Kecskemet where east meets west,
As the major event of the Hungarian
MoD, the International Air and Military show took place on the 7th and
8th August 2010 in Kecskemet. During the years this program became one
of the five biggest European air shows, and the most exciting and
visited air show in Central Europe. During this years event coincided
with the commemoration off 100 years of Hungarian military aviation and
100 years of Hungarian powered aviation.
The airbase of Kecskemet is home to the 59th Tactical Fighter Wing,
which is divided into two squadrons. Squadron 1 "Puma"is flying on the
newly acquired JAS-39C/D "Gripen"and squadron 2 "Dongo"is equipped
with the MiG-29 "Fulcrum". Unfortunately the era of Hungarian MiGs is
coming to an end in the near future. By the end of the year the Fulcrums
will be probably withdrawn from service. Then the Hungarian airspace
will be protected only by 14 Gripen leased from Sweden.
The air show hosted some very interesting planes on booth the static and
the display part.
On the static for the first time in Kecskemet the was a Su-27 from the
Ukraine. Next to the more regular displayed aircraft like the ;
Eurofighter, Rafale, F-18, F-15,and JAS-39 Gripen fighters. There where
some interesting planes from Israel, Romania and the Republic off
Serbia. To commemorate the 100 years of flying, a collection off
preserved aircraft was displayed. From the old biplanes to the not so
long past in the shape of a Su-22 and MiG-23.
Besides the "air display" off several fighter and other aircraft Not
less than vife aerobatic teams performed over Kecskemet with the Frecce
Tricolori as the stars of the show. Furthermore the Turkish Stars on F-5
"Tiger", the Swiss Patrouille, the Breitling Team, and the Croatian
Krila Oluje (Wings of Storm) on Pilatus PC-9 were flying
Unusual was also the demonstration of a Boeing C-17 "Globemaster III".
The displaying aircraft started its surprisingly agile presentation from
its home base which is located in Papa . NATO chose
this location for its "Strategic Airlift Capability" project. Several
NATO member states as well as the two neutral nations Sweden and Finland
are sharing the transport capabilities of fully three C-17.
The highlight - because is it rarely
seen within the European Air show circuit nowadays was the display of a
Romanian MiG-21 "Lancer B". By using its afterburner very often and
performing a spectacular touch-n-go it attracted the public very much.
Despite all modifications on these aircrafts undertaken by the Romanian Aerostar Company in association with the Israeli defence contractor
Elbit Systems the operational lifetime is now drawing to a close. The
decision about their successor has been postponed again, so who knows
they might be there next time.
The two days show not only offer the ground and air arsenal of aviation,
but display most of the Hungarian Armed Force's hardware. Knowing the
number, the great variety of the participating countries and the air
show is an all-day event we arrived at 7:30 and left at 19:30.
The flying display ended with a air power demo from the Hungarian Air
Force. Starting with a take off of four "Grippen" it was followed with a
scramble of two MiG-29's.
The MiG's and Gripens preformed a dogfight with was won naturally by the
This was followed by an interesting CSAR demonstration (Combat Search
and Rescue), where a Mil Mi-17 served as transporter covered by Mil
Mi-24 "Hind" combat helicopters.
During the CSAR guns where fired from the Hind windows.
A Grippen escorted a Antonov-26 on to the base and finely all the
participating aircraft came by. With the Hind's returning to Szolnok and
the Grippen's and MiG-29 returning to the base after a spectacular brake
with a lot off flairs.
The airshow in Kecskemet was without a doubt one of the highlights in
2010. The mix of Western and Eastern aircraft, including some exotics
gave this event a special mark. Above all the large number of Russian
built aircraft made this show particularly popular for aviation
enthusiasts. It's a great pity about the declining appearance of MiGs
and Sukhois on air shows. It remains to be seen if there will be a MiG
display on the next show in Kecskemet.