Batajnica Serbia September 2012
visited Batajnica airbase for the
he Serbian air forceís centennial air show.
Held at Batajnica air base near
Belgrade on 2 September, the Serbian air forceís centennial air show
attracted visiting aircraft from Russia and the Italian and US air
forces, along with flight demonstrations involving the host nationís
Highlights included a formation of the Serbian air forceís displaying
most off its assets, a tactical demonstration involving four Soko J-22
Oraos and six Soko G-4 Super Galebs, and a mock dogfight involving two
MiG-29s and a MiG-21, along with solo displays from the visiting air
While the 100 years of Serbian military aviation air show was held on
September 2nd, 2012 at Batajnica airfield near Belgrade, Serbia. We had
planed a three day trip with the first day spend outside the air field
for the arrivals .
The second day for the media day end
the last day for the the air show it self.
The first day,
As we had planned to be at Batajnica
for the arrivals on Friday and it was not certain wich runway would be
in use we left early for Batajnica. Arriving at 8:30 we where just
in time to witness the rehearsal of the planed mass fly by and demos of
the Serbian Air Force as this all happened before 10:00.
This one and a half our gave us the
opportunity to picture most of the active types from the Serbian Air
Force with the exception of the An-2 and An-26.
The rest of the day was spend in the landing for the arrival of the
other participants of the air show. It was strange to see the locals
entering the base to have a better view of the planes landing and
performing there practise displays.
On the end of the day there was the rehearsal of the Russian Air Force
aerobatic team the Swifts. The team flew with only three MiG-29s, one of
them a MiG-29UB. Normally the team flies with four aircraft, but the
Swifts commander Valery Morozov was discharge on 30 August by The
Russian Minister of Defence.
The Media day
On Saturday we went to the media day
for clean shots of the static and the planned rehearsals. Unfortunately
for the media representatives, the air show organizers decide to allow
public on base this day before most of the press was allowed on base.
Giving some challenging conditions on the static and for the rest not
much was organized. There was no real flying program on the press day,
just a few displays and that was it. The runway itself was distant
anyway, and there was a 2-meter high fence between the public and the
This posed a challenge for photographers as Serbian displays often
perform extreme low-level fly passes.
The static line-up included all types currently in service with the
Serbian air force, and was
therefore a real treat for foreign visitors.
It was still a enjoyable day even with the circumstances not being as we
hoped. At the end of the day most participants on the static where
pictured without public, and it is always nice to see a group of
photographers battle ling it out for the best spots.
The Serbian air force has plenty of
exotic aircraft in its inventory. Aircraft type's like the Super Galeb
Utva 75, Lasta and Orao are not seen anywhere else in Europe for
instance. And other more known types of the Serbian Air force like the
Gazelle and Mig's 21 and 29 have never come to a air show outside
Batajnica still bears the scars from the intensive NATO bombing campaign
in 1999, but NATO aircraft were still more than welcome on the tarmac
there, the USAFKC-135 being the biggest by far. Austria, Italy, Hungary,
Slovenia and Denmark participated in the flying displays while Bulgaria,
Turkey, France and Romania only participated in the static display.
It was strange to see the former adversaries in 1999's Allied Force
conflict lined up side by side on the static in the form of a a USAF
F-16C from Aviano AFB. In the museum nearby the remains of a other F-16
from Aviano can be found that was downed during the conflict.
One of the hangars was dedicated to the Serbian aviation industry which
is rebuilding after the conflict and gaining some commercial foreign
sales in recent years with sales of its latest trainer to Iraq.
Batajnica was not the biggest air show in 2012, but the
organizers had clearly made every effort to make it a memorable show, and showing
the Serbian Aviation in total to the