Die Grösst Airshow Europas – The largest airshow in Europe: Airpower 2022 acquired this definition following the exit from European Community of United Kingdom which, with Airtattoo, had this title until the Brexit.
Was June 20th in 1997 with the name of “Internationaler Flugtag” (International Flight Day) at the Hinterstoisser-Zeltweg Air Base in the Austrian state of Styria, what we know today as Airpower was born.
Airpower, which from this year is defined “The greatest air show in Europe” following the exit of UK from Europe, has been organized since its birth by Austrian Armed Forces together with its partners Red Bull GmbH and the state of Styria, took place regularly every three years (from 2003 to 2013 it took place every 2 years) acquires its current name in year 2000. This year the event took place from 2nd to 3th September and saw the participation of nearly 300,000 spectators on both days, also graced by good weather conditions, to be able to admire 200 civil and military aircraft from 20 different nations and 50 aircraft of the Austrian Armed Forces.
In its 10th edition at the Hinterstoisser air base in Zeltweg under the motto “Über den Wolken!” (Above the clouds!) as always, it gave a unique show that was also welcomed on Saturdays by the Federal President of Austria: Alexander Van der Bellen.
The fear in spring of another cancellation of the airshow also for 2022 then gradually vanished and space was left for the organization to prepare a one-of-a-kind event. The spectacular backdrop of the alpine mountains surrounding the airport was the setting for the crews imagination for their evolutions in the Austrian skies.
Many Acrobatic Team including Patrouille Suisse and Croatians Krila Oluje (Wings of Storm) and many beautiful Solo Displays to delight the eyes and ears of the numerous fans. Unmissable and highly anticipated one of the most famous patrols in the world, presented by the Italian Air Force Major Riccardo Chiapolino with the now always welcome announcement: “Signore e signori, è ora il turno delle Frecce Tricolori!” (Ladies and gentlemen, it’s now the turn of Frecce Tricolori!).
The evolutions of various aerobatic team and the military solo displays were not the only ones in front the eyes of the numerous spectators, as always, even the Flying Bulls at their home filled the sky with splendid high-quality maneuvers.
Some pleasant surprises were brought by the organization very well, noteworthy: during the opening of the Airshow three Porters with the fumes with the colors of the Austrian flag (red-white-red), during the show the flyover of a USAF B52H Stratofortress and among the various displays an Austrian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon (7L-WC) in “Austrian Tigers” livery.
The static display by Airpower 2022 was no less than the aircraft in flight, in particular the Airbus C295 EC-001 “500.000 flight hours” with winglets, special tail scheme to celebrate 500.000 flight hours of the C295 Global fleet.
From China, the Xian Y-20 “Kunpeng” a military transport aircraft developed by the Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) of the People’s Republic of China. And many aircraft in particular of the Austrian Armed Forces and their history, but also from the 20 hosted nations, the public enjoyed two days full of pure aeronautical excitement.
“Militarily, Airpower 2022 is not only the largest exercise of the Bundesheeres in 2022, in which the civil-military cooperation under the leadership of the Styrian military command with the Blue Light organizations and the district administration authorities is significantly strengthened, but actually a real operation. What has to work right away is the interaction with the international guests from the military aviation sector – be it flying to Zeltweg, taking care of the foreign participants, practicing the displays, adhering to common flight safety rules, perfectly functioning air traffic control, the airport fire brigade , the military meteorological service or working together on the two days of the event under great time pressure. There’s no way to practice again, it just doesn’t allow for mistakes. I would like to thank all my employees and I’m proud of our team effort!” Brigadier Wolfgang Prieler – Airpower 2022 Project Manager.
Now the appointment is in 2025, it will be an expectation that will surely be satisfied by the excellent preparation of an event expected and appreciated by the many fans who flock to Austria.