Kecskemét Air Show
|Kecskemét Air Show|
The Turkish Stars at the Air Show in 2010
|Venue||Kecskemét Air Base|
The Kecskemét International Air Show is a two-day-long air show held since the early 1990s at the Kecskemét Air Base of the Hungarian Defence Force. In 2008, when the annual Royal International Air Tattoo was cancelled, the Kecskemét Air Show became that year's biggest air show held in Europe. It was last held in August 2013.
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The first air show at Kecskemét was held on 18 and 19 August 1990. The show became the first occasion that NATO and Warsaw Pact military aircraft met in peaceful conditions, when two Soviet Air Force Mikoyan MiG-29s and two United States Air Force General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons arrived together.
After a seven-year break, during which two air shows were held at Taszár Air Base, the Air Show was again held at Kecskemét, on 24 and 25 May 1997. The next show, held the following year, celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Hungarian Defense Force, and the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Air Force. As well as Hungarian Air Force MiG-29s, the show featured the Turkish Stars aerobatic team. The 2000 show, held on 20 and 21 May, saw the first appearance of the Slovakian White Albatrosses and the Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatic teams.
On 16 and 17 August 2003, Kecskemét Air Base hosted the biggest air show ever held in Hungary so far. Three air force aerobatic teams accepted invitations to attend: the Frecce Tricolori, the Patrouille de France and the Turkish Stars. After a planned two-year recess, the Air Show was held again in 2005, on 6 and 7 August. The organisers planned a huge gathering of Mikoyan-Gurevich aircraft. All air arms operating MiG aircraft were invited, but very few actually accepted, so the reunion was cancelled.
The 2007 Air Show was held on 11 and 12 August. The Krila Oluje aerobatic team from Croatia performed for the first time. The next show was held the following year, on 16 and 17 August. This was the first occasion the Eurofighter Typhoon visited Hungary to participate at an air show. Also, one of the world's biggest military cargo aircraft, the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III made its first appearance at a Hungarian air show.
The next show was two years later, on 7 and 8 August 2010. The French Dassault Rafale visited Hungary for the first time. This year's show provided the last opportunity for the public to see MiG-29s in Hungarian colors, as the Hungarian Air Force had announced it would retire its MiG-29s from active service, replacing them with Saab JAS 39 Gripens. At the end of the show, Hungarian MiG-29s simulated a dogfight situation against Gripen aircraft.
In 2013 the Air Show was held on the weekend of 3–4 August.
- „It was without doubt the biggest European air show of 2008, after RIAT's cancellation, and certainly the best, thanks to a superb organizational effort, well-rounded programme, the number of display items, extensive supporting facilities, the welcoming atmosphere and the positive vibes at the show. It is unlikely a show like this will be seen again, also as some types like the Hungarian Mig-29 and Serbian Orao will soon leave service, but mainly because the programme was of such rare quality.” "Wheels Up!". Retrieved 2008-09-14.