Text & Pictures: Anthony Graulus  © sbap 2013

Kecskemét is a city in the central part of Hungary. It is the 8th largest city in the country, and the county seat of Bács-Kiskun.

Kecskemét lies halfway between the capital Budapest and the country's third-largest city, Szeged, 86 kilometers from both of them and almost equal distance from the two big rivers of the country, the Danube and the Tisza. It is the northern of two centers of the Hungarian Southern Great Plain (Hungarian: Del-Alföld) region (comprising the three counties Bács-Kiskun, Békés and Csongrád); the southern center is Szeged, the seat of Csongrád county.

The name of the city stems from the Hungarian word kecske, meaning "goat".

This year, one of the biggest airshow took place at the Kecskemčt airbase in Hungary celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Hungarian Air Force. This airbase is home of the 59/1 ‘Puma’ Squadron flying the Saab JAS39 Gripen which entered recently the ‘Tiger’ community. An history regarding this unit can be found on the NATO Tiger Association webpage: http://www.natotigers.org/tigerunits/detail.php?unitID=43



Kecskemčt Air Base (Google map)
Hungarian Air Force FIAT CR.42 (archives HuAf) Messerschmitt Bf 109 G4 (archives HuAf)

The organizers promised the public a very high level air show with numerous surprises rarely seen in Europe. One have to say without any doubt that they kept their promises with participating aircraft from Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Estonia in this Gripen’s lair.

But the real surprise came straight from Russia as the Russian Knights, flying 5 SU-27 Flanker, were the highlight, of the show. This was the first time since long that Russia was again present in European skies. The technical support was flown in by a IL-76.

The air show also saw a variety of aircraft with a Romanian Mig-21 demonstration, an Ukrainian SU-27 in static and an historic part of the Hungarian Air Force with all the former fighters used by the Hungarian during the Cold War, like the Mig-21, the SU-22 or a superbly preserved Mig-23.

Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi SU-27 "Flanker" 831 Fighter Brigade RAF Tornado GR4 from 15 Squadron
Marineflieger Seaking Mk41 from MFG 5 Spanish Air Force Casa C295M from 353 Squadron
Mil-Mi 8  UR-MSF from Motor Sich Airlines Serbian Air Force Antonov An-26 from 138 transport squadron
Belgian Air Force C-130H from 15 Wing Belgian Air Force F-16 from 31 Squadron
Mig 17PF "Fresco", Mig 15 and Aero L-39ZO Mig 15
Mig 21 MF Mig 21 UM
Mig 23MF
Mig 15 UTI preserved in flying conditions
Austrian Air Force Saab 105OE
Slovenian Air Force  Pilatus PC-9M Austrian Air Force Pilatus PC-7, the new colors of the solo display
Hungarian Air Force Antonov An.26 in company of Saab JAS-39C "Gripen" Hungarian Yak-52 training aircraft
Mil-Mi-17 with the national colors Gripen solo display
Romenian Air Force Mig-21-UM from Flotila 71 Aer
Polish Air Force Sukhoi SU-22M-4 from 21 Blt
Lisunov Li-2T in Malev colors Boeing C-17A from F210/SAC2
Czech Air Force Mil-Mi 35 from 221 lbvr Hungarian Air Force Mil-Mi-17
Belgian Air Force F-16AM solo display "Grat"
Baltic Bees Aero L-39c Italian Air Force "Frecce Tricolori"
Netherlands Air Force F-16AM solo display "Stitch"
Spanish Air Force "Aguila"
Turkish Air Force "Turkish Stars" in their new livery
Cratia Air Force "Krila Oluje" (Wing of Storm)

The Russian Knights is an aerobatic demonstration team of the Russian Air Force. Originally formed on April 5th, 1991 at the Kubinka Air Base as a team of six Sukhoi Su-27s, the team was the first to perform outside the Soviet Union in September 1991 when they toured the United Kingdom. On December 12th, 1995, disaster struck as three team jets flew in-formation into a mountainside near Cam Ranh, Vietnam during approach while en route to home from a Malaysian airshow during very bad weather conditions. The team now performs with four Su-27Ps and two Su-27UBs.

The Kubinka air force base located 60 km west of Moscow is well known both in Russia and abroad. For years, it has been known as the Air Force installation used for demonstrating advanced combat aircraft to national and foreign leaders. Nowadays, Kubinka AFB is known as the best aerobatics school where the Russian Knights and Swifts aerobatics teams are stationed. Meanwhile, Kubinka is a major base of the Russian Air Force in the Moscow area.

Solo fireworks
Amazing final!

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