Croatian International Airshow Varazdin 2016

Varazdin, 23-24 July 2016


Close to the historic city center of Varazdin lies a quiet airstrip, home to a Diamond Aircraft parts manufacturing location. It is also the venue for the Croatian International Airshow Varazdin, Croatia’s largest airshow.


The show takes place over two days. Thanks to its location near the border with Hungary and Slovenia, it attract audience and participants from several nations. The public area is smaller than you might expect at an international airshow, but is large enough to host the public in comfort.
Central in the public area is a large party tent with tables and chairs, where a good part of the audience seeks shelter from the sun.


There are some trade stands selling aviation gadgets, food and drinks in addition to a small fun fair. Interestingly, the prices for, for instance, water vary between the different stands so it is worthwhile to have a stroll and compare the catering offering.

The runway is somewhat hidden from public view behind a fence and tall grass. The static, which consists mostly of flying display participants, is free to visit in the morning, before the crews get the aircraft ready for the display in the afternoon. Elsewhere on the field, the audience could see an AB-212 of the Croatian police and a Croatian Mi-17, which they could also climb aboard for a look inside.



The flying display is quite varied and ranges from general aviation to fighter jets, though the emphasis is on the former.
Highlights in 2016 included a Croatian Po-2, a graceful Italian Yak-11 display with plenty of gorgeous topside passes, an EC135 display of the Croatian police, some passes of Peter Podlunsek in his Edge 540 with a G-2 Galeb which also came from Slovenia and the breathtaking glider aerobatics display by Luca Bertossio in his Swift S-1. Also present was Croatian Branimir Ambrekovic with his precise Extra 300 display.


The GA-displays included an EDA-100 Flamingo, an HTO-Sport gyrocopter and a Seawind 3000 amphibian.


The Croatian airforce took part with their loud Mig-21UMD in special livery, which even landed at Varazdin to join the static display, and the incomparable Krila Oluje display team. Joining them in the flying display was the Hungarian air force JAS-39 Gripen, flying in from its homebase at Kecskemet.


On Sunday, the forecast thunderstorms didn’t appear fortunately, but it did throw a spanner in the flying display programme which was moved forward to the original schedule, and which also became a fair bit shorter with several participants returning home just after lunch to make sure they made it home before the weather got in the way, which in the end, it never did.


The variety of the show made it a worthwhile visit, despite some late cancellations like the Slovenian PC-9 display. Combined with the historic city of Varazdin, there was plenty to enjoy the weekend in Croatia!