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Lancer B 9536 landing at Fetesti-BorceaPostcard from Romania

As the sad news filters through of the loss of the Harbin Hong-5 destined for Cottesmore and RIAT, here's a look at what might have been. Bob Archer sends us this photo-report from deepest Romania

 

 

 

 

 

Lancer 810 of the 86th Group based at Fetesti-Borcea in May 2001. The unit has sent a pair of aircraft to RIAT at Cottesmore. The camo Lancers are for ground attack, while the grey examples are dedicated to air defence.

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Click Harbin H-5C Hong 308 at Fetesti-Borcea in May 2001. The two forward hatches are open to enable the navigator and pilot to gain access. The Hong due at RIAT was number 310, but it unfortunately crashed on a test flight and was written-off, the crew escaping unhurt.

Lancer C 6707 taxing at Fetesti-Borcea. The grey aircraft are interceptors, with 75 Lancer A models, 25 Lancer Cs, and 10 Lancer B two-seaters due for conversion from various models of MiG-21.

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Click MiG-23MF 205 of the 93rd Group stationed at Timisoara-Giarmata. Despite reports of the MiG-23 having been withdrawn from Romanian service, the Group still flies 3-4 examples, and will continue to do so until their airframe hours are expired (around 2003).

Lancer A 6002 at Timisoara-Giarmata.

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Click Lancer A 9703 with a lighter shade of brown, on the last chance at Timisoara-Giarmata.

Another view of Hong 308.

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Click Line up of MiG-29s of the 57th Group at Mikhail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta. The base will host an air show in August, which promises to be extremely good.

MiG-29 54 taxing at Mikhail Kogalniceanu.

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Click The remains of Hong 307 which crashed at Fetesti-Borcea in August 2000. Despite a serious fire which destroyed much of the aircraft, the crew escaped with minor injury, including the rear gunner, whose position was not longer there when the fire was finally extinguished.

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