The Bücker Fly-In at Rangsdorf was a remarkable event held on June 24-25 at the original factory airfield in Rangsdorf, just south of Berlin. Organized by the Friends of the Bücker Museum, this fly-in brought together over 50 aircraft, including the Bücker family planes and other guest types with significant connections. The event attracted attendees from all over, with some traveling long distances to be there. It was a rare gathering that showcased the historical significance and beauty of these iconic aircraft. However, this may be the last fly-in to be held at the original factory airfield, making it an unforgettable experience for all involved.
The Bücker Fly-In at Rangsdorf
The Bücker Fly-In at Rangsdorf was a highly anticipated event that took place on June 24-25. Organized by the Friends of the Bücker Museum, this fly-in was a celebration of the renowned Bücker-Flugzeugbau GmbH, which was known for producing exceptional military aerobatic and training biplanes in the 1930s. The event brought together Bücker enthusiasts from all over the world to the original factory airfield at Rangsdorf, just south of Berlin.
Rangsdorf served as the factory airfield for the Bücker-Flugzeugbau GmbH from 1935 to 1945. During this time, the company produced a range of highly regarded aircraft models. The fly-in at Rangsdorf aimed to honor the legacy of Bücker and celebrate the innovative designs that came from this factory.
The event was organized by the Friends of the Bücker Museum, a passionate group of individuals who are dedicated to preserving the heritage of Bücker aircraft. They have organized previous Bücker events and were thrilled to host this fly-in at the original factory airfield.
Date and Location
The Bücker Fly-In took place on June 24-25 at the historic factory airfield in Rangsdorf, Germany. This location holds great significance as it was the very place where Bücker aircraft were manufactured during the company’s operation.
Number of Aircraft
Over 50 aircraft participated in the Bücker Fly-In, making it a truly impressive gathering. Bücker aircraft formed the majority of the participants, with a number of guest types also present. The event showcased the diverse range of Bücker models that have been preserved and lovingly maintained by enthusiasts worldwide.
In addition to Bücker aircraft, the fly-in also attracted a variety of other aircraft with significant connections to the aviation community. It was a chance for enthusiasts of all types to come together and celebrate the rich history of aviation.
The Bücker Fly-In attracted participants from various countries, making it an international gathering of Bücker enthusiasts. Aircraft crews traveled from England, Switzerland, Austria, and other European countries to be a part of this special event. Even attendees from the United States made the journey to Rangsdorf to join in the festivities.
The aircraft crews who traveled from England covered the greatest distance to attend the Bücker Fly-In. Mark Turner and Simon Wilson flew in CASA 1.131 Jungmann G-RETA, while Mark Jordan arrived in the Heliopolis Gomhouria G-TPWX, a license-built Bu 181 Bestmann. Pete Cunliffe also made the journey in CASA 1.131 Jungmann G-CDRU. The dedication of these individuals highlights the passion and commitment of Bücker enthusiasts.
The Bücker Fly-In attracted several notable attendees, including individuals from the aviation industry and aviation enthusiasts. Their presence added to the excitement of the event and showcased the widespread admiration for Bücker aircraft.
Pre-1945 Vintage Aircraft
In addition to Bücker aircraft, the fly-in also featured other pre-1945 German vintage aircraft. These included a Klemm 35, four Focke-Wulf FW44 Steiglitz trainers, and a SAAB Safir. These aircraft added to the historical significance of the event and provided a glimpse into the diverse range of aircraft from that era.
The Bücker Fly-In attracted enthusiasts from around the world, with participants traveling from different countries to be a part of this unique event. It was a testament to the global impact of Bücker aircraft and the enduring fascination they hold for aviation enthusiasts.
The Bücker Story
The Bücker Fly-In at Rangsdorf provided an opportunity to delve into the history of Bücker aircraft and appreciate the impact they had on the aviation industry. Understanding the Bücker story adds depth to the significance of the fly-in and showcases the achievements of Carl Clemens Bücker and his team.
Carl Clemens Bücker
Carl Clemens Bücker, born in 1895, was a German Navy pilot during World War I. After the war, he worked as a test pilot for various aviation companies, including Ernst Heinkel. Bücker’s experience and expertise in aviation laid the foundation for his future endeavors.
Formation of Bücker Flugzeugbau GmbH
In 1933, Bücker Flugzeugbau GmbH was formed at a temporary location in Johannisthal, near Berlin. Bücker, along with his Swedish chief designer Anders J Anderson, established the company with the goal of producing a new lightweight single-engine biplane. The first aircraft, the Bu 131A Jungmann, took flight in 1934.
Popular Aircraft Models
Bücker Flugzeugbau GmbH went on to produce several popular aircraft models, including the Jungmann and the Jungmeister. These aircraft gained recognition for their exceptional performance and maneuverability. They were highly sought after for both civil and military purposes.
In 1939, Bücker introduced the Bücker Bu 181 Bestmann, which proved to be another successful aircraft model. Mass production of the Bestmann began in 1940 and it became the standard German Luftwaffe trainer during World War II. The production of the Jungmeister and Jungmann ceased at Rangsdorf in favor of focusing on Bestmann production.
End of Production
The production of Bücker aircraft came to an end with the conclusion of World War II. Despite their discontinuation, Bücker aircraft left an indelible mark on the aviation industry and continue to be held in high regard by enthusiasts worldwide.
Rangsdorf Then & Now
The history of Rangsdorf airfield adds a layer of significance to the Bücker Fly-In. Exploring the context and evolution of the airfield helps us appreciate its historical and cultural importance.
Post-WWII Use of the Airfield
After World War II, the airfield at Rangsdorf was utilized by the Russians as a maintenance base for Mil Mi-8 helicopters. This continued until 1994, when the Russians vacated the premises. The airfield, along with the original Bücker factory infrastructure, remained intact but fell into disrepair over time.
Currently, the built-up area of the airfield is undergoing redevelopment for housing. The original buildings, including those added by the Russians, are being restored and repurposed as housing. The grassy area where the flying field once stood will be preserved as open grassland, with landscaping enhancing the overall environment.
Rangsdorf airfield holds historical significance not only for its association with Bücker aircraft but also for its connection to an important event in German history. On July 20, 1944, Claus von Stauffenberg and Werner von Haeften took off from Rangsdorf to attend a meeting at Hitler’s Wolfsschanze, where Stauffenberg attempted to assassinate Hitler. The airfield played a role in this pivotal moment in history.
Condition of the Airfield
With the imminent redevelopment of the Rangsdorf airfield, the Bücker Fly-In was a unique and possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the original factory airfield. The organizers secured all necessary permissions to create a temporary runway and parking area, although the ground conditions were challenging. The participants and organizers adapted to the circumstances to ensure the success of the event.
The Bücker Fly-In at Rangsdorf was a momentous event that honored the legacy of Bücker aircraft and celebrated their impact on aviation history. The gathering of Bücker enthusiasts from around the world showcased the enduring fascination with these iconic aircraft. The event also provided an opportunity to explore the history of Bücker aircraft and gain a deeper understanding of their significance. As the Rangsdorf airfield undergoes redevelopment, this fly-in may be the last of its kind, making it truly a special occasion for all involved.