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Tiger331

Postcards From Estonia - Estonian Air Force 100th Anniversary Show

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The Estonian Air Force celebrates it centenary in 2019 having initially received a trio of Sopwith Ships Camels from the Royal Air Force towards the end of the War of Independence in late 1919. To commemorate this significant milestone, the modern day Estonian Air Force organised a small Air Show at Amari AB earlier today, which attracted a number of interesting exhibits. Hope you enjoy some of the images from the show.

 

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One of the Estonian Air Force Robinson R44 liaison helicopters proudly displaying the National Flag during the show.

 

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The Robinson R44 played a major part in the short flying display. A duo opened the show with a spirited formation display which included '64'.

 

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Estonian Air Force L-39C Albatross. It was somewhat of a surprise to note that a special '100' scheme had not been applied to one of the L-39 this year. In previous years Estonian L-39s have sported special markings to commemorate particular anniversaries. The aircraft looked very smart, nonetheless, in this smart new overall grey scheme.

 

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The venerable Antonov AN-2 Colt which has soldiered on for many years but will shortly be replaced.....

 

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.......with a pair of EC-145s donated by the USAF through FMS. The first of the two aircraft to be delivered was on display but,in contrast to the An-2, was rather scruffy and well worn from its service in Afghanistan. I have little doubt the Estonian Air Force will give it a smart new scheme during its first overhaul. For now, markings are limited to the Triangle insignia on the lower wing surfaces, small fin flashes and the black serial number on the fuselage sides.

 

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The Estonian Police and Border Guard operate a trio of Agusta-Westland (Leonardo) AW-139s including ES-PWC which displayed it Search and Rescue capabilities at Amari AB. These helicopters are common sights around Estonia as they fulfill a multitude of tasks especially around the remote regions and islands.

 

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An Estonian Police and Border Guard Beecj King Air 300, which recently replaced the Turbolet L-410 that had been in service for many years.

 

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One of my favourites from today......Latvia, Estonia's nearest southern neighbour sent this rather smart Antonov An-2.

 

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The third of the Baltic States sent two aircraft for the static show including this Aerospatial AS-365 optimised for Search and Rescue missions over Lithuania.

 

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Lithuania's LET Turbolet L-410s are not so uncommon having been spotted at RIAT several times but they still look very smart in the bright Baltic sunshine.

 

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Estonia's Northern neighbour sent two aircraft to the event including a BAe Hawk which gave an excellent solo air demonstration. I had no idea that the Finnish Air Force are planning to operate these trainers until 2035 !.

 

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I'm not quite sure how the Royal Danish Air Force F-16 display went down with the crowd !. Estonia and Denmark have had an 'interesting' history with the national flag of Denmark flying (and dropping) over Estonia in the past but this was the best demonstration of the show. I am normally quite bored with F-16 role demonstrations but this one was very good and the crowd did appreciate it, giving the pilot a standing ovation as he exited the aircraft. Love the scheme......I expect it will go down well with the crowds at RIAT this year.

 

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The UK has capitalized on its special relationship with Estonia, through NATO connections in 2019. The RAF is currently fulfilling the Baltic Enhanced Air Policing mission at Amari AB right now and took the opportunity to conduct a training mission during the day. Sadly the RAF solo Typhoon demonstration was unavailable due to commitments in the UK (Yeovilton and RIAT work up).

 

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Following the successful deployment of Agusta-Westland Wildcats to Estonia last year, the Army Air Corps has deployed four WAH-64D Apaches for an extended period in 2019. One aircraft appeared in the static display while a second did a number of flybys to demonstrate some of the capabilities of this impressive attack helicopter.

 

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Last but not least - The Wildcat has become quite a favourite with the Estonian population. This is the second year the aircraft type has been deployed and the unit have taken advantage of every opportunity to show off the aircraft in several public static displays up and down the country.

 

Hope you enjoy these shots. A nice little show, very well organised (no traffic queues) and totally relaxed. A great day out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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www rarely seen aircraft!

 

thanks!

 

also I have not seen the Finish Hawk special, nor the Danish F-16 special! reminds me of their red-white Draken many years ago!

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Amazing to see the An2 still in service after all these decades. Some lovely pictures there. 

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