Airshow Report – Croatian International Airshow Varaždin, 11-12.07.2009 … PART 1

By Boran Pivčić
All photos author

Still under impressions from Paris, I kept viewing the yearly CIAV airshow as something of a “village show” – a small, unambitious country gathering compared to the grandeur of the world’s biggest and oldest airshow. However, sunny weather – and a need to get out of town – saw me attend the show on both of its days, in part also to practice my hand with my new bulky and heavy 100-400 mm lens. In the end, owing to runway-side access I had managed to secure on both days, the show – despite cursed with rickety organisation – turned out to be quite a nice and enjoyable event.

1. The 2009 event:

Despite the a-bit-too pretentious “international” epithet, this year’s show hosted more foreign visitors than before. Among the usual Slovenian and Hungarian participants, there was also a French Air Force AlphaJet trainer, which was – unfortunately – relegated to the static display, despite being scheduled to fly. The rest were oft-seen local aircraft, including half a dozen aerobatic ones.

The flight display itself was a mix of aircraft types, from flexwings and Extras all the way to Citations, Pilatus PC-9s and even an Antonov An-32 and MiG-21. So without further ado…

Note: given that I intend to post quite a few photos, I thought it best to split this report into two parts, with about the same number of photos. This part is – mostly – civil-oriented, while the second will contain the big bad mil stuff.

Rutan's "pocket rocket" LongEZ still looks futuristic today, despite being almost a 30-year old design. This model, built by an airline pilot for Croatia Airlines, is the most powerful, 160 HP version.

Rutan's "pocket rocket" LongEZ still looks futuristic today, despite being almost a 30-year old design. This model, built by an airline pilot for Croatia Airlines, is the most powerful, 160 HP version.

Just one look at the LongEZ and you see how far ahead of the pack Burt Rutan is...

Just one look at the LongEZ and you see how far ahead of the pack Burt Rutan is...

An Extra 300L previously owned by Slovene aerobatic champion Peter Podlunšek rolling down Varaždin's RWY 16

An Extra 300L previously owned by Slovene aerobatic champion Peter Podlunšek rolling down Varaždin's RWY 16

Though the paint scheme on S5-DPP is a generic factory one, I must say it looks awesome against a blue sky

Though the paint scheme on S5-DPP is a generic factory one, I must say it looks awesome against a blue sky

Fun is definitely not a straight line!

Fun is definitely not a straight line!

Goooing up!

Goooing up!

The meaner and more powerful Extra 330SC with Mr. Podlunšek at the controls slicing low above the runway

The meaner and more powerful Extra 330SC with Mr. Podlunšek at the controls slicing low above the runway

Our own I-3 was in attendance too :)

Our own I-3 was in attendance too 🙂

The locally grown (ex-Yugoslavia) Soko G-2 Galeb (Seagull) trainer is a must for every show

The locally grown (ex-Yugoslavia) Soko G-2 Galeb (Seagull) trainer is a must for every show

Closeup of the smoke system. As with most such systems, the smoke is generated by injecting Diesel or paraffin into the exhaust (which can also be tinted to change its color). On the G-2, the exhaust comes from a licence-built Rolls-Royce Viper Mk.22 turbojet, developing 11.12 kN of thrust

Closeup of the smoke system. As with most such systems, the smoke is generated by injecting Diesel or paraffin into the exhaust (which can also be tinted to change its color). On the G-2, the exhaust comes from a license-built Rolls-Royce Viper Mk.22 turbojet, developing 11.12 kN of thrust

Owned by Varaždin-based WinAir, this Cessna CitationJet CJ2+ was the only bizjet performer at the show, finishing its display with a few very un-bizjet-like low passes

Owned by Varaždin-based WinAir, this Cessna CitationJet CJ2+ was the only bizjet performer at the show, finishing its display with a few very un-bizjet-like low passes

A significantly older, but none the less interesting, Citation II was in the static display (seen here taxiing in after a positioning flight on the second show day)

A significantly older, but none the less interesting, Citation II was in the static display (seen here taxiing in after a positioning flight on the second show day)

The Man - Peter Besenyei - showing just what an Extra 300 can do :)

The Man - Peter Besenyei - showing just what an Extra 300 can do 🙂

Some impressive flying! The display finished off with Peter's trademark "drunken flight" low above the runway... so low in fact that at one point I thought he'd shear off a wingtip :).

Some impressive flying! The display finished off with Peter's trademark "drunken flight" low above the runway... so low in fact that at one point I thought he'd shear off a wingtip :).

The sleek and curvy Dassault-Dornier AlphaJet E. What a beautiful machine!

The sleek and curvy Dassault-Dornier AlphaJet E. What a beautiful machine!

Not much of a motive, but the cockpit isn't all that big and I'm not really the shortest person in the world :). This was about the only angle that worked...

Not much of a motive, but the cockpit isn't all that big and I'm not really the shortest person in the world :). This was about the only angle that worked...

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