NATO Days, 2021

September 18 and 19 of 2021 saw the return of the annual NATO Days public exhibition at Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Due to COVID concerns, the 2020 edition of the event was not open to the public and was televised instead. While COVID concerns kept this year’s edition smaller than some in the past, it was great to be able to go out there again.

In the spirit of quality over quantity, the 2021 edition of the event saw some first time visitors in the form of a Lockheed F-35 Lightning II fighter, and Airbus A330 MRTT (Multi role Tanker Transport) and the DC-3 Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

I attended on the Saturday. The weather was overcast most of the day and made photography a challenge. However, I got some decent images from the day. Here’s a look:

Movements at Kunovice

Yakovlev Yak-40 “0260” at Ostrava, Czech Republic in 2019

Yaketty-Yak

In September of 2020, the Czech air force retired its Russian made Yakovlev Yak-40 jets from service.

One of the retired jets, “0260” was taken into the collection of the Brno Technical Museum. Through a cooperative arrangement, the aircraft was placed on loan to the Kunovice Air Museum. It made its last flight in October of 2020, landing at the Kunovice airport and being placed in storage awaiting display in the museum.

On Saturday, February 13, the aircraft was moved into the museum’s public display area and was given a place near the museum’s Tupolev Tu-154, “Nagano Express”.

In 1981, the Ministry of the Interior of the former Czechoslovakia transfered two Yak-40s to the air force. The aircraft operated primarily in the VIP transport role. Both were retired in September of 2020.

This article, published at the time the Czech air force Yak-40s were decommissioned, will give you a bit of background into the Yak-40 in Czechoslovak and later Czech service.