At WarbirdsNews we like to hear from readers, and do our best to publicize vintage aviation events where we can. That is why we were very pleased to hear from Johannes Kleine about an air show taking place this coming weekend in Soest, just east of Dortmund, Germany.
While the UK and France have had a robust field of active warbirds for many decades, most other countries in Europe have been less fortunate. But the last few years have seen a real growth in vintage aviation within continental Europe, and it can be argued that Germany has been at the forefront of this change. There are high profile efforts like those of Flugwerk in resurrecting the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, or the corporate activities of EADS (Bf 109 and Me 262) and Lufthansa with their historic aircraft fleets, moving on to Meier Motors who, seemingly overnight, have become the doyens of warbird restoration on the continent. But there are many smaller operators who have been working more quietly to bring vintage aircraft back to life. We at WarbirdsNews feel it is important to shine a light on those efforts. Air shows, like the one at Soest this coming weekend, are the seed corn of the vintage aviation scene, as they bring aviation to local communities, and it is from those activities that everything else grows.
The local flying club, Flugsportgemeinschaft Soest, is organizing this weekend’s air show. Listed participants will feature several vintage airplanes and warbirds including two Fieseler Fi-156 Storch, at least three Boeing Stearman trainers, Europe’s only flying Vultee BT-13 Valiant, an AT-6 Texan, Pilatus P2, Ryan PT-22, Focke Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz, Bücker Bü 131, Bücker Bü 181, Klemm Kl 35, P-51D Mustang and a Yak-3U. As Kleine states, “They will bring a stunning atmosphere to the small grass airstrip!” Modern aerobatics are represented by the local Acroteam with Pitts S2A/Pitts Raven and Mike Rottland in his powerful Extra 300S. There will also be a night show with pyrotechnics via the four-ship Pioneer Team from Italy.
While this may be a small show by US standards, as many will know, it is often the smaller, more intimate shows which are the most fun, as they are more informal, and afford closer interaction between the visitors and performers. We expect to have an air show report following the Soest event from Johannes Kleine too.