The Kbely Aviation Museum launches 50th season

A renovated hangar with four jets is newly opened to the public

The Kbely Aviation Museum will open for its 50th season on April 28. Located at a former military airport, it is one of the largest aviation museums in Europe, and its collection of full-sized planes has some unique examples.

On the opening day, members of military history clubs will be present in uniforms to create some atmosphere.

New for this season is the renovated, historic Hangar No. 43, which will display four jets used in the past for pilot training. It is near the main entrance of the museum.

The hangar has a Czechoslovak airplane Aero L-29 Delfín, a Polish-made PZL TS-11 Iskra, a MiG-15 UTI, and an Aero L-39 Albatros in a special camouflage version.

The Aero L-29, introduced in 1961, was used in every Warsaw Pact country except Poland, which used its own trainers. The PZL TS-11 Iskra was the first domestically developed jet aircraft produced by Poland, and some models are still in service.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was introduced in 1949 and was popular in the Korean War. The UTI model is the training version. The first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, died in a March 1968 training flight crash in a MiG-15UTI due to poor visibility and miscommunication with ground control.

The Aero L-39 Albatros was introduced in 1972 to replace the Aero L-29 Delfín. The new model became one of the most popular training jest in the world, used by over 30 air forces.

Hangar No. 43, with a length is over 50 meters and a depth over 11 meters, was built in first half of the 1930s. The original interior design has been renovated. The hangar was badly damaged at the end of World War II in a bombing raid in March and April 1945.

Another new exhibit is the airborne version of the Let L-410 (UVP-T), with a cabin designed for paratroopers.

The aviation museum has a secondary location about 900 meters away at Areál Stará Aerovka (Old Aero Area) with an entrance on Hůlkova street. Among the exhibits there is a Fouga CM.170 Magister, a French-made two-seat aircraft introduced in 1956.

The Kbely Aviation Museum (Letecké Muzeum Kbely) will be open from April 28 to Oct. 31 daily except Mondays. The opening hours are from 10 am to 18 pm. Admission is free. The museum can be reached from the Letňany metro station on the C line and by bus to the stop Letecké muzeum.

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