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Richard Blanski - recent visit to the Polish Air Museum at Krakow
Richard Blanski, former Treasurer and Director of the SAA and club member at Kinross, Linlithgow and Glenrothes has provided an interesting report based on his recent visit to the Polish Air Museum at Krakow. He visited in early January 2024 and his report is as follows.
The Aircraft Museum in Poland is located on the outskirts of Krakow at the former Krakow Airport. It's a very worthwhile place to visit if you are in the area. Krakow is a great city to visit and my taxi ride to the museum using the Bolt App was approximately £3 from the Old Town in Krakow.
This has been my second visit, I was there at the same time last year, however, I had an injury to my ankle which made walking around uncomfortable, and I didn't get the chance to see it all, so I went back again this year to find out what I had missed.
Entry to the Polish Aircraft Museum is approximately £5, and being a tight Scotsman, if you go on a Tuesday, which I did for a second time, you can get in for free. I have no idea why this is the case as there appears to be no difference in what you can see on a Tuesday as opposed to other days.
The Museum opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday 9am - 5pm, so don't try to visit on a Monday as its closed.
It's a massive site and has over 250 fixed wing aircraft on display from the early days of flight to more current aircraft, which makes it certainly interesting to all aviation enthusiasts. As you would imagine, there are a large number of Soviet and Eastern European aircraft, some of which I had never seen before and there are also a number of helicopters.
It is mainly military and private aircraft, however, there are a few commercial aircraft as well. If you're interested in MiG's, there are a good number to see, the photographs will show just how many there is available. Although they are not available to touch, (according to the signage), you are so close to the exhibits sometimes it is difficult not to want to get hands on. During my walk down what I called MiG Alley, I did have a headfirst look in some of the exhaust outlets.
There are various display rooms within the Museum, one of which had a mock up 1st World War type trench environment with various aircraft and interactive displays and videos taking place. There is also lots of memorabilia, as you can see from the photographs there is surface to air missiles and associated vehicles, uniforms, weaponry for both infantry and aircraft, and a huge room with over 100 various engines from 1908 to current date, jet, and piston powered. Another room houses some battle-damaged aircraft, many of which were shot down and later recovered. These are set out with their unique history displayed alongside.
All signage was generally in Polish and English, with most exhibits on display within the modern building, so it was a very interesting few hour. Also, as you will see in the photographs there was a number of model aircraft engines. There was also a display of ejector seats and some aircraft cockpits.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable day. Some of the history displayed on the exhibits was extremely interesting and there was even the Pope John Paul II helicopter on display.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend Krakow as a place to visit for its historic buildings and culture. You can visit Auschwitz and Birkenau from there and the Salt Mines. There are a number of shooting ranges close by and I took advantage of one of the shooting ranges and enjoyed a 30-minute session firing three pistols and three rifles at an indoor range for approximately £60.
Flights are available from Scotland via EasyJet and Ryanair with Ryanair generally having the most flights.
Erskine Veterans Military Ball - a good night had by all
The Erskine Veterans held a fundraising dinner and ball on the 6th October. The theme was Dambusters and RAF. SAA members David McKinley, Bob Nellis, and Jong Lang kindly donated models of a Lancaster, Spitfire, and Hurricane to create a centrepiece display for the event.
John attended the evening and reported that it was a great night for a very worthy cause.
John provided the images above, and more from the evening are viewable on our Facebook page.
The SAA has a full page feature in this months Scottish Shedder magazine
It is hoped that by making Men's Sheds aware of the SAA, and model flying, it could increase membership in clubs around the country.
The magazine is available online or as a PDF, by clicking the image below.
Andy Anderson steps down as Membership Secretary
There is a formal letter linked below, of thanks to Andy, and some highlights that he had to deal with during his time as Membership Secretary.
News of the sad loss of William Wallace, a member of the SAA for many years
William Wallace suddenly passed away at Balbirnie Golf course on the 15 May age 67 years old.
The sad news came as a shock to many of his friends, in particular to those within the Aeromodelling community both here in Scotland, and in England where he was well known. We are not aware of any illness he had that he was dealing with.
It is my privilege and honour to be able to compile this obituary for him .
We first met during the summer of 1975 at the Scottish Aeromodelling Championships held at Cumbernauld Airport. His skills as a control line flier preceded and I found him a most worthy opponent. We have remained good friends since then. He would be described as a true Aeromodeller building his models to a most high standard . For many years he was an active member of the Scottish Aeromodelling Association where his main interest was control line combat, and he was uniquely known to people who enjoyed that discipline. I have always known him to show a spirit of fair play, totally co-operative in helping others. well respectful towards fellow competitors showing a good team spirit.
The Aeromodelling world has indeed lost a good guy and he will be sadly missed, us remaining modellers send our deep condolences to any of his surviving family.
Compiled by John Davidson
Motherwell Model Aircraft Club
Please click to view "SAA Fly-in Report.pdf"
Please click to view report "SAA at ScotNats Perth Show"