90 years Czech Air Force

Time to celebrate! 2008 marked the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Czechoslovak Air Force. And this was the main theme for this year's airshow at at Czech's only remaining fighter airbase Caslav, around 1 driving hour East of Prague. The programm was mainly focused on the country's own aircraft, which was also due to the meager participation of foreign nations.

Top

Where? Caslav AFB, Czech Republic
When? 23/05/2009

Of course a lot has changed in the last 90 years, way to much to be mentioned. One major event, the split in a Czech and a Slovak Republic in 1992, only happened very 'recently' and influenced the development of the Air Force very significantly as it led in the long term to the replacement of the MiG-29 Fulcrum by 14 leased Saab JAS-39 Gripen. Nowadays these aircraft are not only reassuring the Czech capabilities to fullfill NATO QRA requirements, but also represent the flagship when it comes to present the Air Force branch of the Armed Force to the public. The signs of the introduction of this modern jet fighter in July 2005 left its sign on the base, and still nowadays construction can be seen all around Caslav AFB.

In the static display of the show it was interesting to see a Swedish and Hungarian Gripen parked in close proximity to one of the host country. But besides these two aircraft unfortunatly only two other foreign jets – a German Phantom and Belgian F-16 – did come to Caslav to wish a Happy Birthday.

perfect blue sky and some nice aircraft

049 ---- 050 ---- 051 ---- 052
053 ---- 054 ---- 055 ---- 056

The remaining part of the static display constisted of two different versions of the Czech L-159 ALCA and a Mil Mi-24 combat helicopter as well as some historic jets that are usually preserved on the base.

static display representing the modern Czech AF history

057 ---- 058 ---- 059 ---- 060
061 ---- 062 ---- 063 ---- 064

some civil visitors and a Gate Guard

045 ---- 046 ---- 047 ---- 048

This low foreign participation was also reflected in the flying dipslay, with only two foreign displays: the Swedish Gripen and the Belgian "Hardship Red" formation flying four SIAI Marchetti SF-260, making a nice contrast with their bright yellow aircraft to the blue and white sky. The appearance at Caslav was their public debut and I really hope that we can see more of this team in the future, as it is a also the chance to see a type of aircraft being sent very rarely to foreign shows.

Belgian AF - "Hardship Red" formation

005 ---- 006 ---- 007 ---- 008

The rest of the day was filled with aircraft from the Czech Republic performing in the sky. The opening formation was a fly-by of 2 Gripens and 3 ALCAs, followed by parachutists jumping out of a Mi-17.

Gripen QRA take-off & opening formation flight

017 ---- 018 ---- 019 ---- 020

Czech AF helicopters & civil L-29

041 ---- 042 ---- 043 ---- 044

The Air Force presented also its mature Solo Gripen Display, which was in my eyses more impressive than the one of its Swedish counterpart, as well a Solo Display of an L-159. And then there was also the airfield attack, first performed by two ALCAs and later in the afternoon by two Mi-24, including a lot of pyrotechnics. Mi-24 helicopters performed also a two-ship display that was very nice to watch. During the afternoon two Gripens 'intercepted' furthermore an An-26 and forced it to land at Caslav.

Czech JAS39C Gripen Solo Display

025 ---- 026 ---- 027 ---- 028

L-159A ALCA airfield attack

037 ---- 038 ---- 039 ---- 040

An-26 interception demonstration

021 ---- 022 ---- 023 ---- 024

Mi-24 two-ship display

013 ---- 014 ---- 015 ---- 016

ALCA solo display

033 ---- 034 ---- 035 ---- 036

And I will not forget to mention the two civil acts in the sky: an Extra 300 aerobatics demonstration and the British Catalina, which did some very nice passes.

the mighty Catalina

009 ---- 010 ---- 011 ---- 012

Unfortunatly the flight display had to suffer from several cutbacks shortly before the actual showday. First there was the cancellation of the participation of the Yak-11, which would have given a nice "Czech Heritage Flight" together with the modern jets, as it was originally planned. Technical problems caused also the absence of two Slovak MiG-29 that were planned to be intercepted by the Gripens. Thus the anniversary of the Czechoslovak Air Force turned only in the birthday party of the Czech Armed Forces, which was neverthelss successful, also for the reason that it still represented that certain flair which makes Czech shows very sympathetic again and again.

Swedish AF Gripen Solo Display

065 ---- 066 ---- 067 ---- 068

Aero Vodochody L-159 Flight Demonstration

029 ---- 030 ---- 031 ---- 032

At the end of the day a touristic visit to the Sedlec Ossuary (kostnice Sedlec), a small Roman Catholic chapel that amongst others has a Chandelier made of bones and skulls, at Kutná Hora completed this very nice day in the Czech Republic.

the Sedlec Ossuary at Kutná Hora

001 ---- 002 ---- 003 ---- 004

User Rating: 0 / 5

Rate this article:
0 of 5 - 0 votes
Thank you for rating this article.

recently published

18 SIAF 1808 8610

Slovak International Air Fest - SIAF 2018

Travelling to countries operating the MiG-29 is usually a safe bet to see this great looking jet from the Soviet-era in the air. This was also true for the Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF) at Sliac, Slovakia. But the SIAF airshow was also a clear Read More
18 Tsuiki Airshow 1811 5912

Tsuiki Airshow 2018

The Tsuiki airshow 2018 was a blast! After some visits to this show two important things for a successful event came together that year: great flying and nice weather. As the weather can get nasty at the end of November on the Southern Japanese island Read More
WoH17 1710 3336

Wings over Houston Airshow

Wings over Houston 2017 was an awesome airshow! Plenty of warbirds, a Messerschmitt Me 262, jets from the Vietnam era, amongst them the venerable F-4D Phantom II, made up for a great program. This great mix on show at Ellington Airport in the South of Read More
Shuttleworth 1807 0872

Shuttleworth Evening Display

Flying displays at the Shuttleworth Collection really are classic events. This is even more valid for their evening displays that usually provide a well balanced selection of the Collection’s extensive collection presented in the last hours of sunlight. And with the wind being mostly calm Read More
  • 1

more Airshows

09  0905 1420

La Ferte-Alais

Though the airshow season is not over yet, the event at La Ferté-Alais can surely be rated amongst the top shows of the year. This is not only due to perfect weather, but also due Read More
07 RIAT07 0707 6092

RIAT 2007

RIAT… Fairford... THE military air show well known among air show enthusiasts. No wonder as it is the biggest event worldwide of this kind. Due to the commercialisation of the show and the high fees Read More
03 Payerne 0304

WK Payerne

The same procedure as every year...For the beginng of the last Airshow season I have chosen to go to the Payerne Open Doors display. The report about last year can be read here. Hearing some Read More
05  0507 0207

Lugano Airshow

And I did it again... Somehow I have to go at least once a year to Switzerland for one of their either very well or very scenic airshows. This time I went to the very Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24

Statistics

Today 85

Yesterday 165

Week 250

Month 2683

All 90847