102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is us"

102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is us"

Postby RichPittman on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 7:12 pm

Hi all,
I have been holding off posting these until possible publication which didn't happen so here goes.

On Saturday 11th October 2014, a Air show was held over the skies of Sofia in Bulgaria
The event was organised by the Bulgarian Air Force to showcase the Military, make the Public more aware of the service and recruitment purposes.
With the large Spanish Air show celebrations the same Weekend only a hand full of enthusiasts made it to Sofia.
I met up with Koen from the Netherlands to enjoy a few Days away.

The static line up included every type of Aircraft in the Bulgarian Air Force inventory.

MiG-21, MiG-29, Su-25, PC- 9M, PC-12, L-39ZA, AS 532AL , Mi-17, Bell 206, C-27J Spartan, An-2, An-26, An-30 and L-410 filled the apron, with all visitors able to get a hands on experience.

With the show being held at the Sofia International Airport, civilian aircraft had to be stopped from arriving and departing during the 2 hour show.

At 13:00 the flying display commenced with a Para drop from Bulgaria's latest Aircraft, the C27 Spartan transport aircraft. 2 of the 3 "Spartans" now in service took part in the Air show.
ImageBulgarian C27 October 11th 2014 (1) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian C27 October 11th 2014 (2) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian C27 October 11th 2014 (3) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian C27 October 11th 2014 (4) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian C27 October 11th 2014 (5) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian C27 October 11th 2014 (6) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

Folloeing the C27s, A wedge formation of 5 helicopters ( 2 AS532 Cougar, 2 Bell 206 and a Mil MI-17 ) was followed by a Mi-17 demonstrating fire extinguishing exercise "Bambi bucket" with a water drop.

This was quickly followed by a pair routine of synchronized flying by the 2 Bell 206 jet rangers.

Then the AS532 Cougars and Mil Mi-17 moved in for the extraction exercise which included providing air cover, fast roping and casualty evacuation.

The Air force and the 24th Air Base in Krumovo near Plovdiv " expects 2 new Bell 206 helicopters in the coming Months and 2 more Cougar helicopters at the beginning of the next year,” said Brigadier General Zlatko Zlatev.

ImageBulgarian Cougars10th October 2014 (1) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Cougars10th October 2014 (2) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian MIL Mi-17 11th October 2014 by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

The Bulgarian Air Force didn't hold back putting everything into putting on a brilliant display.
The 2 C27 returned after the helicopter displays for a pair display of tight flying, before a full stop landing. On taxi they hoisted the Bulgarian National and Air Force flags from the top hatch of the C27s. These C27 have replaced the the ageing Soviet An26 transport Aircraft.

Next up was the Air Training Group, from Dolna Mitropoliya Air Base.
The Pilatus PC9 trainer flew a solo display.
The PC9 entered service with the Bulgaria Air Force in 2004.

Imagepc9 by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

Progressing on from the PC9, the AERO L39 Albatross (recently restored to Bulgarian Air Force service)performed a pair and solo routine.

ImageBulgarian L39 October 2014 (3) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian L39 October 2014 (2) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian L39 October 2014 (1) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

The show gained even more momentum as the Air Force launched 2 Mig21 Fighters. Incredible noise and after burner over the airfield demonstrating combat manoeuvres and air cover.
After a Year out of service the Bulgarian Mig21 re entered service in March 2014.

ImageMig21s Bulgarian Air Force October 2014 (7) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageMig21s Bulgarian Air Force October 2014 (6) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageMig21s Bulgarian Air Force October 2014 (4) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageMig21s Bulgarian Air Force October 2014 (2) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageMig21s Bulgarian Air Force October 2014 (1) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

Then the Su-25 "Frogfoot" showed combat manoeuvres and attacks on ground targets in a pair, and then a single fighter demonstrated complex acrobatics at low level.
Flown by Dimitar Danev and Rado Stefanov, these SU25 currently fly from Graf Ignatievo.
Bulgarian Air Force Col. Dimitar Aleksiev Danev, Bezmer Air Base commander explains
“Bezmer Air Base is under major reconstruction, with the runway lengthened and wider taxi ways.
We shall be able to receive C5, hot cargo and a new ramp will be installed for up to 12 C130 Hercules"

ImageBulgarian SU25 October 11th 2014 (6) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian SU25 October 11th 2014 (5) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian SU25 October 11th 2014 (3) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian SU25 October 11th 2014 (1) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

The SU25 departed and then a 2 ship of Mig29s took off to demonstrate a dogfight over the field
Lyubomir Slavov and Nikolay Rusev demonstrated a tight sequence of turning and burning.
This Year marks the 25th Year of Mig29 flying within the Bulgarian Air Force.
The best was saved till last with the Commander of Air Force Major General Rumen Radev
flying a incredible Mig29 demo! including a cobra manoeuvre.

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (19) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (18) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (16) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (15) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (14) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (13) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (12) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (11) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (10) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (9) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (8) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (7) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (6) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (5) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (4) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (3) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Mig29S 11th October 2014 (2) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

The show concluded with a mass flypast of 2 Mig21, 2Mig 29 and 2 SU25
ImageBulgarian Air Force flypast October 2014 (2) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr

ImageBulgarian Air Force flypast October 2014 (3) by Rich Pittman, on Flickr
A fantastic 2 hours on how to showcase a Air Force.
Then it was back to ops normal for the airport :dizzy:

All in all a great few Days with Friends from a few different Counries

Cheers Rich
Always remember "If you cannot turn tight...you cannot fight!"
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RichPittman
UKAR Staff

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby CJS on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 9:08 am

Nice shots, really good to see thanks for sharing. :up:
"Forewarned is forearmed"
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CJS

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby Pablo on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 10:28 am

Excellent set - what a treat to see that air arm's assets so well presented, too.
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Pablo

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby whitecat on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 10:34 am

Great set.
Brings back good memories of my visit in 2012.
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whitecat

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby Chrisse on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 10:56 am

:wall: :wall:
What a wonderful report! And what a inexcusable shame I missed this and went to Spain instead. Don't hesitate to give me a good bollocking for my stupidity next time you see me!
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Chrisse

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby Red Dragon on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 11:06 am

Great photos and also thanks for the rundown of how the show worked. It would be nice to see that MiG-29 demo at RIAT!
Rik Mayall (07/03/1958 – 09/06/2014) RIP
Robin Williams (21/08/1951 – 11/08/2014) RIP
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Red Dragon

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby Airwolfhound on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 12:37 pm

Great pics and a nice report there Rich, I do really like that last formation :rock:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/

Agile, mobile and hostile ;-)
Airwolfhound

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby Blackbird on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 8:19 pm

Great quality set :clap: :clap:

Andy :smile:
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Blackbird
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Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby habu21 on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 11:59 pm

Very nice images with perfect light on the flying..... :smile:
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habu21

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby IanH on Sat 22 Nov 2014, 1:07 am

An excellent show and a fine set of photos which does the show due credit Rich.Very well don.

Regards, Ian
IanH

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby Ledhead27 on Sat 22 Nov 2014, 9:46 am

What a fine set of images and good to see an Eastern Bloc air force still operating Soviet hardware!
"FuelMan, SpamCan, NoPlan, CivviMan, DroneMan Dan"

UKAR Party Plane Captain

4 out of 5 baguettes
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Ledhead27
UKAR Staff

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby ciaranchef on Sat 22 Nov 2014, 10:13 am

Wow, wonderful set, Ciaran
"It is generally inadvisable to eject over the area you just bombed"
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciaranchef/
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ciaranchef

Re: 102 Years Bulgaria Air Force, Sofia Airshow "This is u

Postby Stagger2 on Mon 24 Nov 2014, 1:17 am

IanH wrote:An excellent show and a fine set of photos which does the show due credit Rich.Very well don.

Regards, Ian

Very nice selection of shots, you seem to have had a great location on-base!. Excellent choice to go to Sofia.
Who the hell is "Don"?? That Ian must be on new drugs now! :biggrin:
Stagger2


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