Hungarian Air Force 70th Anniversary - Kecskemét, August 16 & 17
Words and photographs Michael van der Mee, video Jan Loedeman.
August 16th and 17th saw the 70th celebration of the Hungarian Air Force. After the airshow in 2007 this was the second conclusive year in a row Touchdown Aviation was present at the Hungarian Base.
The show started with a fly-past in various formations of the Hungarian Air Force; Mi-8s and Mi-24s supporting the Hungarian Flag were followed by JAS39s, L-39s, An-26 and Yak-52s. International participants in the flying display were present from: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Turkey, United States and the United Kingdom.
With most of the 2008 shows having a handfull of fighters in the program, Kecskemét was a welcome exception, with Gripens, F-16s and Hornets to name but a few.
The Serbian Air Force's two solo displays; the N-62 Super Galeb and the J-22A Orao both had a new special paint scheme. The latter having a red tail with a Serbian cross and a spectacular white eagle on a further black fuselage. The Super Galeb supported an overall blue colour with the types 30th anniversary titles in yellow on the tail.
The most spectacular display was without doubt the MOL Extra 300 flown by Zoltan Veres. With flying a low, very low pass making rolls over the taxitrack showing he has the Guinness Record of making 408 consecutive rolls. Somehow this pass was only done on the Saturday...
In 2009 Kecskemét opens its gates once more to celebrate 10 years of NATO membership and 60 years of Kecskemét air base. We are already looking forward to it!
The author wishes to thank the Hungarian Air Force for two fantastic days and their hospitality during the show.
The history of 70 years in a nutshell
In its 70 years of existence the Air Force saw a lot of changes with probably the biggest being the NATO membership in 1999. This meant for as well as the personnel as the inventory major modernizations and the adapting of new standards and tactics.