Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Postby planenuts on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 2:45 pm

Hi chaps,

Looking through my photo album recently from this trip, I realised there were loads of active and W+R photos I didn't include in my original post (a long time ago). Considering how often anything from this air force ventured abroad (next to never), you may find some of these interesting......

Dolna Mitropolyia.
Back then was only the Air Force Technical School, now the airfield has the training flight after moving from Kamanets.

L-29
ImageIMG_7620 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Su-22M4
ImageIMG_7621 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mi-24D
ImageIMG_7618 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mi-2
ImageIMG_7619 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-23ML
ImageIMG_7616 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-21
ImageIMG_7617 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

L-29
ImageIMG_7622 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-21PFM
ImageIMG_7623 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-17
ImageIMG_7624 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Another one on the gate
ImageIMG_7627 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Kamenets. Training base with L-29/L-39. Apparently we were the only aviation group to visit there, closed in 2006.

Mig-17 preserved at gate.....bored of them yet ?
ImageIMG_7628 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Preserved Mig-15UTI, Mig-17, L-29, Mig-21PFM and Mig-21UM.....all gone now
ImageIMG_7629 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Active L-39 and retired L-29 (no ejection seat in it). There were lots of dumped L-29s elsewhere, but didn't get close
ImageIMG_7631 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Taxying L-39
ImageIMG_7633 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

'Preserved' Mig-17 amongst hedges in the village of Letnitsa
ImageIMG_7634 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Preserved Mig-17 in the village of Sennik
ImageIMG_7636 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Preserved Mig-17 :hypno: in the village of Gorsko Slivovo
ImageIMG_7637 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Bezmer, home of the attack aircraft Su-25 and Su-22 (of which only 4 remained active, retired in 2004)

Preserved Mig-17 and Mig-UTI in a wooded area
ImageIMG_7638 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

L-29
ImageIMG_7639 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Yak-23, Mig-15UTI, Mig-17
ImageIMG_7640 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Taxying Su-25
ImageIMG_7641 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Taxying Su-22M-4.....this one did a full-on aerobatic display for us, sadly miles too far away for a photo
ImageIMG_7643 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Su-25 and Su-22M-4 positioned at the end of the ramp for our visit
ImageIMG_7646 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Then the sun came out !! :smile:
ImageIMG_7644 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7645 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Spent some time standing on the tower balcony, getting a distant shot of this landing Su-25 with retired ones behind
ImageIMG_7647 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Preserved L-29 in the town square in nearby Yambol. I think it's now in a local museum
ImageIMG_7648 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Stara Zagora. The only spot to get a piccie of the stored Mi-24Ds. Ironically, #109 is the only one left, preserved in the town
ImageIMG_7649 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Graf Ignatievo, main fighter base. That week hosting the first exercise involving the RAF, who brought 8 Jaguars.

RAF Jaguar T2 on the ramp alongside Mig-21UM
ImageIMG_7650 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

A few Mig-21bis's, if you can stand them......
ImageIMG_7651 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7652 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7653 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Other active Mig-21bis/UM which I managed to photo from our moving minibus
ImageIMG_7655 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

This retired Mig-21 was apparently used specifically for towing practice by the ground crews
ImageIMG_7656 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Now for loads of retired Mig-21s (44, I think in total), here's a selection of schemes seen.....
ImageIMG_7657 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7658 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7659 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7660 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7661 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7662 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7663 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7664 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

And now the preserved stuff......starting with Mig-19
ImageIMG_7671 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-21
ImageIMG_7672 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Yak-23
ImageIMG_7674 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

L-29
ImageIMG_7675 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-17
ImageIMG_7676 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-23BN
ImageIMG_7678 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

And ending off with another Mig-19 near the gate
ImageIMG_7679 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

On the far side by the Mig-29 HAS complex, were a pair of active Mig-21s covered up, here's 1
ImageIMG_7665 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

And so to the exercise. Also taking part were AF Su-25s, including this Su-25UB
ImageIMG_7666 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Plus 4 x Su-25Ks. This is the view from where we spent half the day (and it was my 30th birthday too)
ImageIMG_7668 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

This one was taxying out for a mission
ImageIMG_7670 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

And after they went in pairs, out came the Mig-21s......
ImageIMG_7669 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7729 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7730 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7727 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7731 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Krumovo. Home of the Air Force Museum.

Starting with this Mig-23BN hiding beside the entrance road
ImageIMG_7693 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Wrecked Mig-17 needing a little TLC
ImageIMG_7686 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-21 in a non-standard colour scheme
ImageIMG_7688 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-19 in a non-standard colour scheme
ImageIMG_7687 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Let L-200C......cute
ImageIMG_7689 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Yak-11
ImageIMG_7690 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Knackered Tu-2, now restored
ImageIMG_7691 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

An-14
ImageIMG_7692 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Also home to the rotary element of the air force. Preserved stuff first.......

Mi-1
ImageIMG_7680 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mi-2. Our female interpreter, seen in the background, looked strangely like Celine Dion...... :heyhey:
ImageIMG_7681 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mi-4
ImageIMG_7682 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

and Mi-14. I think this one has now gone
ImageIMG_7685 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

We were not allowed to go near the active helicopters on the field, due to having live weapons, but after a useful sit-down negotiation with the base commander, and the help of 'Celine Dion', they were happy to tow across 1 of all their types.

Bell 206B with unique Bell 430. This only flew within Bulgaria between 2000-2004. Rare as hen's teeth.
ImageIMG_7695 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mi-17 with Mi-24
ImageIMG_7694 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Pointed the camera across to the others on the field, this distant shot was the best one
ImageIMG_7698 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Another Bell 206B flew by, would be considered rude to ignore
ImageIMG_7697 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Also on the heli-pads was this Mi-17, although oddly was not allowed to go near it or photo, so this is a sneaky one
ImageIMG_7696 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Two ex-AF Mi-2s stored in a yard........not a clue about the location, sorry
ImageIMG_7699 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-17F 'preserved' in the village of Orizari
ImageIMG_7700 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-19 preserved outside Air Force HQ in Sofia
ImageIMG_7701 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Sofia Military Museum. There's many more frames there now, but back then just a few.......

Mi-2
ImageIMG_7717 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mi-24D
ImageIMG_7718 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-21bis
ImageIMG_7719 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mi-8T
ImageIMG_7720 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-23ML
ImageIMG_7721 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

This was another museum outside Sofia, looks like the airframes have gone to the Military Museum in town

Mig-21bis
ImageIMG_7722 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Except this Mi-24, don't know where this is now......
ImageIMG_7723 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-23ML and UB
ImageIMG_7724 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Dobroslavci Air Base, the cherry on the cake, home of the last Floggers active in Europe.....for another 3 months

Preserved Mig-15UTI, Mig-17 and Mig-19
ImageIMG_7702 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Il-14 hiding in the trees, making it a nightmare to photo !!
ImageIMG_7703 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Stored Mig-23 line-up
ImageIMG_7704 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7705 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7706 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7708 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7709 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

These 2 stored Mig-23s were positioned for us to give a close inspection
ImageIMG_7710 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Another angle
ImageIMG_7711 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

We thought we were not allowed to get the active ones, only glimpsing the tops of their tails along the taxiway.
However, one of the generals stated it was permitted, as flying was cancelled for the day due to bad weather.
Best 10 minutes ever...... :love:

The last 5 active Mig-23s plus the base flight L-29. Weren't allowed any closer, but didn't bother me
ImageIMG_7712 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-23UB with sharks mouth. These were the first Bulgarian AF aircraft to sport these
ImageIMG_7713 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Mig-23ML, the only one without a sharks mouth
ImageIMG_7714 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Another Mig-23ML
ImageIMG_7750 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Base flight L-29 sporting the 'Flogger team' logo
ImageIMG_7715 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Was good to get photos of just one active L-29 before they retired too
ImageIMG_7716 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

Finally, we all received one of these base stickers. Mine adorns the rear of the photo album
ImageIMG_7725 by Rupert Kelley, on Flickr

That's all folks.......hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did compiling it. Stop dribbling now....... :drool:

Happy snapping, chaps,

Rupe :smile:
planenuts

Re: Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Postby Varkman on Fri 06 Dec 2019, 5:27 pm

Really great to see some old Types.
:rock:
Cheers
Richard
User avatar
Varkman

Re: Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Postby planenuts on Wed 11 Dec 2019, 4:01 pm

Thanks for the feedback Mr Varkman.
Yes, those old Russian types are virtually gone nowadays from Europe.

Rupe
planenuts

Re: Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Postby capercaillie on Wed 11 Dec 2019, 4:10 pm

planenuts wrote:
We were not allowed to go near the active helicopters on the field, due to having live weapons


Why on earth did you have live weapons? :hide: :dizzy:

Interesting stuff, as you say Bell 430 was an odd acquisition.
"The surrogate voice of st24"
User avatar
capercaillie

Re: Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Postby planenuts on Tue 31 Dec 2019, 8:26 pm

planenuts wrote:

We were not allowed to go near the active helicopters on the field, due to having live weapons


Why on earth did you have live weapons? :hide: :dizzy:

Interesting stuff, as you say Bell 430 was an odd acquisition.


Ha Ha, very funny !! After their initial reaction ("NO"), I felt like having a live weapon on me as a 'persuasion tool' :lol:

That really was a scrapbook week.....especially when these days we barely see any of these types around.

Rupe :smile:
planenuts

Re: Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Postby POD on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 2:29 am

Interesting stuff :up:
Tiger Tiger!
User avatar
POD

Re: Uncle Bulgaria 2002 Pt.2

Postby reheat module on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 7:58 pm

What a selection!
'Cosford with grass...'
Canon systems
reheat module


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