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Id. Ernö Rubik Airport
Esztergom Airport, formally known as Id. Erno Rubik Airport (ICAO: LHEM) is a local airport located in the neighbourhood of Esztergom-Kertváros in Esztergom, Hungary.
The airport is mainly used for recreational purposes, with parachutists and paragliders coming from the entire country. Flight training on Góbé aircraft and flying by motor and glider are also offered by the airport. The airport is situated at the location of the old aircraft factory of Ernő Rubik and is named after him.
- Height: 111 m
- Frequency: 126.85 MHz
Esztergom is one of the most significant cities in the history of Hungarian flight. Before World War I, the location of today's airport was in an insignificant agricultural area, and military exercises were conducted there. In 1911, four Etrich Taube airplanes and four hangars were used by the 5th Corps. After the end of the war and the Treaty of Trianon, the Hungarian aircraft industry ceased to exist. In 1929, unmotorised flights started at again at the airport thanks to the decision of Aurél Madaras, the parish priest of Szentgyörgymez (another neighbourhood of Esztergom). In 1932, general millitary obligations of the government increased the demand for well-trained pilots. This year, Aurél Madaras (who also worked with aircraft repair and construction from 1936 onwards) founded the Esztergom section of MOVERO Sport Airplanes, for which funding was provided by the Hungarian Aero Club. In 1933, there were 19 similar associations in Hungary. By this time, 35 pilots had been trained at the Esztergom Training Centre.
Erno Rubik at the company
The late Erno Rubik was appointed as the head of the workshop in 1936. After the production of Szittya-type aircraft started, large loans were taken to fund the effort. The first R-03 glider was manufactured in Esztergom in 1937 and flown over the town of Budaörs. The first R-05 Vöcsök plane was flown on Hármashatár Hill, Budapest on the first of October. Training was carried out on Strásza Hill, in suburban Esztergom, on mainly Szytya and Vöcsök machines. The Vöcsök-type aircraft was greatly ahead of its time and achieved breakthrough success, many orders came to the factory due to this and the first of such machines was sold on the first of October. From these sales, Rubik was able to repay the debts. In 1938, the company became a Limited (Ltd.) Company at the Budapest stock exchange with a 14,000 pengő investment by dealer Zoltán Severlay. While only 15 machines were produced between 1934 and 1938 at the Esztergom plant, between March and May 1938 this number roze to 27. The machines that were produced were: one Szittya II (sales price: 3500 pengő), 12 Vöcsök (sales price: 1600 pengő) and 14 Tücsök (sales price: 1300 pengő).
During World War II, production at the factory ceased and flights stopped. On the 1st of August 1946, the airport and sports organisation came under the authority of the Ministry of Transport, and in 1948 the AERO EVER in Esztergom was also nationalized. In September, a motorized airplane training school was founded in the city. In June 1952, Esztergom hosted the 4th National Glider Competition. In 1955, the aircraft construction and repair division changed its name to Sportsware Company and started manufacturing and repairing metal-based aircraft, such as the Yak-18 motorised airplane. In 1958, the division changed its name again, this time to Esztergom and Pést Machine Factory Unit.
Termination of the aircraft factory
Ernő Rubik was removed from the company in 1964 and went on to modify his design of the R-27 aircraft, which was produced as the E-31 in Esztergom. In 1965, the company createda R-254 type glider by modifying the R-25 Mokány model. The company later designed and manufactured the EV.1.K Fecske-type glider. When the factory closed in December of 1969, aircraft production ceased in Hungary. The airport contained to operate, although leadership was taken over by the National Defence Association in 1980. In 1985, the aircraft factory was rebuilt and the Austrian company HB Britsch started to manufacture HB-21 motorized airplanes. Financial success ensued, and manufacture of glider airplanes reappeared soon after.
After the regime change
After the termination of the Hungarian Communist Party, and the resulting change in regime and democratization, the airport was acquired by GRANTE Antenna Develpment and Manufacturing Ltd. Operation of the airport is currently being carried out by AeroClub Esztergom. On August 16, 1991, Pope John Paul II visited the airport. In 2007 a new hangar was constructed.
In May 2009, the first National Public Security Weekend was organised. Twenty thousand people attended the two-day event. The weekend was opened by József Bencze, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and György Habsburg, then president of the Hungarian Red Cross. A co-operation agreement was signed on national Police Blood Donor day, February 11th, in memory of Zoltán Borbély, a lieutenant police officer who served in Esztergom. The programme includes a police band, lawn show, commando, model helicopters, model airplanes, first aid, parachute and hiphop demonstrations. The Hungarian Red Cross and Vaszary Kolos Hospital arranged for a blood drive.
In 2014, the airport was renamed after Ernö Rubik, who had since passed away.
- AeroClub Esztergom
- Made according to the plans of Ern Rubik - test flight of Europe's smallest plane in Esztergom (1942 news)
- Old and contemporary pictures on ongo.hu
- "HungaryAirport.hu". www.hungaryairport.hu. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
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