9 and 10 june 2012
On these dates I went to the Sola Airshow which was held at Stavanger Airport. The airport is located 11 km southwest of Stavanger, in the municipality of Sola. It is Norway's third-busiest airport, with both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter traffic for the offshore North Sea oil installations. In addition, the Royal Norwegian Air Force operates Westland Sea King search and rescue helicopters from Sola Air Station.
This airshow was held because in 2012 it was the 100th Anniversary of the first Norwegian military flight in his plane "Start" of the Oslo fjord made by Lieutenant Dons. I could only go one day to the airshow but had a very pleasant day, with more flying demonstrations that I had expected.
First I took a look at the static with some nice planes and helicopters. For me there were a lot of highlights in the static such as a Sikorsky S-92A Helibus and a Super Puma from CHC Helikopter Service.
The Norwegian Air Force had a SeaKing, C-130 and 3 F-16’s in the static, the Swedish Historical Flight was also there with their J29 Tunnan, AJS37 Viggen, SK60E - Saab 105 and J34 Hawker Hunter. Later that day these planes did also a nice flying performances.
I also want to mention two older fighters of the Norwegian Air Force in the static: The F-104 Starfighter and the F-5 Freedom Fighter.
Also in static were two Tornado’s from the German Air Force, these returned from the Nato Tigermeet that was held in Orland the weeks before the Sola Airshow. One was wearing the special livery for the tigermeet.
The Flying Display also had some nice planes and helicopters, the highlight for me was the display from the Swedish Historical Flight, but also the demo from the Norwegian Seaking was very nice and pleasant to watch, also a demo from the Cessna Bird Dog in Royal Norwegians Air Force colours could be seen.
I also saw the departure from a Turkish C-160 Transall, this was the support from the Turkish Stars. They flew the Saturday of the airshow and left also Saturday evening, also the French demoteam Patrouille de France were only to be there on Saturday, no luck for me to see these two demoteams in the air above the airfield, but I’m happy with the things that I have seen such as the Antonov AN-2, Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina, a nice formation flight of a Douglas DC-3 and a North American AT-6D Harvard.
The demonstration of the C-130J from the Royal Norwegian Air Force could be seen as a unique sight because you don’t see them very often at other Airshows in Europe. Not only the C-130 and the Seaking from Norway but also a base attack and a couple of fly-by’s done by F-16’s and the demo from the f-16 could be seen.
The only demo team on Sunday was the Aerostars Team with several Yak airplanes. This was a very nice demo to watch I must say, the demo consists of close formation flying, crosses and aerobatic maneuvers.
Because this airfield also is being used for commercial airplanes there were a lot of civil planes that took off and landed during the day, I saw several planes from SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) but also KLM, BMI and Wideroe. What I also noticed was the presence of many birds, the BCU (Bird Control Unit) had a lot of work to do.
The Sola Airshow was a very pleasant day for me with a lot of sun and breathtaking demonstrations, I have read that the show in 2017 would be held again and probably I will be there again. Theme that year would be 80 Years of Stavanger Airport.
Text & Photography: Dirk Geuns