2011 Air Shows
100th Anniversary of the Turkish
Air Force, Cigli AFB, June 4-5
Turkish Air Force (“Turk Hava Kuvvetleri“), one of
the oldest military aviation organizations in the world, celebrated
their centennial on the first weekend of June.
one entered the base by the main gate, they saw four gate guard aircraft;
Bell UH-1H Iroquois, Lockheed T-33A, North American F-100F Super
Sabre, and Beech T-34A Mentor. The gate guards were positioned on
manicured lawns, with several Turkish flags in the background and
one statue of an airman.
away from the main gate toward the flight line ramp, between flowers
and wonderful palm trees, one could see additional aircraft: McDonnell
Douglas F-4E Phantom II, Cessna T-37C Tweety Bird, Lockheed T-33A
Shooting Star and a Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter. The F-5B was positioned
on a pedestal to give the impression that it was taking off and climbing
towards the sky.
one entered by the public entrance to the Base, on the ramp leading
to the flight line along the way, one could see many different types
of aircraft from the Turkish Air Force inventory. Some are rarely
seen, such as the SIAI Marchetti SF 260D, Socata TB-20 Trinidad from
the Turkish Navy, Northrop T-38A Talon, Cessna T-41D Mescalero or
the Bell AH-1P Huey Cobra.
static aircraft from the Turkish Air Force were not roped off.
The visitors to the Base had free access to speak with the crewmembers
and enter the transports and the helicopters, including the latest
Boeing 737-7ES Peace Eagle. This made photographing the static
a challenge, as photographers are interested in the aircraft and
not necessarily of the crowds. Additional static displays from
the Turkish Air Force included: the Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker,
Lockheed C-130E Hercules, Transall C-160D, CASA-IPTN 235-100, McDonnell
Douglas RF-4E Phantom II, McDonnell Douglas F-4E Terminator 2020,
Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter, General Dynamics F-16C Fighting
Falcon and the brand new Lockheed Martin F-16D-52 from the Peace
Onyx IV program. The Northrop T-38M Talon, which is an upgraded
version, and the new training aircraft from the Korea Aerospace,
KT-1T Wong Bee. One out of the ten ordered, IAI Heron UAV, was
also in the static line up. The helicopter line up consisted of
the Eurocopter AS-532 UL Cougar, Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk, Agusta-Bell
412EP and the dinosaur Bell UH-1H Iroquois.
from the Turkish Stars display team present, many countries and
their display teams were invited for the 100th anniversary event.
One could see the USAF Thunderbirds, Red Arrows from the UK, Italian
Frecce Tricolori, the French Patrouille de France, Team Iskry from
Poland, Patrulla Aguila (Eagle Patrol) from Spain, Krila Oluje
(Wings of Storm) from Croatia. However, the Pakistani display team
Sherdils, cancelled a short time before the show. The foreign static
display included the support aircraft for the Wings of Storm from
Croatia, an Antonov 32B. Only two of this aircraft are in service
by the Croatian Air Force. Bulgaria sent a Mig-29UB, a PC-9M and
one Alenia C-27J Spartan. The Antonov was present from Serbia,
Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. The Polish Air Force sent an IPTN-CASA
C-295M. Several C-130 Hercules were present from Italy, Denmark,
Pakistan, Algeria and of course, Turkey. Other aircraft in the
static area included two Saab 105 OE from Austria, two Eurofighters
from Germany, an AMX, a C-27J Spartan and also one Eurofighter
from Italy, two IAR 99 Soim from Romania, and several F-16 from
Belgium, Netherlands, Jordan and Pakistan.
Friday, Airbus Military sent the new Transporter Airbus A-400M “Grizzly,” that
departed on Saturday in the evening. By the way, the Turkish Air
Force has ordered ten (10) A-400M. The Royal Air Force sent one
Tornado GR4 and the Hungarian Air Force had one JAS-39 Gripen.
JF-17 Thunder were there from Pakistan; one flew in the display,
with one spare, and one as static. For the JF-17 “Thunder” it
was only their third appearance at an air show, after Farnborough,
UK and Zhuhai, China. The JF-17 was parked next to the German Eurofighters
and the Bulgarian Mig-29UB. A very nice contrast.
The eight hour flying display
on Saturday and Sunday were similar, accept for the flypast from
the Turkish Air Force, which was only on Saturday. The spectacular
31 aircraft flypast included most of the aircraft types used by the
Turkish Air Force. The flypast started with three Eurocopter AS 532
Cougars. The Cougars towed two sets of flags; on top was Turkish
flag with the 100 year anniversary below it. The next echelon was
made up with three examples each: Cessna T-41D, SF 260D, T-37 Tweety
Bird, KT-1T Wong Bee, and T-38 Talon. They were followed by the transport
aircraft: one Casa 235, Transall C-160D and Lockheed C-130E Hercules
and a KC-135R Stratotanker with the boom down. They were followed
by three examples each, F-16s, the F-4E-2020s. The flypast ended
with the Northrop F-5A-2000s.
spectators could see the Turkish Air Force’s 100th year anniversary
F-16, in a wonderful black and gold paint scheme. Other F-16s from
the Netherlands, Belgium and from Pakistan performed over the skies
of Izmir. The best F-16 display was the “Solo Turk” flown
by Major Murat KELES from 141 Filo. His display was very dynamic
and presented his F-16 perfectly for photographers. The Pakistani
JF-17 “Thunder” had a good display too, showing off the
maneuverability of this powerful fighter.
flying display was a good mixture of different jets from several
countries including the rarely seen IAR-99 “Soim” from
Romania. The other impressive display was from the Italian Air Force’s
C-27 “Spartan” and Eurofighter. Interestingly enough,
only the Thunderbirds represented the United States as there were
no other aircraft from USAF.
the departure day, was a perfect day to photograph the aircraft leaving
the airbase. Several of the aircraft taxied slowly alongside of the
photographers to give them ample time to take images as they taxied.
A special thank you goes to the Phantom pilots for providing this
of the most interesting aircraft to see after most of the others
left the base was the Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO reporting name Midas)
a four-engined aerial refueling tanker based on the Il-76, from the
Pakistan Air Force, that had just arrived. Additionally the Pakistan
Air Force sent four Lockheed C-130 Hercules on Monday to Izmir, who
arrived late in the evening.
summary, the 100 th anniversary of the Turkish Air Force was not
only a very well organized airshow, but was a huge success. Congratulations
goes to General Hasan Aksay, Commander of the Turkish Air Force and
Base Commander from Cigli, for their great organization skills.
would like to thank the Public Affairs Media officer Mr. Hüsamettin
Harmanci, from Ankara for his assistance, who listened to our requests/needs
and was very helpful to us.
- Turkish Stars display
- USAF Thunderbirds
- Red Arrows
- Frecce Tricolori
- Patrouille de France
- Team Iskry
- Patrulla Aguila (Eagle
Patrol) from Spain,
- Krila Oluje (Wings of
Storm) from Croatia
- and many others.
9.9 out of 10
Peter Thivessen and report by Wolfgang Jarisch and Laszlo Nyary
for AIRSHOWSREVIEW LLC
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