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CIAF 2005

Czech Int'l Air Fest

Brno, Czech Republic



Very rare are the occasions that you can admire an Aerobatic Team from Russia at an Airshow outside their own country, therefore it is no wonder that a lot of enthusiasts made their way to Brno in the Czech Republic on the week-end of September, 10th-11th 2005 for this year's Czech International Air Fest (CIAF) 2005.
Announced as the highlight of the show has been the appearance of the Strizhi (Swifts), which has already been the case sometimes in recent years, but this time they finally managed it to bring them to Brno and the 5-ship of MiG-29 flew their elegant display routine on both show days.

The rest of the flight display was however sparse of jet displays as the show has switched the date only very recently. This has been made due to the fact that the original date coincided with the Frecce Tricolori anniversary at Rivolto the week-end before. Therefore no western display teams appeared at the show and the A-10 East Coast Demo Team cancelled their appearance as well. Very special for frequent Airshow visitors might have also been the fact that there was not a single F-16 flight display.
However the show surprised already the beginning with a fly-by of 3-ship formations of Czech Air Force (CzAF) helicopters and aircraft consisting of Mi-17, Mi-24, L-39, L-159 and Gripens. Two of the Gripens were even armed with Sidewinders depicting their role as QRA-aircraft that arrived directly from Caslav AFB. After the fly-by the third Gripen broke out and performed a small flight display.
Other highlights in the air were of course the participants of the Serbia and Montenegro Air Force that enriched the flight display with performances of a Soko G-2 Galeb, G-4 Super Galeb and J-22 Orao. Besides the five MiGs of the Swifts a Slovak MiG-29UB also performed a display to the end of each showday.

The main attraction for most of the visitors on the ground was the NATO E-3A AWACS that was opened to the public as well as the Tu154 of the CzAF. Nice to see were also the two French Mirage F.1CR, whichwere send instead of two Mirage 2000 and also the British F3 Tornado was welcomed sight in the static display. A further Serbian G-4 Super Galeb and J-22 Orao was also placed in the static display area together with an An-32. Very rare was also the appearance of a Greek F-16D Block52 at that Airshow.
A second linebehind the jets on the grass was used to present several helicopters. Among them were multiple models of the Mil Mi-family ranging from the Mi-2 up to the Mi-24, which was presented in form of the special painted Czech Tiger-Hind and with one example from the Slovak Republic. A new exhibit was a CzAF Mi-171s that the Air Force received only very recently. Walking further down the static display line a colourful Romanian Super Puma and C-130 could also been discovered before the presentation of Tanks and vehicles began.

So once again the CIAF proved that a successful and most interesting Airshow can be arranged even without an overwhelming mass of jet aircraft flight displays throughout the day. Some highlights up in the air, paired with a lot of most interesting ground exhibits and perfect food and beverages provided once again a memorable week-end in the Czech Republic.