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Category: TOP GUNS

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The annual Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton International Air Day at Somerset, England​, is back. Scheduled to be held on 7th July 2018, it will feature a spectacular five-hour flying display, besides an array of ground attractions, from engineering fairs to the latest defence technology exhibitions, simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights. 

After last year’s remarkable performance, the Czech Air Force has confirmed their participation at the event for this year as well. They will return with the JAS 39C Gripen that won the title of ‘Best Fixed Wing Display’ last year.  

The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is expected to have up to 40,000 visitors. The event will include demonstration of the Maritime Capability and Air Power of not only the Royal Navy, but also the British Army and the Royal Air Force, which are celebrating their centenary year. The British Armed Forces’ NATO and European allies will participate too. The Air Day will have both static and flying displays from some of the world’s most skilled pilots and their aircrafts. 

Read the full story here.

​​​Flying a Gripen C requires minimal pilot workload. Hear one of our test pilots as he describes how natural the interaction is between a pilot and a Gripen.​​


A Brazilian pilot takes a training in the Gripen simulator and flies the Gripen fighter in Linköping.

211th tactical squadron at the Caslav Air Base got Lieutenant Colonel Radoslav Matula as its new commander this year.

czech commander_150118.jpgLieutenant Colonel Matula taking over as the commander of the 211th tactical squadron.

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The ceremonial handover was held on 11 January at the 21st tactical air base. During the handover, Matula accepted the ceremonial sword from the hands of the commander of the base, Colonel Petr Tománek.

“I would like to thank Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Tomaňa for his guidance,” he said. “Apart from the continuous protection of the Czech airspace, we will also participate in international exercises like NATO Tiger Meet, Sky Avenger, Ample Strike, and Central Hawk. The preparation and planning for Baltic States’ Airspace protection mission will also start this year,” he added.


Gripen Pilots at the Kecskemét Air Base in Hungary, took part in #Movember initiative, in which they raised money for cancer patients.

Movember is a popular worldwide initiative, with men growing beard and/or moustache and raising prostate cancer awareness.

The money raised will be used to train medical staff and buy medical supplies.

Read the full story here.

Photos: MH59

​Saab display pilot André  Brännström reveals facts about g-forces and what it's like to perform a flying display. 

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In an interview with, Swedish Air Force fighter pilot Henrik Björling explains how it feels like to fly a Gripen fighter.

“Gripen is my favorite fighter. It's an airplane built for the pilot. It's easy to fly and perform in,” he says.

Talking about how a regular day at work looks like, Björling says that it starts early. At first, there is a meeting with the Project Manager to discuss the flight plans of the day. This is followed by some test flights, desktop work, regular training processes etc. 

Björling understands that people are impressed with his profession, but he has his feet firmly planted on the ground. “Movies and games paint a glamorous picture. In reality, we are ordinary people who are lucky enough to fly a Gripen during our working hours,” he says.

Read the full story here.

Visitor at the Slovak International Air Festival (SIAF) watched the performance of  the top Czech Air Force display pilot, Captain Ivo Kardoš this year.​ The aerial display was the highlight of the festival. 

"Gripen is the best choice for the Czech Republic," says Czech display pilot Captain Ivo Kardoše. In an interview with a local publication, he talks about his experience of flying at a recent airshow in Hradec Kralove.

Kardoše says that if one has to compare the cost and performance, Gripen is the best aircraft. It is not expensive to operate and does the same job as other advanced fighters.

About his performance at the Hradec air show, he says that the kind of demonstration a display pilot chooses for an airshow depends a lot on the weather. In Hradec, weather posed a few challenges but vertical maneuvers were still possible, so he chose a longer set. Also, a display pilot tries to demonstrate a combination of the aircraft features. The lowest altitude at which a non-maneuvering flight can be conducted is about 2km above ground. “For safety reasons, we cannot demonstrate the maximum capabilities of an aircraft at airshows," he says.  

On being asked what he likes more, performing at airshows or participating in foreign missions, Kardoše says both are great experiences. 

“It's hard to compare, everybody has their own preferences though. It was nice in Iceland, but the air shows have their magic too. A pilot just wants to fly,” he says.

Read the full story here.

gripen_siaf2017.jpegCzech Air Force airmen and their Gripen aircraft attended NATO Tiger Meet 2017 in Landivisiau, France. They were placed second in the concours d’Elegance for the best camouflage with Gripen in the “Tiger design.​

Visitors to the Slovak International Air Festival (SIAF) on August 26-27 in Slovakia can expect an exciting program. The highlight of the show will be a flight demonstration of the Gripen supersonic jet fighter by the top Czech Air Force display pilot, Captain Ivo Kardoš.

Captain Kardoš recently won one of the most prestigious international display awards. He beat an international competition at one of the world's largest air shows, the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, Britain. Kardoš beat more than 60 pilots – which is quite an achievement given that he became a display pilot only at the beginning of this year. He also demonstrated his excellent flying skills at another air show - RNAS Yeovilton, Britain, where he won an award for his performance again.

We asked a few questions to Captain Ivo Kardoš.

What is the main role of a display pilot?

The main role of a display pilot is to represent the Air Force and to demonstrate his flying skills as well as the capabilities of the aircraft.

Can any Gripen pilot become a display pilot? Or does he need to fulfill certain criteria and undergo special training?

The display pilot is selected from the Gripen squadron pilots. ...

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