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SIAF 2011 at Sliac

Where? Sliac Airport, Slovakia
When? 27-28/08/2011

After the SIAD and the NLD it was this year that Slovakia's big international airshow came to light as the SIAF. Whereas in recent years the big yearly Slovak Airshow NLD has been held in Slovakia's Western part as Bratislava or Piestany, SIAF chose the Slovak MiG-29 home base Sliac in the Tatra region as the new location – and this was more than one good reason to come back.
Situated in a valley of the Tatra mountain region, Sliac is about a 2h drive from the capital Bratislava, with several picturesque cities nearby that make it easy to spent some nice evenings after the long and exhausting show days.

But of course at the end of August the main reason was to got there and see the show with some nice aircraft and to have a great day out. The showground opened at 8am with the first visitors already flocking in – however their first stop were not many aircraft in the static display, but the food stalls that already had their barbecue sausages or even a cold beer ready. Things really started getting busy between 9 and 10 in the morning, as the start of the flying program was announced to be at 11am.

The opening ceremony was followed by aircraft of the Slovak Air Force, and especially its pride, the MiG-29. A 3-ship formation overflew the runway to start the flying program, presenting a nice split at the end of the runway. The special thing about this formation was that two of the participating aircraft were the QRA jets, clearly visible by the pair of R-60 (AA-8 'Aphid') missiles they were carrying. A flag parade with a Mi-17, showing of the European, NATO, Slovak and SIAF flag was next, followed by parachutists out of an An-26.

As also shown during previous Slovak shows the Governmental Tu-154 from Bratislava was next, this time being escorted by two MiG-29s. What a beautiful orchestra of the Kuznetsov and Klimov sounds that was!

The L-39 solo display followed, with a red/blue/white Albatross performing aerobatics in the deep blue sky. Added to this scheme also previously worn by the Biely Albatrossy Team was the new writing www.2sqn.sk on the tail, attracting attention to the wings website. The big final of this one hour long lasting block of Sl AF performances was the MiG-29 solo demo. cumulating with a big flare ejection at the end of its display on Sunday. Showing this huge variety of Slovak AF aircraft and demonstration it proved to be a wise move to move the event back to a military airfield and building on the direct cooperation with the military.

That was a big start of the flying activities at Sliac, with the only drawback that this most interesting part was being held under non-favourable photographic conditions around midday with a runway being orientated North-South, but the intention regarding the organizational aspect and choosing this timeslot is more than understandable.

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