Redbull hangár

Redbull hangár

2011. február 7., hétfő

Airshow in Wels

Text and ohotos: Gabriella

At the end of last June, I felt, that I cannot wait till the Kecskemét Airshow, I must see military aircrafts in 3D immediately. I’ve checked the European airshow calendar, if there is something nearby. I saw, that there is an event in Wels near to Linz (Austria) on the 10-12 July weekend, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the local airport, and the Austrian Air Force will participate in the event. Moreover, a Eurofighter display program was highlighted in the provisional program. This was enough to me to hit the road. Unfortunately Helen couldn’t join me this time, as she had other engagements. (Therefore I took the photos.)


After almost five hours on the train, I arrived to Linz at 2 PM. I planned to drop down my luggage at my accommodation (a nice guesthouse in the suburban area) and spend the rest of the day with sightseeing, to move my legs after the long journey. The leaflets which I downloaded from the city’s website, promised a lot of interesting sights, so I calculated, that there will remain something to see even for Sunday. (I planned to visit the airshow on Saturday.) But as I went along in the main street of the city by tram, I saw, that there is a big sale in every trendy clothes shop. It was written in the city guide materials, that most of the shops close at 6 PM, so I seriously deliberate to choose shopping. But in the end, the interest to the culture beat the Shopping Barbie in me, so I chose the historical buildings in the end. The strong reason of this decision was, that some of my ancestors are originated from here as the family legend says, so I was really curious to see the place.
Linz basically has a nice location, and as usually most of the Austrian cities, a river cuts it in two (in this case the Danube), has two hills; a castle is standing on one of them and a basilica on the other. So its geographical makings are very good, there is a lot of green places, but as I saw, mainly in the suburban area. Even so, for me, it hasn’t got a fascinating grace or atmosphere as Graz has for example.
Otherwise, beside me, just a few tourist was loitering in the streets and I was prowled alone in the museum (I didn’t really mind it.) Maybe July is not the season of sightseeing, but it was surprising. As the museums also close at 6PM, I looked at only two: the Linz Genesis which presented the history of Linz and the Schloss Ebelsberg fortress museum. The first one was nothing special but the latter one was the only gripping place of the city, thanks o its Spanish courtyard, shady-green park and unique panoramic view. I hope, that my photos give something back from the atmosphere of this magical place.

Beside it, this museum has a very rich word and gun collection and the tools from the monarchy’s navy can be seen in more rooms. The approximately 900 years old fortress was the central venue of a bloody battle of the Napoleonic war in 1809, where the exhausted Austrian army fought with the French troop to slow the down on their way to Vienna. Napoleon’s soldiers won in the five hours battle and unfortunately they burned down the fortress (its restoration has begun a few years later). That’s why the main topic of the exhibition is this heroic and bloody fight. Usually I don’t take pictures in museums, but if you feel like to visit this collection after all, you can find more infos on this link:

Linzer Schnitzel

Getting tired in the Fridays sightseeing, I walked in the streets searching for a good place to have dinner. Elderly locals were drinking and laughing on the terrace of a small restaurant – right at the side of the Jesuit church as far as I can remember – and as the Linzer Schnitzel was on the menu table, I decided, that this is the perfect place to eat. This local speciality is similar to the Wiener Schnitzel, but the halfplate-sized veal is in sesame seed crumbs. This type of crumbs was too bitter to me, but as it was served with a fresh gardener salad and cool Zipfer beer (the local malt drink) it was good all in all. I could taste the other local speciality, the Leberkäse (spicy meat bread) at the airshow in a buffet. I definitely liked it! This should be sold in Hungary too, I could eat it every week. I didn’t taste the third famous meal in Linz, the linzer torte, as I don’t like to eat sweets in a very hot weather.

Welser Flugtage

Before I started my journey, I checked on web maps how far and in which direction is the airport from Wels train station. I didn’t print it out, because I thought, that I would follow the crowd. This plan wasn’t successful, as beside me only 1 man got off the train and he went elsewhere… I didn’t understand it, as it was one hour before the start of the program and usually hundreds of people are flowing to the venue this time on other airshows. OK, I knew that this isn’t as big event as the Airpower, but it was still surprising. I had better to turn into the information office of the railway company, where they kindly showed me the way to the airport and I got there after a 45 minutes walk. Passing by the car park, I understood why I didn’t see crowd at the station: everybody arrived by car J Getting inside, I saw the line-up of oldtimer cars and planes, there was many Opels for example, even a motorbike from this brand.

In regard to the 100. anniversary of the airport, several old planes were flying, a Bleriot replica among them, recalling the hero era of aviation, and some duble-deckers too. The promised Eurofighter display program was very dynamic and spectacular, but very short. When after 2 minutes it buzzed off left, everybody turned there and waited to see it coming back. And we were waiting and waiting. After a few minutes we realized, that it won’t came back, most probably went back to its base in Zeltweg. We were disappointed a little bit. The PC-6 also held a shorter display program this time, flied through the public, dropped down the water from its tank and flied away.
But all in all, I was satisfied as the Austrian Air Force represented itself with all of their type, although it was ’just’ a civilian airshow. (Maybe their presence was that strong, because the big military airshow – known as Airpower - wasn’t held this year in Austria.)


 In the static row, there were standing a Saab-105 jet, a Kiowa and a Blackhawk helicopter and a C-130 carrier aircraft too. As there wasn’t any cordon around them, it was possible to touch them or even sit into some of them. This is what I call real 3D experience! Even, the spectators can go into the stomach of the C-130 and the kind crew talked with everybody happily (as they did at the other planes from the air force). The only shadowy place was under the large wings of this big aircraft, which was my shelter at noon avoiding the burning sunshine. I was watching the Red Bull team’s show from there. Anyway, the sensation of the airshow was the Ju-52, a German aircraft mad after the I. World War. There was possibility to fly with it, but it was quite expensive, so I missed it.
In the long run, I was happy to visit this event. I guess, the local organizers and the Austrian Air Force did their best to entertain the public on a very high level. Otherwise, sometimes it’s better, if an event like this is not overcrowded with a lot of program elements and you look around and follow all the display programs without any hurry. Everything was great and as there weren’t too much people, the atmosphere was very familiar. Thanks for it to the organizers.
As I don't see this event in the 2011 airshow calendar, we will visit only the Airpower in Austria this year.

More photos of Linz and the Wels Airshow can be found on this link: