Mighty MiG Powers in to RIAT
Published: 01 May 2015
Members of the modern-day Polish Air Force will salute their forebears by participating in the Royal International Air Tattoo's Battle of Britain 75th anniversary commemorations this summer.
Visitors to the Air Tattoo on July 17-19 will have the opportunity to see a spectacular display from a Polish Air Force MiG-29 fighter, flown in tribute to the 145 Polish pilots who flew as part of the RAF in the Battle of Britain.
The MiG-29, NATO codename 'Fulcrum', was one of the most feared Soviet jets of the Cold War. The new era that followed the end of the Warsaw Pact has brought about renewed alliances, and today Poland's MiG-29s fly as part of NATO, taking part in operations such as the multi-national Baltic Air Policing effort to provide air defence to the Baltic States.
With its characteristically smoky engines adding to its considerable presence, the 'Fulcrum' is always a popular display aircraft at the Air Tattoo and 2015's showing from the Polish Air Force will certainly turn heads.
Another piece of Soviet-built Cold War 'heavy metal', a Sukhoi Su-22 'Fitter' strike aircraft, will form part of the Polish Air Force contribution to the RIAT 2015 static park. So too will a rather more recent Airbus C295 twin-turboprop transport.
The Polish Navy, meanwhile, is sending two aircraft to the show - a Mil Mi-14 'Haze' maritime helicopter and a PZL-Mielec M28 Bryza patrol aircraft, both for static display. The 'Haze' has only been seen once at the Air Tattoo, in 2012, which was the UK debut of this charismatic type.
Air Tattoo chief executive Andy Armstrong said: "Of those overseas countries whose pilots fought alongside the RAF in 1940, Poland contributed a higher number than any other. This makes its contribution to our 2015 show all the more notable as a commemoration of their heroism."