25th Czech International Air Fest – latest news and announced participants.

The 25th edition of the Czech International Air Fest (CIAF) will take place in less than three weeks (1st and 2nd September 2018) at Hradec Kralove airport. Although the first information about the participants of this airshow were already released in March, then there came the relatively long period when the news was just doled out and only a few other displays were announced.

The change came at the end of July with releasing several news about the expected CIAF 2018 participants – and here is our short summary of the already confirmed displays, based on the recent information.

As already mentioned, the first participant was confirmed in March and this were the Su-27s and Il-76 from the Ukrainian Air Force. And the same way as during the 2017 edition, one of Su-27s is expected to perform the flying display while the second ´Flanker´ and Il-76 would be available at the static display.

UkrAF Su-27 flying display, CIAF 2017.

UkrAF Su-27 static display, CIAF 2017.

UkrAF Il-76 static display, CIAF 2017.

The next confirmed participant of the CIAF airshow is the Baltic Bees jet aerobatic group from Latvia, flying the formation of six L-39 Albatros trainers. The aerobatic jet groups are always one of the most visitor-attracting points of the airshow programme and it is safe to assume that during CIAF there wouldn´t be an exception from this rule.

Baltic Bees are taking off for their display, CIAF 2017.

Baltic Bees, CIAF 2017.

There were two solo aerobatics displays already announced by the organization team – Peter Besenyei in his Corvus Racer 540 and Tim Tibo flying the XtremeAir Sbach 342.

Peter Besenyei needs no special introduction – he is a well-known aviation legend, aerobatic champion and ´the godfather´ of the Red Bull Air Race. Tim Tibo is an experienced German aerobatic pilot who is also flying the Lufthansa long-haul Airbus airliners. During his aviation career he was also flying the classic airplanes and old military jets, practiced crop dusting, skydiving and bush flying in Alaska.

Peter Besenyei and his Corvus Racer 540, CIAF 2017.

The legendary Supermarine Spitfire fighter in the Mk. XVIE variant is another confirmed participant of CIAF 2018. Certainly, for the flying display and the Spitfire would be flown by Stephen Stead, the owner of TE184.

Stephen Stead´s Spitfire Mk. XVIE during the flying display in 2017 (current painting as 9N-B , S/Ldr Otto Smik , 129th Squadron RAF, 1944)

TE184 in 2016, painted as VY, W/Cdr Tomáš Vybíral , 134th (Czechoslovak) Wing RAF, 1944.

There are also two static display updates, the first one is Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander regional airliner, that already visited Hradec Kralove during past editions of CIAF airshow. Another one is the exhibition of two Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters from the 6th Squadron of the Royal Air Force. This will be the second attempt of RAF Typhoons to join the static display at CIAF. In 2017, due to the severe weather conditions, the arriving British Eurofighters were re-directed to Pardubice airfield and during the landing there the first Typhoon rolled off the runway and the second aborted the landing.

Eurofighter Typhoon FGR.4, 29th Squadron RAF, 2016.

Eurofighter Typhoon EFA-T.3, 29th Squadron RAF, 2017.

This year novelty at CIAF is the possibility to buy a ´spotter ticket´, for the price of 30 EUR. The ticket includes the parking fee, welcome package and allows to visit the airfield not only during the two official days of CIAF but also on Friday and Monday.

Su-27, UkrAF, CIAF 2017.