Belgian Air Force Demo Team 2012
Text  &  Pictures : Anthony Graulus © sbap 2012

Aerial view of Sliac Airport (Google earth)

Sliač Airport, historically Letisko Tri Duby (The Three Oaks Airport) is an international airport in central Slovakia, located at around 200 kilometers east of the capital Bratislava, near the spa town of Sliač. The airport has a single runway 18/36, which is 2,340 meters long. The airport is shared between military and civilian users. (Courtesy Sliac Airport)


The Tri Duby Airfield played an important role during the Slovak National Uprising in 1944, when it became the most important airfield of the anti-Nazi Resistance. Between September 6th and October 25th 1944, the airport was the main base of the Slovak Insurgent Air Force, but it had to be evacuated afterwards because of the advancing German forces. Since the territory controlled by the rebels was encircled by the hostile German forces, Tri Duby and the nearby Zolná airfield were the main gateways to the rest of the world. In addition to the significant Soviet aid, the United States sent supplies there. Many flights were performed from Tri Duby to evacuate the US pilots and crew as soon as they were liberated from the German prisoners of war camps.

Avia B-534-II  (1938-1941 roundel) Avia B-534-I   (1941-1945 roundel) Avia B-534-IV   (1944 insugents roundel)
Artist view of Avia B-534-IV against Russian plane... ...and a BF-109 G4  (both are realization of Jerry Boucher)

Tri Duby devastated after an air to ground attack (SLAF archives) A Savoia-Marchetti SM-84 under Slovakian colours (SLAF archives)
Artist view of a B-534 of the insurgees during Slovak National Uprising in 1944 USAF B-17's at end of WWII (SLAF archives)

The airport changed its name from Tri Duby to Sliač airfield in 1945. In 2009, the entity was closed for a major reconstruction project financed in part by NATO and European Union. The airport/air base was reopened in May 2011 for the military part and in June 2011 for the civilian use. Some charter flights are operated to Burgas and Antalya. But the civilian activities are growing and other destinations are planned.  (More on

The airshow

After a trip at Izmir and Malta in 2011, I have chosen this Slovakian Air Force airshow because the interest for “exotic” planes and roundels. The Slovak International air Fest 2012 was held the first week-end of September. The military side of the airport is the home base of the Slovakian Air Force 1st Squadron equipped with Mig-29 “Fulcrum”, the 2nd Squadron flying the Aero L-39 “albatross” and the 3rd transport squadron using different kind of machines: Let 410, Mil-Mi-8 and Mil-Mi-17. This year, some real rarities were given present on Sliac air base apron, especially and certainly the main attraction, a B-52 Stratoforteress from USAF, but only in static display. At flying demonstration side, we can underline the presence of a Mig-29M2 from the Russian Mig Corporation, the Italian “Frecce Tricolori”, the Polish “Orlik team” and also Sukhoi Su-22 duo display. Real interesting also the local Slovak Air Force Mig-29 and L-39 display. In gratitude for the Slovakian participation at Florennes airshow early this year, the Belgian Air Force had delegate the F-16AM “Grat” solo display team and also the Agusta A-109 display team.
Finally we can say that the organization was perfect and the welcome very warm (see picture at right side…), it is a destination I highly recommend. About the pictures, the static display aircrafts were correctly positioned and the barriers not to close of the planes. About the flying display the light is perfect until 3:00 pm, after the sun is in front.



Mig-29 dogfight demo :

Leader : Major Martin "Mat" Kuterka

Wingman : Major Frantisek "Frankie" Pytlik


Pitts OM-PIT : Dusàn Samko


Team Orlik 2012:

Orliky 1 : Capt Dariusz Stachurski

Orliky 2 : Capt Dariusz Stànczyk

Orliky 3 : Capt Krzysztof Kidacki

Orliky 4 : Capt Robert Osys

Orliky 5 : Capt Michal Czerwiec

Orliky 6 : Capt Michal Anielak

Orliky 7 : Capt Arkadiusz Lesniewski

Mig-29 slovak solo: Capt Marian "Buker" Bukovsky

F-16 BAF solo: Capt Renaud "Grat" Thys

F-18 Solo suisse: Capt Ralph "Deasy" Knittel

L-39 Slovak solo: Lt Col Roman "Lolo" Polacek


Frecce Tricolori 2012:

Pony 0 : Lt.Col Marco Lant

Pony 1 : Major Jan Slangen

Pony 2 : Capt Gaetano Farina

Pony 3 : Ten Pil Filippo Barbero

Pony 4 : Capt Mattia Bortoluzzi

Pony 5 : Capt Stefano Centioni

Pony 6 : Capt Marco Zoppitelli

Pony 7 : Capt Mirco Caffelli

Pony 8 : Capt Fabio Martin

Pony 9 : Ten Pil Vigilio Gheser

Pony 10 : Capt Fabio Capodanno

Pony 11 : Capt Piercarlo Ciacchi

Mil-Mi-2 "Hoplite" from Presov air base A preserved Mig-21MF
The local 1st Squadron Mig-29UB with a colorfull tail A view of the static line
Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Austrian Air Force Lockheed C-30E Polish Air Force 14th Squadron from Powidz air base
Certainly the star of the static display, a Boeing B-52H-BW... from 93rd Bomber Squadron "Indian Outlaws" Barksdale AFB
ALCA L-159 Czech Air Force special colour Zlin Z-226MS (OM-MFN) in "Luftwaffe design"
Aero L-29 "Delphin" (OK-AJW) preserved in flying conditions Aero L-159 Alca Czech Air Force solo display
From the Belgian Air Force, the F-16AM solo display "Grat" in action
Flares firework
Mil-Mi-171 from Slovakian Police Mil-Mi-8PS from local 3 Squadron
Lisunov Li-2 wearing Hungarian Malev colours... ...wonderfull preservation!
Red Bull was present with the P-38L "Lightning"... and the Bell "Cobra" TAH-1F
Mig-29M2 from Russian Mig Corporation on taxi... ...and at take off
Antonov AN-12 transport plane for the Mig-29M2 support Strategic Ailift Capability (SAC) consortium C-17 from Papa air base
Polish Air Force Sukhoi SU-22 duo Eurofighter EF200 Austrian Air Force from Zeltweg air base
The local Mig-29 solo display with the caracteristic black smoke at take off Powerfull take off
Still using the drag chute system Mil-Mi-24V Czech Air Force display
Zlin Z-526 AFS-V... ...Yak-52...
...pirotechnics... ...for a combat reconstitution
Aero L-39ZAM from Sliac 2nd Squadron Saab JAS-39C Swedish Air Force F.7 from Satenas air base
Aero Slovakia Z-137T "Turbočmelák"...

.. towing the "Očovskí Bačovia" team and their four L-23 Super Blaník

"Orlik team" from Polish Air Force An elegant Polish conception aircraft
The only jet aerobatic team present at Sliac, the Italian Air Force "Frecce Tricolori"

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