Freshening up the Paint – Updates to Pages

The last couple of months have been busy for my camera and I as far as aviation subjects are concerned, so it’s time to sort through pictures and update some of the existing pages in the drop down menus at the top of the blog page.

Please take some time to visit the following pages which have had some or all of their photographs updated:

1920-1939
Avia BH.1
Beech Model 18
Bucker Bu-131 Jungmann
DeHavilland DH.60 Moth
Stearman Model 75

1939-1949
Aero Ae-45 and Ae-145
Yakovlev Yak-3

1950-1959
Ilyushin Il-14 “Crate”
North American T-28 Trojan

1960-1979
Zlín/Let Z-37 Čmelák

1990-2000
Aero Ae-270 Ibis

Pardubice Aviation Fair, 2015 Edition

Yesterday, I went to the central Czech city of Pardubice for their annual Aviation Fair. It was a largely vintage affair this year with a few modern military acts thrown into the mix.

It was relentlessly hot and sunny, so heat distortion was a constant problem for taking photographs. However, here’s a few of the better shots on the day for your perusal:

The gorgeous Lockheed P-38 Lightning from the Red Bull fleet.
The gorgeous Lockheed P-38 Lightning from the Red Bull fleet.

A Hispano HA-1112 Buchón dressed up as a Messerschmitt Bf-109.
A Hispano HA-1112 Buchón dressed up as a Messerschmitt Bf-109.

An Aero Ae-145 from the Czech civil register.
An Aero Ae-145 from the Czech civil register.

A Czech air force Mi-24 Hind in a special scheme to commemorate Czechoslovak airmen who served in the RAF in WWII. It's based on the camouflage used on Liberator bombers in RAF Coastal Command.
A Czech air force Mi-24 Hind in a special scheme to commemorate Czechoslovak airmen who served in the RAF in WWII. It’s based on the camouflage used on Liberator bombers in RAF Coastal Command.

Czech aerobatics and fighter pilot, Martin Šonka, wows the crowd.
Czech aerobatics and fighter pilot, Martin Šonka, wows the crowd.

A Hawker Hurricane goes aloft to take part in a WWII aircraft formation.
A Hawker Hurricane goes aloft to take part in a WWII aircraft formation.

This Lockheed Electra 10A recently came "home" to the Czech lands after 75 years away.
This Lockheed Electra 10A recently came “home” to the Czech lands after 75 years away.

Shining in the sun, the Red Bull B-25 Mitchell makes a fly past.
Shining in the sun, the Red Bull B-25 Mitchell makes a fly past.

Peggy Walentin, a wing walker in from Austria.
Peggy Walentin, a wing walker in from Austria.

A Beech C-45, formerly of the British civil register, now under Czech ownership.
A Beech C-45, formerly of the British civil register, now under Czech ownership.

An Mi-17 and Mi-24 of the Czech air force "rescue" a downed airman.
An Mi-17 and Mi-24 of the Czech air force “rescue” a downed airman.

A DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth buzzes past the crowd.
A DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth buzzes past the crowd.

Lockheed Electra 10A Flies Home After 75 Years!

Today, after four years of rebuilding and restoration in America, a 1937 vintage Lockheed Electra 10A touched down in Prague after a journey which started on May 21. It’s believed to be the only airworthy example of its type anywhere.

The aircraft has quite a history. It was initially intended to go to Amelia Earhart, but was instead purchased directly off the assembly line by Czech businessman Jan Antonin Bata who used it for business purposes. At the time the Munich Agreement was signed, the aircraft was in Krakow, Poland on business while Bata himself was in the UK. After contacting Bata, the crew were ordered to fly the aircraft the Yugoslavia and then to the UK via Greece and France. After arriving in the UK, the aircraft was pressed into RAF service and two of its crew joined the RAF.

In the postwar years, the aircraft served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and then a series of civilian owners in North America.

Here’s a link to the story covering today’s arrival:

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/batas-lockheed-electra-plane-returns-after-more-than-75-years

This article from International Pilot, just before the flight home took place, gives a bit further insight into the aircraft’s restoration:

http://www.international-pilot.com/bata-lockheed-electra-returns-home-to-czech-republic/

Though I could not be in Prague to see the aircraft come home today, I very much look forward to seeing it at shows in the future.

Čáslav Open Day, 2015

Yesterday was the biannual open day at the Czech air force base in Čáslav, in the central part of the country. While the weather was far from optimal for good photography, there was a good cross section of military and civil types spanning vintage to modern.

Here’s a bit of what was available to be seen on the day:

The old guard, a MiG-21 kept preserved at Čáslav. The Gripen replaced it in Czech service in 2005.
The old guard, a MiG-21 kept preserved at Čáslav. The Gripen replaced it in Czech service in 2005.

Special 10th anniversary tail art on a Czech Gripen.
Special 10th anniversary tail art on a Czech Gripen.

A PZL SW-4 helicopter, a CASA 295 transport and an F-16 fighter in from Poland.
A PZL SW-4 helicopter, a CASA 295 transport and an F-16 fighter in from Poland.

The extremely rare Ae-270 Ibis. This is possibly the only flying example these days.
The extremely rare Ae-270 Ibis. This is possibly the only flying example these days.

A Beech T-34 Mentor and a DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver in the vintage section.
A Beech T-34 Mentor and a DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver in the vintage section.

A Pilatus P.2 and Beach C-45 also in the vintage section.
A Pilatus P.2 and Beach C-45 also in the vintage section.

A Swedish Gripen getting airborne.
A Swedish Gripen getting airborne.

A special 10 ship Gripen formation to mark a decade of the type in Czech service.
A special 10 ship Gripen formation to mark a decade of the type in Czech service.

A Czech CASA 295 transport pulls up from a touch-and-go landing.
A Czech CASA 295 transport pulls up from a touch-and-go landing.

This Z-37T AgroTurbo put in one of the more spirited performances on the day.
This Z-37T AgroTurbo put in one of the more spirited performances on the day.

A Spitfire Mk.XVI taxiing back from its performance.
A Spitfire Mk.XVI taxiing back from its performance.

A Belgian F-16 taxis back after an incredible solo routine.
A Belgian F-16 taxis back after an incredible solo routine.

Olomouc Air Museum – Looking for a New Home

Just a few of the aircraft in the  Olomouc museum's collection.
Just a few of the aircraft in the Olomouc museum’s collection.

At a time when museums and other facilities that close for the winter months are reopening their doors for a new exhibition season, the Olomouc Air Museum has found themselves in search of a new home instead.

According to the museum website, the airport came under new management and the lease on the hangars the museum occupied was terminated in favour of demolishing the buildings for the value of the metal in their structures.

This development is is a very unfortunate one on a number of fronts, not the least of which is that it renders the great deal of work that has already been done by museum volunteers, and the assistance of companies such as Honeywell and the like, to improve the museum and its facilities at the location largely a waste of effort and resources. The carpet has essentially been pulled out from under the museum.

It is also unfortunate as the hangars themselves had some historical value, having been used by the Soviet military during the Socialist era. While they are in a very dilapidated state, remnants of Cyrillic text can still be discerned on their walls. It would be interesting to know what, if any, restoration potential they possess.

The museum’s collection of aircraft has some very rare specimens which include a prototype of the ill fated Let-610 commuter aircraft, a prototype example of the Aero L-29 Delfin trainer, one of two L-13 Blaník gliders which were used in jet propulsion experiments and a Tupolev Tu-154 airliner which was used as the presidential transport for the late Václav Havel.

According to their website, the museum seems optimistic that the city of Olomouc will grant them some assistance; hopefully that optimism is justified. In the meantime, the museum will be operating as a travelling exhibition moving from one locality in the Czech Republic to another on a monthly basis.

You can find a link to the museum’s website in my main article about it in the “Museums & Organisations” section in the sidebar. The site has a multilingual translator function, so you can read the museum’s statement on the matter in a language of your choosing. The article also contains a link to the museum’s Facebook page.

It goes without saying, that I hope a satisfactory solution can be found in the near future to find new housing for the museum. I also hope the museum can stay in Olomouc, which is a very nice and historic city quite worth visiting on its own merits.

For Readership in the Czech Republic – Pro čtenáře v České republice

If the museum travels to your area during 2015, be sure to visit and show your support for them.

If you are from Olomouc or the immediate area, please urge the city to assist the museum and keep it in the city. Olomouc is a great town to visit thanks to attractions like this museum. With proper housing and strong local support, this museum has a great deal of potential.

It would be a pity for Olomouc to lose the museum.

Pokud muzeum přijede v roce 2015 do vašeho regionu, určitě ho navštivte a projevte mu podporu.

Jestli jste z Olomouce nebo okolí, prosím, vyviňte tlak na magistrát, aby muzeum ve městě udržel. Olomouc je díky takovým zajímavostem jako je toto muzeum skvělým návštěvním cílem. V muzeu, pokud bude mít dobré zázemí a silnou místní podporu, se skrývá velký potenciál.

Byla by škoda, kdyby Olomouc o muzeum přišla.

Opening the Hatches and Tuning Up

IMG_1553

I’ve taken a bit of time this weekend to revisit some existing entries and freshen them up a bit. In some cases, it’s just a few new photos though there is also a bit of text reworking here and there in some of them.

Here’s links to the freshened entries:

https://pickledwings.wordpress.com/the-mig-15-the-plane-that-made-mig/

https://pickledwings.wordpress.com/mil-mi-1-hare-early-star-of-the-rotary-revolution/

https://pickledwings.wordpress.com/mil-mi-4-hound-the-first-eastern-heavy-lifter/

https://pickledwings.wordpress.com/sukhoi-su-7-fitter-fast-and-fiendish/

https://pickledwings.wordpress.com/aero-l-29-delfin-the-little-trainer-that-could-and-still-can/

Museum of Air and Land Technology Revisited

A selection of Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 fighters on display in Vyškov.
A selection of Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 fighters on display in Vyškov.

Today, I made my first visit after a few years to the sizable collection of aircraft and land vehicles on view at the Museum of Air and Land Technology in Vyškov, a small military city about 45 minutes north east of Brno.

Not much has changed since my last visit to the museum, except that I have a better camera now than at the time of my previous visit. Initially, I was simply going to put fresh photos in my existing page about the museum; however, I took the opportunity to give the whole piece an overhaul and significant re-write.

I invite you to click on the link to the page in the museums section in the side bar to view the reworked page. I hope you will enjoy it.