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Where? Bratislava - Slovak Republic
SIAD 2002 has been the 5th International Air Display in the young history of the Slovak Republic. It was held the weekend of the 8th an 9th of June at the M.R. Stefanika Airport, which is Bratislava's International Airport and situated in the east of the capital of Slovakia.
Going there seemed a god idea to me as I expected to see some eastern aircraft and the program published in the Internet promised some highlights, too. And I should not have been disappointed...
After a 5hr drive from Munich I arrived in the early morning at Bratislava, where it has not been evident to find to the airport. After some time I arrived at the parking place (using a Jeep would have been a good idea there…) and started my 20min walk to the entrance.
From far the first tails were visible and I already knew that it was worth the journey!
Slovak Air Force Displays - MiG-21
The Flight Display
The pre-flight preparations and the participating aircraft have not all been clearly visible from the spectator area, so one always had to wait what is coming next. But the first planes started coming from above, with the 'Mega Group', a fly-over by 3-ship formations of every type of the Slovak Air Force (3xMi-8, 3xMi-24, 3xL-410, 3xAn-26, 3xL-29, 3xL-39, 1xMiG-21+2xMiG-29). Than a MiG-21 showed an impressive flight display before a BAF F-16 took off. The F-16 was also presented by the Netherlands and the Norwegian Air Force. Among the fighters were also the British Tornado GR4, a French Mirage 2000, a l-159 from the Czech Republic and, of course ;-), the Ukrainian Su-27. And on Saturday there has been an additional fly-by by a pair of two J-35 Draken from Austria.
And the Slovak Air Force put their other planes and helicopters in the air, too: the Mi-2 presented a typical rescue mission, while the Mi-24 showed off its manoeuvrability and even released some flares during its presentation. But the highlight has been the solo presentation by a MiG-29 (also with flare release) and the simulated air-air combat by two MiG-29, one of them with special tiger colours.
And Aerobatic Teams have also been present at SIAD 2002: the Biele Albatrosy (5xL-39), the Sky Huzars (Yak 18/52), the Patrula Aquila (7xCasa-101), the PC-7 Team (9xPC-7), the Frecce Tricolori (10xMB-339) and the Patrouille de France (8x Alpha Jet).
Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker
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Drakens & Hawk
L-39 & Galeb
Patruille de France
The static display was split up in three parts. The first part was a small exhibition of Russian SAM-missiles, followed by the bigger planes.
A Yak-42 and a Tu-154 of the Slovak Republic, followed by the Ukrainian deployment: an Il-76 and the famous Tu-22, still wearing the RIAT sticker from some years ago. All these planes were parked far enough away one from the other, so that decent shots were possible.
The third part were the small transport aircraft, helicopters and jets: the Slovak parade which included an An-26, L-410, Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-24, L-159, MiG-21 and a MiG-29, an Ukrainian Su-27, furthermore a Fokker 60 from the Netherlands, a Casa 235 from Spain, two F-16C (AV), two F-15C (LN) and a C-130 (RS) from the USAF, a Canadian CF-18, two German Tornados and an F-4F and finally a Galeb G-2A from the Serbian Republic. Having finished the static display, it has been time for the flight program.
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Published: 16 April 2007