NATO Days, 2022

September 17 and 18 saw the 2022 edition of the annual NATO Days show in Ostrava, Czech Republic take place.

I attended on the 17th. Despite the weather being overcast most of the day and making photography of flying displays tricky, it was an enjoyable show as always.

The 2022 show marked the first appearance of Brazilian and Latvian participants at the NATO Days event. It also marked the first time a Dassault Rafale fighter was in the static park, previous editions of the show have had Rafales in the flying program, and it was quite interesting to get up close to France’s most modern fighter.

On a somewhat bittersweet note, the 2022 edition of the show was the last public airshow appearance of the Czech air force Mil Mi-35 “Hind” helicopter. An iconic aircraft from the height of the Cold War to the present, the “Hind” is scheduled to be retired from Czech air force service in late 2022 or early 2023.

At that, here’s a selection of what was on view at the show in 2022:

Medlánky Oldtimers Weekend – 2022 Edition

September 10 and 11 of 2022 saw the annual Oldtimers Weekend event take place at the Medlánky airport in the northern reaches of Brno,Czech Republic.

The event was a mix of some familiar gliders, both contemporary and vintage that belong to the Medlánky Aeroklub, and visiting aircraft. The 2022 edition of the event had a surprize in the form of a Czech air force Mil Mi-35 helicopter on September 10, this was a very unusul aircraft to have on hand as the event is typically a fully civillian affair.

The weather forecast for the weekend was not particulary good, but the event went on anyway. I took these pictures during a practice for the event on September 9 and a window of reasonably clear weather on the afternoon of September 10.

Airpower 2022 – Zeltweg, Austria

Airpower is the largest airshow in Europe and takes place on a roughly tri-annual cycle at the Austrian air force base at Zeltweg, located in the state of Styria. On September 2 of 2022, I attended the Airpower show for the first time since the 2013 edition of it.

It was a well balanced show between military and civilian aviation and a very well run show in all aspects. It’s a show I would definitely recommend attending if you have the opportunity.

As it’s a big show, I’m giving it a larger than normal gallery. Fix a beverage of your choice, take your time and enjoy:

A Grand Old Horse – The Antonov An-2 “Colt” turns 75!

On August 31 of 1947, the prototype of Antonov’s An-2 took to the air for the first time. An instantly recognisable aircraft, the An-2 was given the name “Colt” in NATO’s code naming system for Soviet military aircraft during the Cold War.

Holding the distinction of being the largest single engine biplane ever to be put in production, the aircraft was in production from 1947 to 2001; an astoundingly long period for any aircraft.

Over 18,000 examples of the type are known to have been built between production lines in the former Soviet Union, Poland and China.

Here’s a selection of pictures I’ve taken of An-2s at various times and locations:

Pardubice Aviation Fair – 2022 Edition

A Great Show is Back on Track

After a couple of years delay due to COVID restrictions, the Aviation Fair in Pardubice was back on in 2022 on May 28 and 29.

I attended on May 28, The weather was variable but I managed some decent shots on the day: