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Letalnica bratov Gorišek:

Hill Size: HS 240
K-Point: 200 m
Men Longest jump: 253.5 m (Gregor Schlierenzauer AUT, 2018-03-22, WC)
Men Winter Hill record: 252.0 m (Ryōyū Kobayashi JPN, 2019-03-24, WC)
Inrun length: 133.8 m
Inrun angle: 35.1°
Take-off length: 8 m
Take-off angle: 11.25°
Take-off height: 2.93 m
Speed: 108 km/h
Landing angle: 33.2°
Hill certificate: Hill certificate
Conversions: 2013-2015
K200 (2013-...)K185 (1994-2013)K185 (1984-1993)K165 (1972-1983)K153 (1969-1971)

Further jumps: no
Plastic matting: no
Spectator capacity: 50,000
Year of construction: 1969
Conversions: 1972, 1978, 1983-1984, 1993-1994, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2013-2015
Status: operating
Ski club: ŠD Planica
Coordinates: 46.476112, 13.722010 Google Maps OpenStreetMap

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The ski jumping facility around the former ski flying hill "Bloudkova Velikanka" was established already in the 1930’s. It was a world record holding hill until 1948. The last world record on the Velikanka was set by Fritz Tschannen from Switzerland in 1948 with 120 m. 12 years after the Austrian Josef Bradl had first reached the 100 m mark - in 1936 he jumped 101.5 m.
After the construction of Heini-Klopfer-Schanze in Oberstdorf in the early 1950’s and the following world records, it became clear that Velikanka could not fulfil the requirements anymore. Furthermore, new world records were also jumped on the new ski flying hill at Kulm, which was build in 1950.
Already in 1954, first plans for building a new flying hill at Planica were developed. But not realized until 1967-1968, when the Slovenian brothers Vlado and Janez Gorišek, who wanted to continue Bloudek's work, constructed "Velikanka bratov Gorišek" - now "Letalnica" was first called. The new giant hill with a construction point of 153 m was opened on March 19, 1969. It experienced a grave debut during the international ski flying week held in the following days, when five world records were established. In the end, the new record distance was 165 m by Manfred Wolf. In three days a total of 90,000 spectators came into the "valley of the ski jumps".
In 1972, the first ski flying world championships were organized on Letalnica. Beforehand, the K-Point had been changed to 165 meters. In 1974 and 1977 ski flying weeks were again held in Planica and in 1979 the next ski flying world championships.
The next bigger reconstruction of the hill took place ahead of the 1985 SFWC in 1983-84, when the K-Point was enlarged to 185 meters. Thus, new world champion Matti Nykänen could increase the world record to 191 meters. On this very weekend, Planica saw an all-time-record of spectators: 150.000 (!) visitors came to watch the best ski flyers in the world. 20.000 already came on Friday, which was the day of the official training, while 80.000 and 50.000 spectators were there on Saturday and Sunday respectively. At this time ski jumpers were soaring up to 15 meters high above the knoll - during parallel style age this was considered as normal.
With the reconstruction in 1993-94 the take-off was moved back by around 10 meters. Together with the only 2 meter high take-off and extremly long knoll, this resulted in a very low flying curve. This hill profile did not forgive any technical mistakes by the jumpers, otherwise they would already land on the knoll, but also allowed long and safe flights. Fortunately, during the usual competiton hours in the morning there are headwinds on the hill, which was already considered by Stanko Bloudek when he selected the location of Velikanka in 1930's.
After those modernization works, which were again led by the Gorišek brothers, the ski flying world championships 1994 took place on the refurbished Letalnica K185. At these world-championships, the infamous 200 m-mark was craced by Finland's Toni Nieminen. He stood the flight on 203 m and affirmed the rumours concerning even more giantic jumps.
During 2000's, small conversions and modernization were frequently carried out. Most of them were made to fulfil FIS requirements, but also to continue the world-record-race. The landing hill radius was continously expanded to accomplish jumps on more than 230 m. In 2005, Norwegian Bjørn Einar Romøren flew 239 m, which meant a long-standing world-record. Shortly afterwards Janne Ahonen jumped 240 m, but he could not stand this jump. Romøren's world record stood until 2011, when the ski flying hill in Vikersund in Norway was enlarged and Johan Remen Evensen landed 246.5 meter - which meant the end of a long history of world record at Planica.
In 2013 another conversion of "Letalnica" was started to enlarge the hill on K200 (HS 225). The inrun was moved back and completely renewed and the profile of the landing zone was adapted and concreted. In the course of establishing the Planica Nordic Center, new stands were build and the general infrastructure was improved, to be able to serve the visitor masses of 100.000 ski-jumping-freaks on a ski flying-weekend. Therefore, the traditional ski flying as World Cup final had to be shifted to the large hill in March 2014, but by end of 2014 the flying hill was finished. Consequently, flights of more than 250 meters were now also made possible in Planica. In 2018 the hill size was corrected to 240 meters.
The Ski Flying World Championships, which were supposed to take place at the last weekend of March had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eventually, they were re-scheduled to mid-December. Due to the fact that the action only started in the afternoon, the organizers installed temporary floodlights - which was an absolute novelty in the long history of Planica. After the event, parts of the floodlight facility were moved to the large and normal hill to upgrade the sort of weak lighting there.

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Hill records K200 (Men):

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Photo gallery:

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79)   Kevin Greaves   wrote on 2020-12-17 at 12:54:

Ski Jumping March 2021

What is the best way to reach Planica from Ljubljana and is there any accommodation within walking distance of the ski jump please?

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