2024 air show season in Europe – news and updates (part 3)

In addition to the previous two articles focused on upcoming aviation events in Europe, here is a short list of last-minute updates. In other words, a few recently announced air shows or spotter days that are going to take place over the next few days.

On 1st May 2024, the 22nd Helicopter Air Base in Náměšť nad Oslavou, the Czech Republic, will again open its gates for general public. Pprogramme of the open day includes static exhibition of military vehicles (Iveco, Pandur II, Dingo and Caiman personnel carriers, T-72M4CZ and Leopard tanks), aeroplanes and helicopters (AH-1Z, UH-1Y, Mi-171Sh, L-159, OH-58, UH-60, Z-142, Mi-24, Mi-2, L-410, Enstrom 480B, CASA C-295, Robinson R-22), as well as flying displays performed by civilian and military aircraft.

The Czech Air Force is going to showcase in the skies over Náměšť most of its combat aircraft. The programme includes solo and formation displays of JAS-39 Gripen fighter, Mi-171, AH-1Z Viper, UH-1Y Venom and W-3A Sokół helicopters. In addition, Centrum Leteckého Výcviku (Flight Training Centre – CLV) in Pardubice will present some of its training aircraft, namely Zlín Z-142 propeller-driven trainer, L-39C jet and Enstrom 480B helicopter.

Moreover, the already announced list of flying displays includes also a flypast of KC-135 tanker (USAF), solo performance of UH-60 Black Hawk (Slovakia) and Bell 412 (Czech Police) helicopters, as well as displays performed by civilian aerobatic and historical aircraft, such as Extra 330LT, AH-1S Cobra and L-29 Delfín. The Great War and its dogfights will be presented by the Pterodactyl Flight team, flying with replicas of the early combat aeroplanes.

PZL W-3A Sokół, Czech Air Force

Gates of the 22nd Helicopter Air Base will open at 9.00 a.m. and start of the flying programme is scheduled for 11.30 a.m. Entrance to the event is free of charge but there will be a parking fee of 200 CZK (8 EUR).

Nevertheless, if you plan to go there, we recommend to arrive in advance as, due to limited number of access roads, traffic jams are expected. Especially, that the Open Day 2024 will be the first public presentation of the newest acquirement of the Czech Air Force – the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom rotorcraft. Previous edition of the open door day in Náměšť attracted about 30,000 visitors and everything points to the fact that number may be exceeded this year.

Between 9th and 27th May 2024, also in the Czech Republic, the international live-fly exercise Lion Effort will take place at the 21st Tactical Air Force Base in Čáslav. The training is a recurring meeting of the JAS-39 Gripen operators and will return to Čáslav after a nine-year gap.

And, similarly to the previous Czech edition of the exercise, a dedicated spotter day is planned and is going to be held on 16th May. Visitors to the base will be able to see Czech, Swedish and Hungarian JAS-39 fighters, L-159 ALCA and C-295 aircraft of the Czech Air Force, F-16 fighters from Poland and A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aeroplane. Regrettably, the Royal Thai Air Force and Brazilian Air Force will participate without their aircraft.

Registration for the spotter day is mandatory and the closing date is 7th May. Please follow the 21st Tactical Air Force Base website for further details.

Saab JAS-39C Gripen, Czech Air Force

On 18th May 2024, an open doors day in the 31st Tactical Air Base in Poznań-Krzesiny, Poland, is announced. The event will be organized to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Krzesiny airfield and the 111th anniversary of Poznań-Ławica airport.

SempAIR Optimi Show, as the public day in Krzesiny is named, will be a showcase of Polish military and civilian aircraft. The static exhibition will include MiG-29, Su-22, F-16, FA-50, M-346 and M-28 aeroplanes; Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-14, Mi-24, W-3, AW-101, AW-149, SH-2G, S-70i and SW-4 helicopters, as well as an exhibition of other military equipment.

Flying displays during the open day in Krzesiny are to be performed by F-16 Tiger Demo Team, M-346 Demo Team, Aerobatic Team Orlik, C-130 Hercules and W-3WARM of the Polish Air Force, with addition of a few aerobatic shows by Łukasz ´Luke´ Czepiela, Grupa Akrobacyjna Żelazny and Bo 105.

The organizers of the event announced also a few additional fly-by displays that are going to be performed by FA-50, B-737, F-16, M-28 and Carbon Cub.

There is admission charge to the event and price of tickets vary from 50 to 250 PLN (11,50 to 56 EUR). There is also an option to purchase a VIP ticket for 700 PLN (162 EUR). Please note that there will be no pedestrian access to the base – all visitors have to arrive by train or by car.

According to the organizers, SempAIR Optimi Show will be one of the last – if not the final one, in fact – opportunities to see the Polish MiG-29 fighter during a public event.

Aerobatic Team Orlik, Polish Air Force