Oldtimer Fliegertreffen Hahnweide
|Type:||Large oldtimer/warbird airshow|
|Location:||Hahnweide / Kirchheim unter Teck airfield, Germany|
|Editions attended:||2009 2011|
Hahnweide Oldtimertreffen is one of the largest oldtimer meetings in Europe (apart from Duxford and Ferte-Alais events). Despite having public zone on the northern part of the airfield, it offers quite good photo opportunities thanks to the photo spots outside of the showground.
What I found particular about this event was an extraordinarily good organization - parkings, buses, food prices, access to the static in the morning, no restrictions for wandering around the showground, friendly and well-informed security people in critical spots... alltogether just true German perfection focused on making the experience as nice as possible to everybody. Outstanding and highly recommended.
Hahnweide airfield is located about 2km south-west from the Kirchheim unter Teck town near Stuttgart (Southern Germany). It is easily accessible both with a car and public transport.
Showground is situated very close to the Kirchheim unter Teck - West exit of the A8 motorway. Once you're out, follow the signs to Nürtingen (as in: do not enter Kirchheim). Just few hundred meters later you will see the entrance on your left. It's possible that already here somebody will be collecting the parking fee, so have your change ready.
Then, you will be directed by the staff to the proper parking place. The area is really huge and not likely to be missing space for anyone. There are dedicated places for camping-cars, motorbikes, disabled etc. All is very well organized.
Note: it's possible that during the show days, you will have to exit the showground through different road - you end up passing under the highway and need to find your way back to it. Just keep your left while following the main streets in the city.
By public transport
Kirchheim unter Teck train station is well connected to Stuttgart, with fast regional trains every 30min starting early in the morning and running until almost midnight.
During the weekend, organizers provide a free shuttle bus. Actually, you might get a bit confused, as the normal city transport buses are used but they're clearly marked.
The only problem is that the buses start relatively late: on Saturday at 10am and on Sunday at 9am. As you might want to get there earlier, to profit from the extra opportunities, you may end up having to do a ~3km walk in the morning. Similarly in the evening for the fans of static light show: I am actually not sure, but I bet the shuttle buses don't run until as late as 10pm.
Shuttle bus will drive you right in front of the airfield entry, they have a special large parking and traffic priority.
All along the press/vip parkings you will find few points that sell the entrance tickets. They provide a wristband, so you can exit the airfield (to e.g. get to your car) and go back anytime during the day.
Hotels in the area
Linked from the event website there is the albtrauf.de website, which seems to be an index of the local accomodations (select Kirchheim unter Teck in the dropdown box). It is mostly focused on the longer-term visitors, with most entries being Ferienwohnungs (holiday houses for rent) and relatively high prices. However, you will also find some local hotels with reasonable prices, like Gasthof Ratstube or Teck-Garni Hotel.
Considering a perfect location just at the highway exit, if you are coming with a car, it makes sense to search for accomodation a bit further. There are few Accor network hotels in the surroindings of Stuttgart. Few links to particular ones:
I have stayed in the last one and I can recommend it. While it is "higher" than Etap/Ibis in the Accor standards, thanks to it relatively remote location the prices are still affordable. And, it's few minutes drive from the highway too
If you are lucky driver of a camping car, you'll be very welcome at Hahnweide. Organizers provide a dedicated parking space for these, not very far from the entrances and with almost direct sight to the western part of the aircraft parking I have no information on facilities though (electricity etc).
Hahnweide is a 3-day event. Friday is mostly about arrivals, but pilots are also free to exercise the demonstrations.
Also, already on Friday there are scenic flights with the historical Ju-52 aircrafts. There is no fixed timetable on this day.
On Friday evening there is a free concert in one of the halls and also the night light show (see below) starts at 10pm or later.
Saturday and Sunday are the main show days. Very early in the morning (before 7am and certainly before the sunrise), the entire aircraft parking is open for the public. At 9am public is asked to go behind the barriers, as the first flights start. Until about 11-12am it's mostly light flying, some late arrivals and scenic flights.
Sometime around noon, the actual show starts and lasts until 6-7pm. Even after then you can expect some pilots to take off for the recreational flights. On Saturday evening the static display is being highlighted again.
Detailed program may vary between the days, but overall it should be roughly the same, perhaps just in different order.
It's worth noting that you're free to stay in the showground as long as you wish - nobody will kick you out after the show is over, you might just need to eat in the party area as opposed to the daytime tents
Photo opportunities (public)
As already mentioned: while Hahnweide is theoretically not very well positioned for the airshow (public facing south), considering the way it's organized, it can be actually quite a photographic event. The only limitation is that due to the static parking placed between the public and runway, it's more difficult to take pictures of takeoffs/landings and rolling (only way to get around it is to get a press accreditation). But hey, it's all against the sun anyway Read on.
PLEASE NOTE Just to be completely clear: few of the photos you see here couldn't have been made without a press accreditation: takeoff of Sea Fury/Focke Wulf, one of the Bleriots and the last Habicht. All of the others, even if sometimes taken in the press area, could have been done from the public spots too.
South-east side hill - this is a nice spot in the morning. Until about 10am you have the sun on your left / behind and a nice light for anything that happens in the central display area. Also, normally there are only few airplanes parked here, so if you come early, you should be able to find yourself a spot with a clear view to the runway.
Main crowdline - central part of the crowdline is not well-suited for taking photos, neither in the air nor on ground. You are facing south-west and there are static airplanes parked in front of the fence. Your only chance is the spot near the emergency exit (around very center of the display), which has to be kept clear for security reasons. If you want to stay on the showground, try to keep your place there
North-west part of the crowdline - later in the afternoon, when the sun moves to the right, it becomes nice there too. In particular, it's a perfect place for the free flights after the show, when the sun moves to the right and the colours start to be nice.
On Saturday and Sunday, early in the morning (before 7) you can enter the airfield area and approach all the airplanes parked there. This applies to both "main" static display along the crowdline and the visitor parking on the other side of the runway. The latter one hosts mostly light, general-aviation planes - but still, with the rising sun, it offers some great photo opportunities.
Also the large passenger oldtimers (Ju-52, DC-3) are parked there. Be sure to also check out the Sikorsky S58 helicopter, usually parked near the north-western, unused runway.
This is something unique to Hahnweide: on both Friday and Saturday evenings, the most interesting parts of the static display are beautifully highlighted. In fact, it's not just static - but rather a full-featured show, with moving lights, colours and perfectly adapted music. It's all so well done that it's easy to forget about taking the photos
The only drawback: you probably need to come with a car, as it starts at 10pm or even later. Also, do not forget to take your tripod - or you will end up having to shoot at ISO3200, with your camera against a (shaky) fence - just like I did in 2009
In any case, be sure to watch it once. This show alone is a reason good enough to come to Hahnweide.
Use of stepladders/windshields
It's allowed, however not really useful, because:
- In the south-eastern hill you're way above the showground anyway
- On the crowdline, the static parking blocks the view anyway
- And at the outside spots (below) it doesn't change a lot either
Of course all the general notes about ladder usage apply.
Photo opportunities (other)
Actually, it's difficult to say whether the "other" options shouldn't be listed as "public" as the organizers in fact do inform about them and encourage the people to use them. For the purpose of this article, I'll mean more "places outside the showground".
Eastern approach area. During the show days you will find lots of people gathering freely all over the place there, having picnics on the meadows and watching the show from the distance. From the photographic point of view, one interesting opportunity is to get some shots in the runway axis - either from here (but you will be a bit below the runway level) or here (you'll need 500mm or more). These places are useful earlier in the day.
South-eastern airfield corner. If you quit the showground through the eastern gate, you can get to the semi-official spot near the glider parking. There should be somebody from the organization team there (even if it's a free one) and quite a bit of people too. The place is nice for the midday Friday's arrivals - however, as you are very close to the axis, you will get the aircplanes at quite an angle.
Note that you can't get to this spot by simply crossing the runway axis using that nicely looking road just along the fence. You need to go around, taking about 200m of detour.
Forest in the south. Once you are in the above spot, you can follow the small road towards the woods and, once you get there, turn right. Note: you will not be on that white road that you see on the Google satellite image, but on a different one, which is partialy hidden in the forest. Still, the orientation towards the sun is just perfect - and with a 300-400mm lens you can get great pictures of the landings, lineups and general showground ambiance.
Note that you are slightly lower than the runway. This is actually good as it makes the background nicer. This spot is also not very well placed for the actual demos, as they happen mostly above the forest and you rarely see the performing aircrafts above you. But still, this is one of the top places.
North-western area. All along the northern part of the airfield there are either footpaths or small roads that go around it. They are all accessible during the airshow, just don't cross the boundaries marked with the plastic tape. Depending where you are, you can:
- Either walk out of the showground through the western gate, walk a bit futher and turn left
- Or follow the above forest road further. You will eventually reach the two small lakes and then, just keep your right, until you get to the small road.
Once you get there, you have a really great overview of the entire airfield. Long lens (500mm+) is very useful there, unless you are after the general ambiance shots - which are nice from there as well!
This place is particularly recommended on Sunday afternoon, during the departures. With the sun behind your back, you can enjoy all the small stunts that the departing pilots do to make last good impression Low passes, waving the wings etc. etc.
Toilets are located behind the main hangar. While they are generally OK and there is enough of them, I think they could be more distributed. In the peak time, if you are unlucky, the way from one of the showground corners, through the crowd, may end up being too long...
Selection of food is just enough for a typical airshow day - nothing to be either excited, or unhappy about.
Entry tickets are priced reasonably:
|Saturday or Sunday||15EUR|
|Combined 3-day ticket||25EUR|
|Children below 14 years||free|
You can buy your ticket already on the parking place - there are people wandering around and selling them on spot, to avoid queues at the gates (brillant concept, if you ask me). The ticket has a form of a wristband and you are free to leave the showground and come again as you wish (within one day).
Food prices are surprisingly low (for such an event). Can't remember exactly, but I think that 3-4EUR gave me a nice portion of French fries with a saussage. Yet another example of good thinking: lower price, more sold, same gain, more people happy
Last updated: 21-10-2012, 17:07