|The Czech Republic has several airshows throughout the year. These include airfield festivals, but also the internationally renowned large military show NATO Days at Ostrava and the Czech International Air Fest, both in September. Largely unnoticed in western Europe though is Aviatická Pout held every year at the airfield of Pardubice, a show that takes visitors time-travelling through Czech aviation history, from the very beginning all the way to the modern day.
The airfield of Pardubice is home to the Czech CLV training center (part of the state-owned company LOM-Praha) where all Czech military pilots receive their flight training. The airfield also has charter flights to the UK, but it is easy to get to Pardubice from anywhere thanks to a fast and regular train connection to Prague both by rail and road.
Travelling to the show from the city is also easy, the easiest option no doubt being a free rail connection with a dedicated train dropping people off on the showground.
Supplementing some of the air action is a ground re-enactment theatre, with reenactors putting on elaborate performances that tie in to the aircraft action overhead. This is away from the aircraft apron, to the right-hand side of the VIP area.
The modern static is parked in the shelter area of this former air force base, while the historic aircraft, most of which fly in the display is parked on a large area beside the control tower. All are freely available for viewing and nicely parked for unobstructed pictures. The public can also see the aircraft start up and park here again during the flying display.
The flying display takes place in the afternoon and focuses on Czech aviation history, with some indigenous replica aircraft that would be unknown to even hardened enthusiasts, complemented by foreign historic aircraft. Even In the case of foreign aircraft, there is often a link with Czech and Slovak pilots of days gone-by. The rest of the programme contains Czech aerobatic acts and the Czech air force displays, though in 2018, the Polish Navy decided to come along with a W-3 Sokol display, a helicopter that is also in use in the Czech Republic.
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For anyone fearing to miss out on the ground action because they don’t want to reserve a frontrow spot early on, there is a nice alternative in the shape of a very modestly priced seating area in front of the audience. A long single line of allocated seats runs along the re-enactment area, offering visitors with these tickets an unobstructed view of the show. Comprised in this ticket price are two drinks and some ham and cheese sandwiches, which are available from a dedicated vending point, along with dedicated toilets. This offers great value and adds to the relaxed ambiance at the event.
The rest of the showground is filled with catering stands with a nice and varied offering, including fresh fruits and fresh fruit drinks, a funfair, souvenir stands and sponsors. There are also classic car exhibitions, musical performances in 1920s and 30s big band style and many more activities taking a look back at history.
The show may not be an obvious choice for foreign visitors but it has definitely earned a spot in the lively Czech aviation scene. It could make for a nice extended family weekend-trip for many foreigners in combination with the city of Pardubice, and perhaps Prague as a bonus.
|Report by Chris Janssens
Thanks to the Aviaticka Pout 2018 press office
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present