripen.
Watch the complete report above (58 minutes)
In 2015, the flying display had 3 warbird setpieces (Western Front, Battle of Britain and Eastern Europe), the Flying Bulls with the B-25, P-38 and F4u, the Czech Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team with their new XA-42 aircraft, in addition to a lot of vintage aircraft like the Boeing Stearman in 2 different guises, one of which was quite surprising, a gorgeous Lockheed Electra 10 executive aircraft from the 1930 in the Czech Republic and the traditional Zlin 26 family finale, to name but a few.
As is the norm at Czech airshows, reception of visitors is very welcoming and relaxed. The proximity of the display aircraft also means there is ample opportunity to talk with display pilots, a nice plus for the show. The programme is varied and has something for every aviation enthusiast’s taste. It is perhaps not the most usual airshow choice for foreign visitors in the Czech Republic, but it is highly enjoyable all the same!
by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present