World’s first aircraft Short Take Off & Landing competition on sand announced

Precision, if some times hair-raising, aviation action and visually stunning vintage biplanes expected!

The World’s first aircraft Short Take Off & Landing (STOL) competition on sand is set to take place in Belgium in the Summer. Organised by one of the world’s top aviation adventure companies it is expected to attract pilots from all over the globe and establish some new world records. This first event, the VintageAirRally International STOL Competition'  will be attended by thousands of spectators who will witness some hair-raising if not gut-wrenching flying on this unusual day out on the beach! 

The 'VintageAirRally International STOL Competition' will take place on the beach of the fashionable spa town of Knokke-Heist, Belgium. Pilots will engage in precision if some times hair-raising landing and take off manoeuvres with the shortest distance the winner. The ultimate goal is to establish some new world records at this spectacular aviation event!

Set to take place from the 14th to 17th June 2018, this world’s first ever vintage STOL competition is not only for modern specialised 'bush planes' it is also for the iconic visually stunning vintage biplanes.  The STOL aircraft taking part are designed to land where there is essentially little or no runway. And while the pilots and planes will be used to the rough and tumble of bush flying they will have relatively smooth landings on the sand of a fine Belgian beach.

Throughout the event there will be exhibitors on the beachfront at Knokke-Heist for competitors and the thousands of spectators expected to attend the event. VintageAirRally will also establish a temporary exclusive ‘Pilot’s Club’ on the sand. The Pilots’ Club will be holding a series of events during both the day and the evenings with guest speakers from the world of aviation in Belgium and around the world.

There will be numerous categories for entries from vintage biplanes last seen in action in the 1920’s and 30s to up-to-date aircraft (“bush planes”) that can land in wildest locations. The winner of each category will be awarded a prize at this first ever STOL and beach landing competition in Belgium.  This event is organised with the assistance of Knokke-Heist Municipality & Tourism.

Media enquiries to 

Key dates14 June, Set-up, first qualifier rounds, installation of exhibitors.
15 June, Second Qualifier rounds.
16 June, Vintage biplane competition, and other category competitions (TBA). The day finishes with the top five biplanes landing on the Royal Zoute Golf Course.
17 June, Remaining competition categories (TBA) and closes with a prize giving cocktail at the Pilots’ Club.

Competition categories

  1. Vintage Biplane (pre 1959)
  1. Vintage Monoplane (pre 1959)
  1. Biplane >750KG
  1. Monoplane >750KG
  1. Aeroplane >500KG <751KG
  1. 3-Axis Aeroplane <501KG
  1. Turbine
  1. Electric
  1. Overall Winner (combined with another category)

Additional prize categories

  1. Youngest pilot
  1. Oldest pilot
  1. Oldest plane (date of first registration)
  1. Biggest plane (Maximum Take Off Weight)
  1. Furthest travelled (state of residence of pilot)
  1. Most Facebook likes (on the post about their team on the VintageAirRally Facebook page)

Some media coverage here