I’m sunburned and exhausted but at the same time, I have a sore, warm and tender feeling of satisfaction in my heart that it was worth it. The 25th Aviation Fair in Pardubice is over and it was more than just good. It was great!
The program was great and big thanks thanks for the conception of the airshow belongs to Jan Rudzinskyj. It was also the second time as I’ve seen him as a part of the “new” Flying Bulls Aerobatic Team with Stanislav Čejka and Miroslav Krejčí on the XA-42 ExtremeAirs.
The Battle of Britain
Despite the sad fact that our dynamic display was supposed to be made of 6 aeroplanes (2 Aeros and 4 Moravas) and at the end we were only 3, I personally enjoyed the formation with OK-KGB to it’s fullest. On Saturday I flew as a squadron leader in L-200 with Aeros on my wings and on Sunday as a left wing with the Aero.
My attention caught the WWII Scene with P-51 Mustang and L-4 Grasshopper right at the beginning. It was a great idea to start with and I was really sad that our Grasshopper wasn’t able to participate as was planed because it had an incident a couple a weeks before the show and is now in the service. But luckily the spare Grasshopper was provided by Mr Hybler from the Letecke Muzeum Metodeje Vlacha.
Spitfire and Messerschmitt
The biggest thing was to meet personally a test pilot Mr. Griffith and Steve Stead, the owner of MK-16 Spitfire (G-MXVI) and Yak-3 (D-FYGJ). There was also the Hurricane piloted by Clive Davidson and the Messerschmitt Me-109 from Duxford (G-BWUE). It’s been a great idea to use Messerschmitt in Battle of Britain themed scene. Spitfire and Hurricane scrambled to fight with Me-109 all with pyrotechnic effects. I’m glad the British won and the Messerschmitt was forced to land and the german pilot captured.
A bit of interesting history about Messerschmitt Buchon. The full name is ‘Hispano HA-1112 Mil Buchon’ and it’s with Rolls-Royce Merlin. And the history is that in 1943 the Spanish government agreed a licence production with Messerschmitt to produce 200 BF109G’s. A total of 25 dismantled airframes were sent to Spanish Air Force in 1943 as pattern for future production but as the war continued and Germany’s fortunes worsened they could not provide the expected engines propellers, tailplanes etc. So in 1954 after the war the a few of these Messerschmitts with British Merlins were produced.
The Big Group Of Warbirds Low Pass
Probably the best bit was the the low pass of all warbirds together. The Me-109, Hurricane, Spitfire, Mustang, Yak-3, TwinBeech, B-25, P-38 Lightning and F4U Corsair. It was a great idea to follow the lowpass with the Flying Bulls display.
The solo B-25 Mitchell with Frederic Handelman and than Raimund Riedman with P-38 and Eric Goujon with F4U. I’ve been staggered to see their barrell-roll again. Eric told me about almost 30 years of experience on the airshows. How must that feel?
I’ve been also glad to have the opportunity to examine Bata’s 1937 Lockheed Electra, OK-CTB. Guys did some great job to return with the aeroplane just a week before the airshow across the Atlantic Ocean. It was quite a story to listen.
The Czech entrepreneur Ivo Lukačovič, who created the Czech version of Google, has funded the purchase, restoration and return of the aircraft. His brother Nikola, and fellow pilot Milan Vacik, are flew the aircraft back to Czech Republic.
It has some incredible history as well. Bata executives used the plane to hop between the company’s various factories in Europe, and the company also flew it around the world as a PR initiative. In 1939, two days before Nazi Germany occupied Czechoslovakia, Bata flew the plane out of the country. It was used by the British government and the Canadian Air Force during the war, after which it passed through the hands of various private owners in North America.