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Air show at Graf Ignatievo Air Base marks 110 years since first Bulgarian combat flight

Photo: armymedia.bg

The pilots from Graf Ignatievo Air Base have prepared an intensive 4-hour flight programme to mark the 110th anniversary of the first combat flight of the Bulgarian air force, and 85 years since the battle flags were handed to the aviation units.

The first combat flight in Bulgaria, and in Europe took place on 16 October, 1912, just a few days after the outbreak of the Balkan War, and it was carried out by the Bulgarian pilots Radul Milkov and Prodan Tarakchiev. The flight lasted just 50 minutes, but it has gone down in the history of the Bulgarian air force as a watershed event.

This year marks 110 years since that first flight. To mark the occasion today, 25 June, 2022, the air base close to Plovdiv will hold an open-doors day, the Ministry of Defence has announced. Bulgarian air force and naval pilots will demonstrate their flying skills, performing figures that are at the same time breath-taking and extremely dangerous. After performing each assignment in the air, the airplanes and helicopters will taxi right next to the audience so the public can see them up close.

Visitors will be able to see for themselves how the Air Force and Navy aviation technology functions and what its characteristics are. There will also be a display of anti-aircraft missile and radiotechnical systems. The brief breaks between the demonstrations will be filled with music – the performances of the Air Force orchestra. Admission to Graf Ignatievo Air Base is free.

Compiled by Elena Karkalanova

Photos Armymedia.bg and BGNES

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