This year we had the change to visit the 9th Faszination Modellbau in Friedrichshafen.
After a 2 hour drive from Munich to Friedrichshafen, located in the south west of Germany alongside the fantastic Lake Constance (Bodensee), we reached the exhibitions halls shortly before lunch time.
Friedrichshafen has a long standing Aviation History, so besides visiting the expo one can engage in various aviation related activities (one of which is a flight in a Zeppelin).
Some of Friedrichshafens Aviation History based on descriptions in Wikipedia:
Ferdinand von Zeppelin established his famous dirigible factory at the end of the 19th century in Friedrichshafen and shortly after, the 128 meter long LZ1 rose from its mooring on July 2, 1900. Other aviation companies, including Maybach, also arose in Friedrichshafen to help service the growing industry, which received major impetus from the First World War. Following the Treaty of Versailles, the Kingdom of Wuerttemberg was dissolved but the deposed royal family continued in the possession of their castle in Friedrichshafen, despite a workers revolution there in November, 1918.
In the aftermath of the war, Maybach and many other aviation companies turned to automobile construction, while Claudius Dornier purchased Kober’s failed Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen and established Dornier Flugzeugwerke. Because of the provisions of the Versailles treaty, many of the planes were initially produced in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, or Japan, but resumed work at its Friedrichshafen and other German factories following the rise of the Nazi regime. The 1937 Hindenburg disaster and subsequent embargo of American helium to Germany, however, effectively ended the production of German dirigibles.
During the second World War, Friedrichshafen served the Nazis as a resort for workers. The presence of Zeppelin, Maybach, Dornier and Zahnradfabrik also made it an important industrial center for Germany during World Wat II. Between 1942 and 1945, these factories employed hundreds of concentration camp prisoners from Dachau and Dora-Mittelbau. They were housed first at Seppelin’s hangar and then, following its destruction during a raid, the V2 factory Raderach. The prisoners were also used to dig underground tunnels near Friedrichshafen to protect production sites from repeated bombing.
Back to Faszination Modellbau:
The exhibition is located in the outskirts of Friedrichshafen at the large Friedrichshafen Expo Area directly beside the regional airport and the company buildings of the Zeppelin NT Company.
Some statistics from the expo committee first
More than 96% of the visitors at the 8th Faszination Modellbau 2009 were so thrilled with the show that they intend to return to the 9th model event when it takes place again in Friedrichshafen from 29th October to 1st November 2010.
Last year over 40,000 model engineering fans from all over Germany and abroad travelled to Friedrichshafen to see the fascination of modelmaking, to admire the presentations, and to shop for their hobby.
The 352 exhibitors were more than satisfied with the crowds of visitors and the sales results. Model engineers as well as families with children were enthralled by the FMT air show “Stars of the Year” and the model aircraft exhibition. Model ship demonstrations on the indoor pool and the fairground lake, and the TRUCKmodell Festival were further attractions that fascinated the audience, 85% of whom were themselves model hobbyists. The show has something to offer for all ages, which is why the next Faszination Modellbau in Friedrichshafen can again expect full exhibition halls and crowds of visitors.
After parking the car and before we even managed to enter the exhibition hall, we where immediately greeted by the first RC Models, in action in a small pond in front of the expo entrance.
A few submarine enthusiasts and seaplane pilots provided a thrilling show (with a submarine jumping out of the water directly in a seaplanes takeoff run).
One of my personal favorites shown here was the electric powered scale replica of a Dornier Seaplane as shown above.
A submarine in action on the lake plus a diy foam seaplane with unique features (the seaplane was also demonstrated inside the expo in an indoor flying arena)
Another foam seaplane in action. A large scale submarine waiting submerged at periscope depth.
Upon entering the expo itself the visitor is greeted by a large indoor flying display.
Covered with nets to protect the spectators, the indoor flying shows delivered non stop action with at least one airplane in the air at all times.
The show covered the full range of RC indoor flying with everything present. Be it a diy foam prop plane, a depron scale replica of a world war I or II area plane, seaplanes, gliders, large scale depron aerobatic models, edf jets and airliners or the flying sheeps. The variety shown was breathtaking.
Moving on to Hall 1.
Hall 1 was predominantly occupied by the fliers. With a large selection of small and large manufacturers, distributers and dealers focusing on all aspects of RC flight and bulding.
Large Aerobatic planes and all kinds of propellers directly at the entrance to Hall 1
Giant Scale Warbirds on display at the booth of scale wings.
Large scale Yak with amazing foil covering – the design is printed into a foil which then covers the model. 3 Cylinder engine for large scale rc planes.
Visiting the aero-naut booth. A engine enthusiast dream: Seidel rotary engine.
Junkers Secret Weapon of the Luftwaffe and a 3D CNC Mill in action.
A large selection of Model Rockets and an equality impressive display for high performance gliders.
Besides the large selection Manufacturers, distributors and dealers Hall 1 also featured a large display area with RC Model Planes of all sizes and makes.
From the electric powered helicopter to large scale turbine models, everything was on display.
Here are some of the impressions we managed to capture: