Kecskemet Air Show

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Held biannually at the Hungarian Air Force (Hun AF) air base in Kecskemét this air show is after the Formula One Grand Prix Hungary’s biggest outdoor event. The location can be easily reached with a one hour drive from Budapest’s airport and it is therefore no wonder that it is becoming more and more popular also among the foreign air show enthusiast –

Mi24Where? Kecskemét, Hungary
When? 11-12/08/2007

though they still represent clearly the minority. For the Hungarians the show is a great day out, for the foreigner the unique possibility to see a lot Hun AF aircraft flying and to still experience some more aircraft of the former ‘east’.

Fi1Therefore I also made my way there this year, attracted by MiGs and the famous Hungarian goulash, and also to have a look at the country for my first time. Originally I wanted to fly there from Friday until Monday in order to be there for the show and to have a look at another aircraft museum nearby, but shortly before the show my flight was switched to leave on Thursday and return on Sunday. Therefore my plans and booking had to be changed on short notice, but that’s what can happen when you book a low cost carrier…

The weeks before the show I did not pay too much attention to the online participants list as it included also visitors from China which seemed very implausible to me, and some surprises on location were also welcomed.

The Fly-In

Due to the changed arrival I was already standing at the approach of Kecskemet Air Base on Friday together with several other native and foreign enthusiasts and we were all waiting for the visitors to come. Still in a hazy sky the first aircraft arrived at around half past nine and it continued until around 2 pm with some latecomers arriving in the afternoon, which was mainly foreseen for display rehearsals.Fi2

The morning already brought some surprises, as a Czech civil registered L-29 Delfin or a Romanian IAR-330 Puma helicopter, a MiG-21 and the supporting An-26. They were welcomed as well as the Polish Antonov and the Su-22, but also western visitors were a nice few. Remarkable was the very strong British participation with 4 Tornados (2x GR4 and 2xF3) and 4 Harriers. A Li-2 and a Po-2 rounded the variety of aircraft quite nicely as well. During the afternoon the rehearsals showed what to expect during the week-end with e.g. the Patrouille de France flying and also a Hungarian Mi-24 Hind, that suddenly came up behind the trees, surprisingly in special colours and releasing flares during the display. That really raised my mood for the next day.

Fly-In and Rehearsals

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At around 7pm the sun started disappearing behind some clouds and after the AWACS landed – of course we were all hoping for the special coloured one but were disappointed – it was time to go to the hotel, having a look at the city centre and the wine fest, and enjoy some Hungarian specialities before having a good sleep.

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