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Kecskemet Airshow 2007


This year’s Hungarian International Air Show & Military Exposition at Kecskemet Air Base was an exemplary one of those two-day events, which attract aerobatics enthusiasts and military fans from all over the world to Kodaly’s city every other year.



Ground Forces -- Kecskemet Airshow 2007
We arrived ready to brave getting a sore neck from looking up to the skies all day, but we soon found that there was plenty to see and experience down on the ground as well. Besides the equipment used by the Hungarian Army’s ground forces, static displays of all participating aircraft were also on view on the Air Base grounds. Twenty-one countries introduced 42 types of aircraft, and pilot teams from each country stood by to answer the visitors’ questions and sell or hand out souvenirs.


Although the Saturday and Sunday programs are always identical, the weather conditions or other unforeseen events can alter the experience, as it did this weekend. Most of Saturday was rather overcast, which was nice, because the audience didn’t have to battle the heat, but because of the thick layer of clouds, the aircrafts had to perform on much lower altitudes than they originally planned to. Even though they had to disappear in the clouds for a few moments, it was all the more exciting to take a guess at where they will appear next.


In the morning we saw smaller formation maneuvers and solo performers, and the afternoon was reserved for large formation aerobatics and the “Horsepower and Wings” race on ground and the air between a Formula One race car, a Bell Cobra helicopter, a MiG-29 fighter jet, and an Extra 330 aircraft. I couldn’t possibly list all the memorable experiences we gathered this Saturday, but I’ll name the one that I found to be the most extraordinary, and the one that was the cutest for me.

Patrouille de France -- Kecskemet Airshow 2007
The 30-minute aerobatics performance of the 8 Alphajets of “Patrouille de France” was carried out to perfection and kept us holding our breaths in awe, regardless of the weather conditions that didn’t particularly favor the full display of the red-white-and-blue colored smoke designs they drew on the sky for us. Knowing that they have only a 3-5 feet (1-1.5 m) distance in between the tips of their wings gave me a great appreciation for the capabilities of the aircraft as well as for the skills of the pilots, and for the harmony that was among them.


...And the cutest, most heart-warming thing I noticed at this airshow was the familiarity between pilots and the audience. A 60 thousand strong crowd on a large field, under overcast skies may not sound like a family reunion, yet for many of the visitors and performers it was one. And this was expressed in such gestures as the crowd waving, clapping their hands, and cheering for the pilots even when the pilots couldn’t see or hear them, the pilots waving to the audience as they rolled by after landing, and stopping to bow to the audience when they had a chance.


Sure hope to be back in two years. Same time; same place.


Airshow photo gallery




The organizers reserve the right to change the program at any time.