NATO Days, 2017

September 16 and 17 saw the annual NATO Days public show at Ostrava, in the north east of the Czech Republic.

The weather was largely wet and overcast when I attended on the Saturday. As such, the flying displays were affected adversely. This included the scheduled display by the Saudi Hawks team, who ultimately cancelled their saturday performance due to poor visibility and safety concerns.

As has been the practice of NATO Days for the past few years, a special co-host nation was chosen; Slovakia was that nation this year and they brought a good selection of air and land gear with them.

At that, here’s a sampling of what was on hand at this year’s show:

IMG_2026
This CF-18 Hornet in the static park marked the first time Canada sent an aircraft to the NATO Days event. This Hornet came from 433 Squadron.
IMG_2024
The F-16 is a standard NATO Days attendee. These ones were courtesy of the Netherlands.
IMG_2031
Lithuania brought three aircraft for the statics, including this Eurocopter AS365.
IMG_2007
Among the equipment Slovakia presented at the event was their newest air asset, the Sikorsky UH-60M Blackhawk.
IMG_2008
Parked next to the Blackhawk was the stalwart Mil Mi-17; this one in the colours of the Slovak Government Flying Service.
IMG_2041
Also in the Slovak section of the static park was this Fokker 100.
IMG_2016
This Dornier Do-228NG, equipped for aerial survey and monitoring work, came courtesy of the German navy.
IMG_2117
This was as close as anyone came to seeing the Saudi Hawks team on Saturday.
IMG_2093
An increasingly rare sight in European skies is the Yakovlev Yak-40. The Czech air force has two and they are scheduled to be replaced in the next year or two.
IMG_2102
A NATO Days standard, which was sadly absent at the 2016 edition, was the Slovak air force MiG-29 display. It was great to see it return this year.
IMG_2109
One of my very few presentable flying shots from the day was this Slovak A319 Airbus display.
IMG_2042
Adding a bit of vintage to the show was this restored two seat MiG-15 which flies on the Czech civil register.
Advertisements

Medlánky Oldtimer Weekend, 2017

September 9th of 2017 saw me out to the Brno-Medlánky airport, on the north side of Brno, to attend an Oldtimer Weekend event hosted by the Medlánky Aeroclub.

Medlánky is a sailplane airport in the main, so there were quite a few rare and vintage Czech sailplanes to get up close to and watch perform.

I’d been meaning to attend one of these events for a long time and I’m very happy I finally managed to get out to one. I’ll certainly be going back when they have others.

IMG_1799
This is one of a few Zlín Z-25 Šohaj sailplanes that were on hand for the day. The Šohaj is a Czech design that first flew in 1947 and was made in three versions. This picture is the Šohaj 3.
IMG_1802
Another Czech product is the Let LF-109 Pionýr, which first flew in 1950.
IMG_1807
Looking down the line of vintage gliders in the morning light.
IMG_1831
Another Czech type on display was the Orličan VT-116 Orlík II. The Orlík family of sailplanes dates to 1959. 
IMG_1833
A true rarity is this L-13 B Bačostroj. It’s an experimental single seat motorised version of the L-13 Blaník. Only one L-13 B exists.
IMG_1867
A pleasant surprise visitor was this rare Aero Ae-45S. The Ae-45 family was the first Czech aircraft designed after WWII and it first flew in 1947. Worldwide, only a handful still fly. Here, it taxis towards the line of vintage gliders shortly after arriving.
IMG_1872
The Let L-23 Super Blaník is a descendant design of the famous L-13 Blaník sailplane. The L-23 first flew in 1988.
IMG_1901
One of two Zlín Z-24 Krajáneks on hand at the event. The Z-24 was a Czech built variation of the German designed Schneider Grunau Baby IIb which first flew in 1931.
IMG_1962
Another Czech rarity was the VSB-62 Vega. It first flew in 1966 and only one was ever made.
IMG_1965
The Letov LF-107 Luňák is a Czech aerobatics sailplane dating to 1948.
IMG_1967
What would a Czech sailplane exhibition be without the inimmitable Let L-13 Blaník? Here’ an L-13 AC comes in to land.
IMG_1968
The Scheibe Bergfalke III is a German design which first flew in 1951.