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Kraków Air Show

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Kraków, one of the best known cities in Poland, capital city of the Małopolska Region, has a great tradition in aviation. Czyżyny airfield is one of the oldest in Poland. At the end of XIXth century it was at the outskirts of the city, but today it is almost in the centre, only five tram-stops from the Central Train Station. From 1910 till the present day it has been home for really many airplanes: Austro-Hungarian, Polish, German, Soviet, today even British, French, American, Italian and many others. In 1963 The Aviation Museum was founded at Czyżyny after the airfield was closed for the normal use. But because the airstrip still remains and can be used in specific circumstances on 26th and 27th of June this year it was also the site of the Aviation Picnic.

Visitors could watch the planes both on the ground and in the air. Of course, due to the safety regulations, machines which were presented in flight were separated from the visitors, but they taxied only few meters from the barriers so you could smell the fuel and grease of the machine and of course feel the force of the wind from the running propeller.

So, what was there to see? A lot! One of the first was RWD-5R, a flying replica of the Polish pre-war tourist airplane. With this plane, modified of course, Stefan Skarżyński made his flight across the Southern Atlantic from Saint Louis in Senegal to Maceio in Brazil. This record has still not been beaten for this class of airplane. There was also a show of three Trims and Aeroprakt-22L2. Next in the air were two Piper Cubs, then a Jak-12M and two EM-11's Orka in two versions: with fixed and retractable undercarriage. The Orka is one the latest constructions of eng. Edward Margański. Its smooth shape and beautiful line were simply outstanding. Uwe Zimmermann made a fantastic show of acrobatics flying an Extra EA 300-200 followed by Marek Szufa in a Christen Eagle II.

The airstrip was also a place of the jump for few paratroopers when the planes were grounded. One of the planes showed only in flight was Velocity XL RG, a pusher with a canard wing configuration. It could not land in Czyżyny due to the airstrip length. Around noon we could watch two great acrobats: Robert Kowalik in an Extra-300L and Jurgis Kairys flying a Su-26. They are absolute masters in their profession, their shows were breathtaking. Both of them could easily take the hats off the visitors heads with the wingtips of their planes. Jurigs Kairys a few times made a vertical climbs just after very slow pass, taking the crowds breath away by hanging on the propeller or a sidelong flight just 2 meters above the ground. After 12 o'clock the air was filled with the engine noise of OV-10 Bronco. It is unbelievable what tight turns it can make, almost like a tank in the air with one track running forward and the other backwards. Bronco was in the markings of Luftwaffe used as a target tug. Next in the air were two replicas of the Curtiss Jenny, made in the 1:0.7 scale to the original and two post-war T-131 PA Jungmanns. These were followed by an all-blue Harvard Mk.IV. The two last planes in this part of show were two aircraft in Polish markings: a Yak-18 and a TS-8 Bies. The Bies is the first post-war airplane constructed and produced in Poland. Its designer was Tadeusz Sołtyk who later designed the famous TS-11 Iskra jet-trainer.

Between 13.15 and 13.30 the air belonged to Wojciech Krupa doing acrobatics in his Extra 330LC. The Police anti-terrorist group showed few situations from their common life with abseiling from a Mi-2 Kania chopper and the evacuation of the group using a line hanging from the chopper. The last show in the air in this part of the day was the acrobatics of Jerzy Makula in the MDM Solo Fox sailplane.

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About the Author

About Mecenas
FROM: KATOWICE, POLAND


Comments

Thanks for sharing a neat story and a great set of photos! -YL
JUL 21, 2010 - 02:07 PM
My pleasure Yoni, thanks for the comment.
JUL 23, 2010 - 10:34 PM