Report: Black Sea Air Show 2019, Mihail Kogalniceanu airport, Romania

Black Sea Air Show Mihail Romania
Italian Typhoons and Romanian MiG-21 LanceRs fly together during the Black Sea Air Show 2019 at Mihail Kogalniceanu airport, Romania.

On 13 July, the Mihail Kogalniceanu Constanta International Airport (AIMKC), Romania, hosted the first edition of the "Black Sea Air Show". The event came eight years after the previous "Thunder over the Black Sea" air show held in 2011.

Although the Black Sea Air Show was organized by civil associations (Romanian Aeroclub and AIMKC), it included several military aircraft as the airfield is shared with the Baza 57 Aeriană (Air Force 57th Air Base) of the Forțele Aeriene Române (Romanian Air Force).

The 57th Air Base is located on the east coast of Romania, on the Black Sea side, and hosts the RoAF and NATO fighters involved in the surveillance of Romanian airspace. Thanks to the presence of an Italian Typhoon detatchment, the visitors could admire powerful take-offs and fly-bys performed by two Italian Air Force fighter jets. The Eurofighters flew over the runway together with four RoAF MiG-21s showing how the two Allies are working together to protect the nation and after leaving the formation with an exciting maneuver, they performed a two-ship power demo and a Close Air Support activity. After the demo, Italian jets parked in front of the public, located in the civil area of the airport, to offer great entertainment even on the ground.

In addition, RoAF showed an epic LanceR solo display, the IAR-330 helicopters and the "new" F-16 combat jets. One of the three Pumas was in the special Search And Rescue (SAR) variant, adopted for the upcoming deployment of Romanian helicopters in Mali under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The nation has never provided details on the variant, but probably includes a special sensor, particle filters in the engines to prevent dust ingestion and additional armour (See the differences in the Puma photos below).

The air show also included several civilian planes from the home-based Romanian Aeroclub that performed great aerobatic figures or adrenaline-pumping maneuvers, much appreciated by the crowd.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Kiril Todorov

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