50 years of TS-11 “Iskra” (but no more than 60)
The future of TS-11 “Iskra”
Polish Ministry of Defense just announced that a new competition for AJT (Advanced Jet Trainer) is about to begin. It is really hard to predict which construction will win, but one thing we know for sure – after more than 50 years of active duty polish jet trainer TS-11 “Iskra” will be withdrawn from service, someone can say “what is so interesting about old crap?” Indeed, the fact that Polish Air Force uses such old construction is not a reason to be proud of, but there are reasons why TS-11 “Iskra” can be interesting object for aviation enthusiast and/or spotters.
1. Iskra is so far only military jet (trainer only, but still military) fully developed in Poland (including the engine) and used in regular service.
2. Poland was only country from former Warsaw Pact where TS-11 were in service (other countries were using L-39 “Albatros”).
3. Polish Air Force Aerobatic Team – “Bialo Czerwone Iskry” flies since 1969 and probably they will not perform shows after 2017 :/
4. Despite of flying on obsolete aircrafts they have very good show.
5. “Bialo Czerwone Iskry” Ground Crew is extremely handsome ;)
6. And very often they do their own “ground show” ….