report by: Thierry Letellier
The International Air and Military show took place on the 7th and 8th August 2010 in Kecskemet Air base, about 120 km south east of Budapest; the Hungarian capital. The commemoration off 100 years of Hungarian military aviation and 100 years of Hungarian powered aviation made the convenient occasion the establish this Airshow. By the early 90’s, the Hungarian Air Force; was fuly intégrated into the Warsaw Pact with more or less no autonomy. By 31 March 1991 the Hungarian Air Force took the name of Magyar Honvédseg Repülö Csapatai (MHRCS). At this time a fighter wing existed at Kecskemét air base, the 59. ‘Szentgyörgyi Dezso Harcászati Repülo Ezred (59.HRE) with two squadrons MiG-21MF and UM’s.
One of the three former Warsaw Pact countries who joined NATO in 1999 was the Hungarian air force. On 23 November 2001 a contract was signed for the lease of twelve single seat JAS-39A and two JAS-39B Gripen fighters. The contract was altered into more modern JAS-39C/D’s which have entered service in the spring of 2006. They were allowed to squadron 2 “Dongo”. Fourteen MiG-29s allowed to squadron 2 “Dongo”; were also refurbished to enable them to remain in service until at least 2010. All the refurbished Fulcrums received a new grey colourscheme.
On the static for the first time in Kecskemet the was a Su-27 from the Ukraine Air Force. Next to the more regular displayed aircraft like the ; Eurofighter , Rafale, F-18, F-15,and JAS-39 Gripen fighters. Some interesting and exotic planes came from the Israeli Airforce , Romanian Airforce and from the Republic off Serbia Airforce. Included in the flying program were five aerobatic teams over Kecskemet Airshow. With the Frecce Tricolori; furthermore the Turkish Stars on F-5 “Tiger”, the Swiss Patrouille, the Breitling Team, and the Croatian Krila Oluje (Wings of Storm) on Pilatus PC-9 . The highlight, because is it rarely seen within the European Air show circuit nowadays; was the display of a Romanian MiG-21 “Lancer B”. By using its afterburner very often and performing a spectacular touch-n-go! Personally i really appreciate the flypast done by the Austrian Eurofighter; a very first for me.
The flying display ended with a air power demo from the Hungarian Air Force. Starting with a take off of four “Grippen” it was followed with a scramble of two MiG-29’s. The MiG’s and Gripens preformed a dogfight with was naturally won by the JAS-39 Gripen. This was followed by an interesting CSAR demonstration (Combat Search and Rescue), where a Mil Mi-17 served as transporter covered by Mil Mi-24 “Hind” combat helicopters. During the CSAR guns where fired from the Hind windows.
The mix of Western and Eastern aircraft, including some exotics made this event, a unic souvenir. Above all, the large number of Russian built aircraft and the good weather made this show particularly popular for aviation enthusiasts.