The 13th Malopolska Aerial Picnic organized by the Polish Aviation Museum and held at what remains of the now historical Kraków-Rakowice-Czyzyny airfield - one of the oldest military airfields in Europe - is a fondly cherished occasion. It was a great honor to be invited to display our Bronco here for the very first time and it proved to be a truly fantastic experience.

The airfield closed as long ago as in 1963 and, with the city’s expansion, the runway has since been reduced considerably in length. Most of the original airfield is now absorbed by the city with housing encroaching very close. Our OV-10 Bronco was able to fully demonstrate its impressive STOL capabilities when operating from the remaining 395 meters (1.296 feet) of otherwise perfectly flat concrete runway. This proved to be no issue at all by a safe margin, despite high-rise apartment blocks and high-tension lines on short finals with tall trees right up to the end of the runway!

 
 
The Polish Aviation Museum is one of the foremost museums in Poland and is a real treasure trove of aviation. Comprehensive arrays of pre-perestroika Eastern Block fleets are on display. Line-ups of all marks of MiGs and Sukhoi aircraft are a joy to the eye, as well as the more obscure types of the era. Their cold war Western counterparts are well represented too, making for an interesting show case. Inside the greatest collection of Polish designed gliders is on display, illustrating the very rich Polish aviation tradition. If one when ever visits the beautiful town of Krakow, the museum should certainly be on your shortlist of places to visit.

The airshow itself was a very convivial family affair, with many people bringing their picnic’s and enjoying a great time with the kids watching a day full of the most amazing aerial activity. As most other display items the Bronco displayed twice each day in what was an almost dawn to dusk airshow. One could not indulge more in aviation.

For further info on the excellent Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow, please visit: www.muzeumlotnictwa.pl

Our sincere thanks go especially to Maciej Madej of the Polish Aviation Museum and the incredible team of volunteers that made our stay visit so enjoyable. Many thanks too to the many local aviation photographers for their invaluable contributions to this report.

 

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