Magic. This is the first word that comes to my mind after visiting Aerobaltic Airshow in Gdynia. Aviation Festival because in my eyes, we can easily name this event – Festival – took place from 16th to 18th of August in a pearl of north Poland. Gdynia. What a days…
But starting from the beginning…How do I get to visit Gdynia Aerobaltic Airshow? I took a Wizzair flight from Dortmund to Gdansk, which is located just a few kilometers from Gdynia. From GDN Airport, I easily took a train to Gdynia. On the airport floor, there are special painted lines which guide you from the arrival hall to the train station or buses. Travel to Gdynia took approx half an hour. After arriving, the “aviation atmosphere” was felt almost everywhere. Huge billboards advertising the event, people wearing avgeek t-shirts or Top Gun hats. All this made me feel that was a really special time for the city and all participants are celebrating this fact.
Gdynia is well known in Poland as a city that organizes one of the best events in the whole country (Opener Festival, Polish Film Festival or Gdynia Sailing Days).
I think this time was no different. The city offered free buses to the Airshow area. The event was very popular this year, it’s said officially that more than 300 000 people visited Gdynia to see feats of the best acrobatic pilots. People complained about increased road traffic. It shouldn’t be surprising due to such a big interest. Free public transportation was there to avoid this situation and those who were too lazy to use it should blame themselves.
Friday and Saturday night shows
This year Aerobaltic Airshow took place in two separate places. “Day show” was on Gdynia Kosakowo Airport which is located outskirts of the city and “Night Show” happened above the public beach near the city center. Friday was the first day of the show with “only” night display. As I wrote above this part took place along the shoreline what made it of course even more spectacular.
People who bought Spotter Ticket were allowed to visit the airport earlier that day for a training session. But all the rest start their adventure in the evening. I have to be honest, that was my first time when I saw night airshow and I was blown away. It was an outstanding show of human possibilities. Audio – Visual show with good music, a lot of fireworks and what is the most important very nice weather. Aircraft, amazing skills, and a beautiful sunset made this evening at the Baltic sea very special.
The diversity of performers was quite big, starting from spectacular skydivers (SKY MAGIC S3 WAT) going through American homebuilt classic – Hatz or SAR (Search and Rescue) demo display of Polish Navy (W3 Anakonda) in evening block, to hypnotizing performance of Johan Gustaffson on T-18 and finishing with mesmerizing Aerosparx Display Team from UK (my favourite). Watching these amazing pilots in action made me thinking about the Wright brothers, who invented the first aircraft. How much happy they would be watching this Aerobaltic Airshow 🙂
People attending the Saturday and Sunday day display could see the absolute power of jet engines mixed with unreal pilots skills. Even though there were some problems with the smooth flow of the entering to the show people, it can be somehow forgiven cause we shouldn’t forget about safety reasons. Organizers of Aerobaltic Airshow wanted to assure that all people will spend these great days in a safe environment. Of course, I was not happy standing in a queue but I am able to understand this in some way. After getting into – Airshow offered me plenty of different possibilities to spend that day. There were attractions for kids, as well as for people who are not really aviation geeks. The static exhibition gave people an opportunity to enter the aircraft, sat in the cockpits, talk with the crew and find out many interesting things about them. When people became hungry, they could choose from various types of food trucks that were provided on-site. The food was really good. I have to say it was a real paradise for aviation enthusiasts.
But to the point. Power, talent, passion, precision all those words are not enough to describe what happened on Kosakowo Airfield on Saturday and Sunday. Incredible SU-27 Ukrainian Air Forces performing absolutely insane figures.
Royal Saudi Hawks
Perfectly synchronized Royal Saudi Hawks Team which was the special guest in Gdynia. That was their only European performance this year and I have to say they were really good. Among others, they did a figure which is officially registered in Guinness Book as the biggest ever performed. Breathtaking.
Polish home team Orlik did not stand out from his international colleagues and showed also a great piece of art in the air.
Another thing worth to notice on Gdynia Aerobaltic Airshow was a race between Lamborghini Huracane and TS-11 Iskra. Unfortunately, due to high interest, it was quite difficult to find a good spot to watching this competition. I believe that was a spectacular show.
One thing is for sure, this beautiful summer weekend will be remembered by many people. A variety of performers, great emotions and special atmosphere made this Airshow a must-to-see item for the next year. I’ve heard some voices that it’s too much commercialized but remember that without sponsors it would be rather tough to watch the best pilots in the world. Of course, there are still some things to improve. But it’s still beginner Airshow and I believe they will draw the conclusions and with every year it will be better and better.
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