Radom 2018 (POL)
In 2018, the Polish Air Force celebrated its 100th anniversary. For the occasion she had multiplied the invitations to celebrate this anniversary. It was held in Radom at the end of August, about 100 kilometres south of Warsaw. To get there, the easiest way is to land in Warsaw and take a car rental. The Polish road network has improved considerably and it will take you 1h30 to reach Radom.
A statement on the safety rules in Poland is necessary: the safety standards are not those encountered in France or in other countries. The area of evolution of the demonstrations is located south of the airport. It is officially an area closed to the public but from 7am…So, if you are in the morning, you can walk past the policemen putting down their barriers. As long as it is not 7am, you can settle down in peace. Moreover, the natives are not mistaken by transforming their fields into parking, for a few zlotys. And you will find without problem itinerant traders to eat.
For spotters, two areas stand out. The first is located on a small hill, with direct view of the track. It is highly sought after and quickly invaded. The second is set back, in fields and paths. It offers the advantage of space and being just below the zone of evolution.
In 2018, due to a crash of a Mig 29 in early July, the Polish Air Force remained on the ground and it was the invited countries that ensured the show. And what a show! despite the awful weather, the demonstrations followed one another without interruption. Some patrols had made the trip from Finland, Italy, Croatia, Spain, Switzerland, Jordan and Italy to animate the Polish skies. The Bialo-Czerwone Iskry National Patrol was flying PZL TS-11 Iskra. This was one of the last opportunities to see them since the withdrawal of this model was announced for December 2020
On the demonstrators’ side, the tray was well filled since we were able to admire three presentations of F-16 with the Greek “Zeus”, the F-16 “Solo Turk” and Vader who presented the Belgian F-16. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen Czech, the German Eurofighter and the highly acclaimed Pakistani JF-17 Thunder held company with the Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27. Proof of the proximity of the demonstrations and their energy, each passage triggered the alarms of the cars, a kind of applause for these drivers who made us vibrate.
Civilian demos were not to be outdone with mixed patrols mixing Antonov AN-2 and small Aero AT-3 R-100. You could also admire a patrol of T-6 and PZL 130. Almost the entire Red Bulls team was there with its B-25, Corsair and alphajets.
The rotating wings were also present with a powerful demonstration of a Mil Mi-35 Hind (export version of the Mil Mi-24). We understand the fear that this helicopter could give rise to when it approached us a few tens of meters away.
The weather situation having worsened on the second day, it is towards the static that we headed without regrets. This is the unique opportunity to be able to admire some rare pieces. A barely restored PZL P.11 was on display for the first time outside a museum. One could also meet on the parking lot the different models of polish aeronautical production. An opportunity for amateurs because they rarely go beyond their borders.