Air Show Report : AirPower 16 Zeltweg
AIRPOWER 16 - Zeltweg, Austria
Photo report by Helmut Richter from the AirPower airshow at Zeltweg Air Base, or Fliegerhorst Hinterstoisser, hosted by the Austrian armed forces in September 2016.
The Airpower show at the Austrian fighter base of Zeltweg in the Bundesland Steiermark is one of the “must see” events for the airshow season, both because of its sheer size and variety of displays and of the beauty of the mountains giving a perfect background for photography. It had been held bi-annually until 2013, but it has turned to a three-year interval since.
While I had not managed to visit any Airpower before, I wanted to make sure that I get the most out of it this year and I booked the 5-day spotter ticket for two arrival days (of which I attended only the second), two show days and the departure day. While not cheap, it provided full catering and an effective shuttle service between 14(!) spotting locations around the airfield. The benefit of this variety was somewhat limited during the two show days however, because of the huge number of regular visitors and photographers which made it impossible to get a place at one of the crowd line spotter locations later in the day.
One of my personal objectives for the show was to get best possible coverage of Bundesheer aircraft and, indeed, I was not disappointed. On the second arrival day, it was even possible to get escorted access to the OH-58 and Alouette III flightlines and the Alouette III SAR helicopters at their dispersal.
The Austrian Bundesheer presentations included several tactical demos including a spectacular interception of a C-130 by two EF2000s taking off head-on. A very nice 4-ship SAAB 105Ö formation could have come straight from the 1970s when the similar “Karo As” team toured the European airshows.
Probably the most unique display was the Austrian heritage jet formation including such rare participants like the J 29 Tunnan, J 35 Draken, DH115 Vampire T.55 and CM170 Magister.
The wide variety of other solo and team presentations as well as aircraft in the static display and for support can best be taken from the set of images provided with this report.
With the weather showing a friendly face during most of the time, Airpower 2016 scored again in comparison with other less lucky European shows like Florennes or Leeuwarden, making it in my view the #1 highlight of this year’s continental European airshows.
Report and photos by Helmut Richter ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 4 January 2017