The first event of Flygfesten was held in 27-28th of July in 1946, which also was the 10 years anniversary of Västerdalarnas aero club who was formed in 1936. The main purpose of the event was to gain money, so the club would be able to buy a new aircraft.
Flygfesten was a complete success and with the money they gained from the event the aeroclub was able to buy a Taylor Cub with the registration SE-AGX. There are several photographs from that time in the album and most of them are taken by Erik Göthe and Sport-Henry Johansson. Erik Göthe was one of the few people to own a video camera in 1946, so we have also some video material from that time too. The material show scenes from both the aero club’s activities and also from Flygfesten.
Flygfesten in the 50s and 60s had almost the same audience numbers that we have now and in the air show there was always the best display pilots that was available at the time, and of course the Swedish Air Force . At those days, the air show was only on day, on Sunday. Saturday and Sunday evening was focused on dance and music performance. There was an amusement park with fairground and for over ten years there was even an exhibition held called Västerdalsmässan (which means something like “Västerdala Fair”).
Among the many world-famous display pilots, we can mention Albert Falderbaum and Herbert Thieling from Germany. Captain Hans Hjelte was also a very famous Swedish pilot who flew a Klemm 35B. The Swedish Air Force teams of four J35 Draken and two J29 Tunnan were also among the highlights. Falderbaum was a former fighter pilot from the Luftwaffe and his show flew with both Bücker Jungmeister and the glider LO100. He was known by the upside-down flyby just a few feet above the ground with the old LO100 glider. Thieling was a glider pilot of the same class as Falderbaum.
In the end of the 50’s did Christian Ladouet, one of the many French skydivers, a very stunning jump. He jumped from 10 000 feet (3 000 m) but did not release the parachute until the crowd screamed, and that was on a very low altitude. One year was a parachute club from Braunschweig in Germany attending and some of the team dropped out shortly after the aircraft had taken off and passed the audience after the start. That was very spectacular. Albin Ahrenberg was here a few times and flew passenger in a Junkers JU 52, Ahrenberg was one of the first true aviation pioneers in Sweden.
Flygfesten also had the greatest artists and dance orchestras that existed at the time. Emile Ford, Hootenanny Singers, Charlie Norman, Lill Babs, Otto Brandenburg and Thore Callmarks Orchestra are some of those who participated in Flygfesten.
Flygfesten was an annual event from 1946 until 1973 when Flygfesten was on the shelf until 1986 when it resumed.
Flygfesten has since the resumption 1986 developed each year in terms of quality, attention, and with higher and higher attendances.
Flygfesten of 1986 was simultaneously the club’s 50th anniversary and it was also one of the reasons to start up Flygfesten again. Since then we have arranged Flygfesten every third year, except two times when we had intervals of four years. The program in 1986 was not as extensive, but it was the first and only time that an AJ37 Viggen has landed on the runway. The pilot was Stellan Andersson and he did a touch and go, very much appreciated. Olle Vossman made a spectacular display in his new Extra 230. We continued in 1989 and 1993 and the program increased in quality every time just like the attendance. Memorable is the group of four 37 Viggen from Söderhamn and Mark Hannah’s performance with P-51D. Royal Air Force participated with two Harrier 1993, and it was awesome with two jet aircraft at our airfield. During these years the air show lasted only one day, Sunday. Saturday evening we had dancing and disco in the hangars