The last but one weekend of May was a real aviation celebration in Poznań. On Friday, May 18, Spotters Day took place at the NATO Tiger Meet, and on Saturday and Sunday (19-20) at the Ławica airport there was an Poznań Air Show 2018. Here is my report from this great event.
Poznań Air Show 2018 is the third edition of air shows at the Ławica Airport in Poznań (earlier they were called Aerofestival and took place in 2015 and 2016). This year’s edition was unique, however, because it was connected with the hundredth anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, the hundredth anniversary of the Wielkopolska Uprising and the hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Polish Air Force. In addition, the air show coincided with NATO Tiger Meet exercises held at the 31st Tactical Air Base.
Such a combination resulted in the possibility of organizing unique air show, on which appeared machines which can not often be seen in the Polish sky. Mostly NATO planes with so-called Tiger Squadrons, in characteristic paintings.
The air show took place in the same place as previous editions, on the north side of the airport near the new air traffic control tower. Thanks to this location, the visitors had at their disposal a huge area where numerous displays of equipment (military, fire brigades and other services), tents of crews and air groups, as well as a huge zone of Reconstruction Groups and a static exhibition of planes were placed peacefully. In addition, the visitors have at their disposal a foodtrack zone (which could have been a bit bigger) and numerous attractions for children who were not interested in what was happening in the sky.
The area for viewers was quite well organized, but had one disadvantage especially for photographers – for most of the day the air show took place under the sun. Fortunately, by dividing the shows into three blocks, both the first and the last ones were held at such times that the sun did not bother so much.
What seemed to be the best for the organizers was the weather, which was perfect and at the same time treacherous. The cloudless sky and a light, cool wind made it impossible to feel the burning sun – some certainly paid for it with a decent tan. Thanks to such a good weather, all the shows planned for both days were organized (only with minor order shifts).
The aerial part of the air show was exceptional, because in the sky there were many planes that we did not have yet seen in Poznań (not counting the base in Krzesiny). In the first block in the sky, we could watch warbirds, i.e. two Yak-3 and Boomerang, Grupa Akrobacyjna Żelazny and formation An-2 and 3AT3, whose display although not the most dynamic, aroused curiosity due to the unusual combination of machines.
The most exciting, however, were the next two blocks, which were definitely more spectacular and louder. In the second block, the pilots participating in NATO Tiger Meet presented their skills, while in the third block we could watch the mix of history and speed through Tiger Demo Team Poland, Arthur Kielak, Agata Nykaza, MiG-15, TS-11 Iskra and Supermarine Spitfire, and on Sunday additionally MiG-29.
The show in the air was excellent, but except Grupa Żelazny and 3AT3 as well as Pterodactyl Flight (which on the first day landed at the end of the show, and the second jumped suddenly between shows), all flights were performed solo or in pairs.
Although the organization of the shows, logistics and communication did well, gastronomy was slightly worse because the number of foodtracks was insufficient to serve approximately 70,000 guests (both days combined). On the other hand, it must be remembered that at the same time in other parts of the city there was a foodtrack festival, Pyrkon and Color Run, and on Friday the open day in the base in Powidz while on Sunday the Lech-Legia match (it was a strong weekend, in every respect). So everyone had to share their resources somehow.
Undoubtedly Poznań Air Show 2018 was a success and a good announcement for the next edition of the shows, which we hope will take place regularly every year or two. It was loud and interesting, and the air show could be seen even in the vicinity of the airport, because the flight zone was located above the entire Ławica airport and the surrounding housing estates (which some residents may not like). After eliminating a few minor problems, the next editions will surely be even better.