We met the Baltic Bees during the Bellaria Airshow 2018, Rimini. The event marked the team's first performance in Italy.
|Alessandro Scorrano, Baltic Bees "Slot" pilot.|
The Baltic Bees Jet Team was deployed at Rimini airport, Italy, in early June to attend the Bellaria Airshow 2018 and offer to Italians the opportunity to fly in a jet. We met Alessandro in a hotel lounge, he told us about the past and future plans of the aerobatic team.
Which is the most diffucult part of your demo?
Our display is divedend into two parts: the first one is more "soft" because we are six aircraft in formation, the second one that starts after "The waterfall" figure (similar to the "Bomba" of the Frecce Tricolori) is more dynamic.
We were impressed by your performance yesterday, you were very synchronized. How do you orient yourself in an unknown area?
The weather in Riga is very different from the Italian one. Can it affect the performance of the aircraft?
Yes, temperature is so different and this influence a lot the power of the engine. Expecially the umidity and the density of the air. Hot and umid air: low power. Cold air (more dense) more power.
In Latvia we have a -20°C during the winter with a very low cloud sailing that do not allow continuous training, so we stop from November till March. During this period the planes enter into scheduled maintenance and we return in 6 jets around April, starting with 2 planes, then 3, then 4, until to have complete formation.
The L-39 is very suitable for acrobatic flight thanks to the great wing shape. It is the most successful jet trainer in the world: the companies have built more than 3,500 units in 50 years. It also requires simple maintenance.
In China? Lots of stopovers!
Of course! Twelve for China!
This year marks your 10th anniversary: something special in program?
We are organizing an airshow (Aug 4-5) at our base in Jurmala (60 kms far from Riga). This is an ex Rusian military air base that our boss rebuild as private airport. We have a museum also!
Why the name "Baltic Bees"?
The blue colour also want to be less aggressive than black one (and a black-yellow bee was already used as a special color L-39 jet in the Hungarian Air Force).
During the years I noticed that we took the occidentalized way: we changed our equipment from russian to occidental one. The bees are just a brend now.
Do you earn thanks to private flights? Have you ever received a proposal from a big sponsor?
And I have to tell you a news: we are working to perform with 7 aircraft during the airshow in Jurmala.
An Italian Guy in Latvia...
In 2016 the owner of the Bees asked me to flight one of their private jet, but in the same period the pilot nr.6 of the team quit and they asked to me to try to fly the jet.
What? I didn’t do that… I had no experience, overall in the acrobatic flight! But I tried and in february 2017 I started my training with Breitling (we cooperate with them). After only 2 months I flew with our nr.5 solo pilot (one of the best L-39 pilot worldwide) I was ready and on May 20, 2017 we flew in 6 planes formation.
Our boss proposal is to grow up young pilots, because the high costs of the training. Is not simple to tolerate a -4G or +8G maneuvers for a 50-year-old man.
The leader and me are the youngest, but other pilots are about 50. Our solo pilot is 56... and still offers high performance! He's amazing!
Are you looking for new pilots?
Well, we have done a survey about it. We realize that no much pilots want to fly, just normal people with a dream that starts and ends that day.
We offer the unique experience of flying up to 6 jets in formation and it is nice to see how people are surprised when they know that we fly without instruments, just with the flight techniques we have learned.
People decide to fly with the Baltic Bees not just to fly L-39, but to fly the L-39 in formation.
Thank you very much Alessandro!
The Baltic Bees Jet Team is composed of Artyom “Maverick” Soloduha (Team Leader), Igor “Major” Yudkin (Left Wing), Anatoly “Maestro” Perekriostov (Right Wing), Aleksandr “Smoked” Zarins (Left Outside Wing), Valery “Godgather” Sobolev (Right Outside Wing and Solo) and Alessadro “Giovane” Scorrano (Slot).