Thursday, 12 September 2019

Back in Aviation Valley

I flew into Rzeszów Jasionka airport yesterday morning for a meeting with our members in Aeropolis about how to cope with rising energy prices. The flight was superb - from leaving home at 06:15 to entering the science and technology park at 08:45, door to door two and half hours. But nine and half hours to get home... (see below)

The major failing of this (otherwise good and efficient) airport and of the  Special Economic Zone that surrounds Jasionka is the lack of good public transport to town, compounded by poor signage and lack of clear passenger information. Below: scheduled flights to Rzeszów are infrequent, but there's a fair number of charters flying in and out.

Below: a Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann - WW2-era German basic-trainer biplane, the equivalent of the ubiquitous De Havilland Tiger Moth, which first flew in 1934... Or so it seemed at first sight... Checking the reg (it's from Austria), it looks like a Czechoslovakian Tatra T.131 licence-built version of the Jungmann. But it's not even that! It's a Polish-built replica of a licence-built Czechoslovakian version of a Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann! This is a SSH T-131PA, about to take off...

It was a short flight, as it crossed over my head after I'd walked around the corner from the airport...

Over the fence and about to land after completing a circuit north-east of the airport.

Below: another over-the-fence shot - I thought this was a PZL-20 Mewa, a licence-built version of the Piper Seneca. But I was wrong - this is a US-built Piper Seneca (220-V), belonging to Rzeszów University of Technology's flying club. This university is one reason why Rzeszów has built such a strong cluster of aerospace businesses.

Below: a lovely PZL-104 Wilga, gate guardian on the corner by the turn-off to the airport. A lovely looking plane - like some giant insect. Because there's no bus from the airport to the railway station for another hour, I decide to walk for about half an hour to a place along the main road where there's a bus stop with more frequent services to town.

Below: back to Rzeszów station, still a work-in-progress hole-in-the-ground. Waiting for the wretched TLK train to Warsaw, which takes a scheduled five hours including a 30 minute wait in Tarnów and a further 20 minute hiatus in Kraków during which the engine is put round the other end of the rake of elderly carriages. Despite travelling first class, there were no power sockets or no wi-fi; a sparse snack trolley was put on between Kraków and Opoczno. The crowded train arrived in Warsaw an hour late after waiting at Opoczno to let an international express pass and then after breaking down just outside of Grodzisk Maz. Crap. If more passengers are to be weaned off short-haul flights for the good of the environment, there must be better, faster, more reliable and comfortable trains made available.

UPDATE: Friday 13 September - A much better train journey today - Warsaw-Wrocław on a Pendolino with... wi-fi! Amazing - I could actually work the whole journey! And just a three-minute delay. Really no longer any point of flying to Wrocław. Three and half hours from W-wa Zachodnia to Wrocław Główny. Ver, very good rezultat!

This time last year:
My flight to Rzeszów - delayed!

This time four years ago:
English as she is used in Europe

This time five years ago:
Where asphalt's needed - Nowy Podolszyn to Zgorzala
[five years on it's still not there]

This time ten years ago:
I cycle to work along the cyclepath along ul. Rosoła

This time 11 years ago:
First apple 

This time 12 years ago:
Late summer spiders webs

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