Rare footage about current North Korean Air Force. Featuring Mig-29s, Su-25s, AN-2s and Korean People’s Air Force One

Here is a 21-minute video about Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) air-to-ground inter-unit competition.

Even if it may seem a documentary produced in the 1970s, the following is an interesting footage filmed during the recent Korean People’s Air Force’s combat flight contest which touted the capability of the North Korean air arm.

The video includes footage of KPAF Mig-29s, Su-25s, An-2s, Mig-23s, Mig-21s, Il-28 as well as several helicopters during the May 9’s air demo.

Also featured is the Presidential Il-62 used by Kim Jong Un to reach the airbase where the contest was held: the rarely seen North Korea’s Air Force One shows a livery sensibly different from the paint scheme previously used by the plane, that was almost identical to that of the state airline Air Koryo.

The new paint scheme includes a new badge applied on the tail: a sort of KPA roundel flanked by a blue stylized bird.

Even if the “Air Force Un” livery has been renewed, the fleet is made by quite obsolete aircraft….that seem to be younger than their pilots.

Judge yourself:

NK pilots

Image credit: KCNA


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. In a fight between North Korean jets and US/South Korean jets, the North will get swatted from the skies.

    • Yes but Fight would be between North Korea China and Russia,read up on Mig15 and Korean War.

      • I would argue that world politics are a bit different than in 1950….participation of China or Russia in a renewed Korean War is by no means guaranteed. In fact I would be pretty surprised if either country offered anything more than limited material support.

      • You sound like you come straight from the 1950s. And not in a good way.

        China are already distancing themselves from NK over their nuclear testing. China have way to much money tied up in USD reserves to want to go to war with the USA. Russia would possibly use any hot war as an opportunity to flip the West the bird… Maybe provide material assistance but you will not find VVS pilots flying NK fighters this time around.

  2. Barring the last image as a “NKPAF reunion tour”… does the North Korean People’s Air Force doctrine demand an “until death do you part” clause for their pilots on air frame qualification? Can some of those pilots withstand the G-Forces necessary for combat, let alone a quick turn back to the air field? Proof positive North Korea builds their pilots out of brawn, leather saddlebags and raw steel. Some of those dudes look old as the hills.

  3. At 4:18, check out how he nervously picks at his right hand. Must’ve been jonesing for a smoke (which he finally gets to enjoy at 8:01).

    And at 5:37, check out how much crap (dust) is on that runway! FOD, anyone?

    And as he departs (19:02), those peeps are standing mighty close to the runway.

  4. Even if some Jets are old they have low air hours in new condition and there are a lot. North Korea has modern Rockets and A bomb,also it has China and Russia as allies.

    • China and Russia wouldn’t come to their defense….why would they? North Korea simply isn’t worth it. North Korean jets maybe new but they’re still old…not even a close match.

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