The New Tiger Paint Scheme For Polish Air Force F-16s Is Going To Be the Livery Of Poland’s Viper Demonstration Team!
Polish Air Force’s Tiger Squadron – 6th Fighter Squadron based in Krzesiny, near Poznan – is going to be involved in the NATO Tiger Meet exercise in Turkey, scheduled to take place at Konya airbase, between May 4. and 15.
According to the Polish media outlet Lotnicza Polska, 2 out of 6 jets taking part in the exercise received special color schemes.
Besides the NATO Tiger Meet Exercise, the Krzesinian pilots would also be involved in the Greek Squadron Exchange event (between June and July) and in the Israeli Blue Flag Exercise, planned in November.
Notably, the Polish Vipers have been painted, not covered with a film-overlay. It seems that the Bydgoszcz-based Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze No. 2 (Military Aviation Works) facility has already acquired a proper technology needed to cover the body of the jets with lacquered paint scheme. Now, due to the new cover there is no risk that the special paint scheme would disappear. Quoting Piotr Rutkowski, a representative of the facility, Lotnicza Polska claims that plans to create the new paint scheme for the F-16s date back to 2014. However, at that time, the paints needed to create the scheme could not be exported from the US due to legal restrictions.
More than the paint scheme what is really interesting of the story published by Lotnicza Polska outlet is the final paragraph, according to which, the Polish F-16 Demo Team will finally be created. The demo-pilot is apparently involved in the training activities.
According to unofficial information obtained two months ago by The Aviationist, from a source closely tied with the Krzesiny AB, the Polish Viper demo is going to be similar in shape to the Viper Team West of the USAF.
Our source suggested that the show is going to involve two examples of the F-16. It has been also said that flares may not be a part of the display, since the countermeasures used by the Polish Vipers have a too long burning-time. Noteworthy, the new display team will retain the Tiger livery that will make its debut in Turkey.
The above development is particularly interesting also for PR reasons. So far, the only appearance the Polish F-16 has made during air shows was in a form of a flypast – this created some doubts among the public opinion – a lot of people claimed that Polish Vipers are not combat-capable and that they are lagging behind the MiG-29, that regularly performs dynamic displays at airshows around Europe.
Even though the Fulcrum is an older jet – its capabilities are much less advanced than those of the F-16 Block 52+ jets – the Polish Vipers have often suffered from some bad PR , especially among the public who has no in-depth expertise in aviation. The general audience reasoned that there must be something wrong with the new Polish fighters, since they were not flying dynamic displays at airshow.
The debut of the new Viper team is probably going to take place during the Radom Air Show. We are planning to attend the show and provide you with a report.
Image Credit: WZL no. 2