Aces from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Croatia took part in the initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of the first flight by a Bulgarian pilot.
By Tzvetina Borisova for Southeast European Times in Sofia -- 06/09/12
Aces from all over Europe performed demonstrations in light planes and helicopters over Sofia. [Tzvetina Borisova/SETimes]
A small airport near Sofia was the site of a unique air show at the weekend, which marked the 100th anniversary of the first flight by a Bulgarian pilot. The show brought together aces from all over Europe, including Serbia, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia, who performed demonstrations with around 40 light planes and helicopters.
"The first air tour of Bulgaria was made in 1926, and this was the second one. All these years nobody took the initiative to go around Bulgaria and show the people that there are aircrafts, that there is aviation. The first tour was made with the first Bulgarian made aircraft, but unfortunately there is no production here now," he told SETimes.
Serbia also has a reason to be proud in this aspect.
Goran Spasic, a representative of Kraljevo-based company Aero East Europe, which took part in the show with two of its aircraft, says they still make three types of ultra-light planes.
"Recently, we also produced the first entirely Serbian ultra-light airplane called SILA, which will be available in several models. We sell all over Europe. Most of the buyers are Italians and French. Recently we obtained a license for Germany and have over 20 orders from there. Quite soon an order from Bulgaria will also arrive."
George Rotaru, leader of the world-famous aerobatic team Hawks of Romania says there are already about 200 private aircraft in his country. The Hawks, who were created in 2007 and have since made hundreds of demonstrations all around Europe, stunned the audience with their amazing maneuvers.