Some of the most interesting “hardware” showcased at this year’s Radom Air Show in Poland

Aug 29 2013 - Leave a Comment
By Jacek Siminski

On Aug. 24. and 25 Radom Sadków Airfield in south-central Poland hosted one of the largest air shows in Eastern Europe.

This year’s Radom Air Show was somehow unique, as it marked the 95th anniversary of the Polish military aviation.

To celebrate the event, Polish Air Force aircraft performed a unique flypast, including some interesting formations, featuring MiG-29 and F-16 aircraft.

The air show was also an opportunity to have a close look at some candidates of the current Polish modernization programs.

For instance, when it comes to the Army chopper bid, every player did appear both on the static and dynamic displays. The company representatives and the pilots were open to the questions. Eurocopter brought in some French pilots who did fly the Cougar in the tough conditions of Afghanistan.

The Eurocopter’s dynamic display was particularly interesting due to the CSAR demo. The helo performed a combat pickup in  with special forces using the Fast Rope.

Image Credit: Jerzy Siminski

Poland also seeks to replace the old Iskra trainers.

The AJT programme deadline for accepting the offers was set on Jun. 7, 2013. Four companies proposed their designs. One resigned – it was the Czech company Aero Vodochody that opted out oficially due to the unclear bid conditions).

BAe Systems brought their full-sized airplane to the show, the newest version of the Hawk, that turned out to be the only jet training plane still eventually attending the air show.

The new Hawk is particularly interesting, due to its simulated radar system; tt does not carry a radar but the instructor may use an avionics system to simulate A2A and G2A engagements with an incredible fidelity.

The Hawk is also the sole out of the three competitors that has been used and checked quite thoroughly. RAF uses it to train the Typhoon pilots. It does not use fly-by-wire system like the Typhoon does. At the Air Show I had an opportunity to speak to one of the BAe engineers, who said that this was done deliberately to teach the pilot how to recognize the end of a flying envelope.

The Polish Air Force did a presentation of the most of their flying machines, both in dynamic and static displays, including the MiG-29 with Kościuszko sign on its back.

Image Credit: Andrzej Rogucki

All the helicopter types that fly in the Afghan theatre could also be spotted.

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Image Credit: Jerzy Siminski

The static display also featured some interesting Western aircraft, including RNLAF F-16 with a special color scheme, portraying Diana, the goddes of hunting on the vertical fin. Another special colored bird, a Czech Gripen in a NATO Tiger Meet paint scheme made its appearance in a dynamic display.

Image Credit Jerzy Siminski

One of the most spectacular displays featured tw0 F-16s and two Su-22M4 bombers simulating a CAS mission. The demonstration included explosions on the airfield surface.

Polish Air Force display teams did also have a dynamic display.

Firstly it was the Orlik Team, flying PZL-130 Orlik turboprop planes and Team White-Red Sparks, flying old Polish Jet Trainers, TS-11 Iskra (which means Spark in Polish). The Iskras have a long history, flying the same aircraft since 1991 and making several appearances on international air shows, including the last year’s anniversary MAKS show in Moscow.

Image Credit: Andrzej Rogucki

Out of the unique opportunities at Radom Air Show one could see a Su-27 and MiG-21 displays. The ex-Soviet aircraft are still a rare sight at any show outside the Russian borders.

Out of the aerobatic teams, two made noteworthy appearances. The Patrouille Suisse have shown an impressive skill in their formation flying. Moreover, the F-5  being so fast a jet made the display very spectacular.

And Wings of Storm from Croatian Air Force, flying on PC.9 airplane. The team has shown some unique maneuvers that are not performed by any aerobatic team worldwidely, including a formation tailslide.

Other teams that took part in the display were the Baltic Bees, flying L-159 ALCAs and Finland’s Midnight Hawks.

Contrary to the British RIAT rules, the safety regulations allow the pilots in Radom to use the flares during the displays. The flares were used by many machines, but one of the most spectacular application could be seen in RNLAF AH-64 Apache display with an unusual series of maneuvers, including a high barell roll and tailslide.

Image Credit: Andrzej Rogucki

There were many F-16s including RNLAF, Solo Turk and Hellenic AF display and Belgian team acts.

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Image Credit: Andrzej Rogucki

Another interesting display was the one of an Italian C-27J which performed loops and rolls.

Summing up, Radom was a successful event with several interesting attendees, nice weather and high clouds that offered incredible backgrounds to the photographers.

Static display photos credit: Jerzy Siminski

Dynamic display photos credit: Andrzej Rogucki

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

 

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