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Overview: Zeus to Be the Fourth F-16 Demo Team at NATO Days in Ostrava

14.03.2014, 14:21

When an F-16 of the U.S. Viper East Demo Team performed above the Leoš Janáček Ostrava Airport for the first time in 2007, nobody expected that since then we will be seeing a dynamic display of this aircraft every single year. Let us look back to previous displays before we will be able to announce more participants for this year.

After the display of Viper East Demo Team F-16 aircraft from Turkey and the one from the Netherlands even six times have performed above Ostrava sky. The recently confirmed Greek Zeus team is thus going to be the fourth F-16 demo team to perform at NATO Days in Ostrava. “The legendary F-16 is nowadays the most used fighter jet in NATO air forces. It is a plane with great manoeuvrability and displays are well liked by the visitors and they never get old. The reason behind it is that the teams try to distinguish from one another and their pilots keep preparing new figures for every year. Every team has specific figures that other teams do not perform,” Zbyněk Pavlačík, chairman of the Jagello 2000 Association, the main organizer of the September-held event, says. „We are therefore glad that this aircraft is not going to miss this year of NATO Days in Ostrava and that a team that was not here before will come. We will happily let ourselves be astonished by its performance.“

Which F-16 Demo Team had the best performance at NATO Days in Ostrava?
 
 
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Teams also differ in variants and modifications of aircraft they use. The Greek Zeus has based its display on using a combat ready aircraft which is illustrated for example by the use of conformal fuel tanks. Also the Americans use regular combat planes. On the other hand, the Dutch or the Turks have specially modified aircraft for display. This is obvious by special camouflage and also by absence of weapon pods under wings and other parts of the aircraft that are removed so that the plane can achieve the best possible performance.

The multi-purpose supersonic F-16 aircraft is American-made single engine fighter jet that is in production since the 1970s. More than 4,500 of these legendary planes have been produced since and it can be regarded as almost standard aircraft for NATO air forces. The F-16s serve all around the globe, closest to us in neighbouring Poland.

The F-16 aircraft presented themselves naturally also in static display at Mošnov. Visitors could see F-16s of the Polish Air Force and planes from Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands and in 2007 even a spare plane of the American Viper East Demo Team. Altogether the F-16s appeared at Mošnov with six different national markings and the seventh is going to add up in September.

In Europe the F-16 planes also fly in demo teams of Denmark and Belgium besides the mentioned teams. Both states have already participated at NATO Days in Ostrava, Belgium even with a static display of the F-16. “There is space for more displays even with this legendary aircraft,” Pavlačík closes and adds that only confirmed participations are published.

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